Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra have recorded a series of exceptional audiophile recordings for Channel Classics, focusing on orchestral works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is their first foray into the symphonies of Anton Bruckner, and the choice of the Symphony No. 7 in E major is sure to be popular, since this is a perennial favorite with audiences. Fischer's approach is straightforward and uncontroversial, and he observes tempos that are only a shade slower than usual, while applying a healthy amount of rubato to give the pacing some welcome flexibility. But the outstanding characteristic of this performance is the strong emphasis on the counterpoint, and Fischer is careful to bring out the secondary and tertiary parts that some conductors tend to mute or simply overlook. Because Bruckner's lines are clarified and the orchestral textures are skillfully balanced, this Seventh is remarkably transparent and organic, and the music's tension actually grows from the counterpoint, instead of being imposed by interpretation. The DSD recording and the hybrid SACD format contribute greatly to the recording's success, giving the orchestra's sonorities clear separation in the multichannel reproduction and creating dimensions that are breathtaking in their spaciousness.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Symphony No. 7 in E major|