Who's been frequenting my playlist for the last couple of weeks?
Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra!
Yes, indeed. I just recently picked up several of their releases on the Channel Classics label, including award winning recordings of Mahler's 2nd symphony, Rachmaninov's 2nd symphony, Brahms' 1st, Dvorak's 7th, Beethoven's 7th, and Beethoven's 4th and 6th. I'm pleased to say that I've really enjoyed these performances from a wonderful orchestra under the direction of an inspired conductor. They all benefit from excellent recording engineering, and while I unfortunately have not had the setup to listen to the SACDs in multi-channel surround sound, the stereo 2-channel versions are a real pleasure to listen to, either in the comfort of my home or in the car on my drive to work. Their most recent recording released is an album of Stravinsky, including the Rite of Spring and the Firebird, which is a lot of fun. I'm a big fan of the Rite of Spring and am always open to hearing a new interpretation. Although this one didn't quite grip me viscerally as did the release by Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic from last year, it is growing on me.