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The performance standard here is extremely high, the coupling stimulating. Yet a rather reverberant recording acts against the lightness of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which can itself sound rather studio-bound (the famous Scherzo and Wedding March being cases in point). Of all pieces to lose the magic in, this is surely the worst. Iván Fischer has always been a most intelligent and musical conductor, and his direction is indeed both, but this is nowhere near the class of the 1970 Klemperer Philharmonia recording (with Baker and Harper). Nevertheless, both soloists are fine (the text is sung in German), and soprano Anna Lucia Richter shines in the three Fanny Mendelssohn lieder. Mainacht is superbly atmospheric, a true gem of a song, Ferne a poignant portrait of longing and Gondelied has a superb sense of flow.

The disc can also be downloaded in DSD, FLAC and MP3 formats.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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