Album: Brahms, Symphony No 1/Variations... (Channel Classics)

Lest there be any confusion over how Ivan Fischer views Brahms, this disc begins with his highly spiced, string orchestra arrangement of Hungarian Dance No 14.

In contrast to the lofty chill of the Berliner Philharmoniker's Brahms, this is an interpretation so in touch with both its feminine and masculine sides that it ought to get a room. Fervent in the Haydn Variations and nakedly impassioned in the First Symphony, the Budapest Festival Orchestra brings a blush to the face of a composer too often dubbed dull and academic.