I spent an elevating afternoon in Budapest with Ivan Fischer and his matchless festival orchestra around a performance of Mahler’s fourth symphony. I expressed a number of ideas about Mahler’s relationship with his childhood in a festival keynote lecture, unaware that Ivan in another room was outlining his own views. After the concert, the orchestra stood up and sang an encore.
Then we went off to Ivan’s house to play Chinese instruments.
This is an orchestra with an ambience unlike any other I have known.