It’s not an ordinary orchestra – says Luis Gago in his critical review in La País after having seen Franc Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major and Faust Symphony performed by the Budapest Festival Orchestra with Yuja Wang (piano) conducted by Iván Fischer in the Lucerne Festival on September 11.
The Hungarian orchestra has the advantage of being a very hard-working, very solid, and at the same time very flexible orchestra. And Iván Fischer is much more than a conductor: he is a musician like few others on a podium, very complete, full of intuition, with plenty of technical resources and, most probably, with a prodigious ear. He has the musicians permanently dazzled and pending of any gesture of his: there is not a single one that remains without musical translation. Because of its origins, its financing, and its imbrication in society, it is not an ordinary orchestra either. It is perceived in many details and watching it play, with the pleasure of making music visible in so many of the musicians’ faces, is a feast for the senses. There are better orchestras, of course, and with more luminaries among its members, but few exhibit this degree of compactness, of unity within the diversity of harmony. [...]
The conclusion is clear: the great musician Fischer has also been able to bring together and amalgamate a group of people who know how to do much more than produce beautiful sounds with their instruments. [...]
In case there was any doubt that this is an orchestra unlike any other, its musicians, after leaving their instruments on their chairs and spreading out by registers in the center of the stage, sang in an absolutely admirable manner a choral piece by Antonín Dvořák: Evening’s Blessing op. 29 no. 1. How many orchestras would pass such a test? [...]