Annie Fischer plays Beethoven & Schumann

ica classics: ICAC5062

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Annie Fischer plays Beethoven & Schumann

Catalogue No:






Release date:

27th Feb 2012




72 minutes


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Annie Fischer plays Beethoven & Schumann


Eroica Variations, Op. 35

Saal 1, Funkhaus, Köln, 11 February 1957

Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109

Saal 1, Funkhaus, Köln, 11 February 1957


Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Saal 1, Funkhaus, Köln, 28 April 1958

Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester, Joseph Keilberth



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Sviatoslav Richter’s comment that Hungarian-born Annie Fischer (1914–1995) was ‘a great artist imbued with a spirit of greatness and genuine profundity’ is just a sign of the esteem in which her fellow musicians held her. Curiously, of all the mid-century pianists, she seems to have been among the least recorded due to her profound dislike of the studio. Winner of the Franz Liszt International Competition in 1933, she made recordings of Schumann and Liszt with Klemperer (a close friend), Bartók with Markevitch and Mozart with Sawallisch. She recorded over a 15-year period all the Beethoven sonatas for Hungaroton.

Annie Fischer’s ‘unerring awareness’ (David Threasher) of the shifting moods in the Schumann Piano Concerto has been caught in wonderful sound by the WDR engineers in this ‘live’ recording which has never been issued before.

In the two Beethoven works, ‘she is powerfully authoritative’ (David Threasher).

Both these ‘live’ recordings have never been published before.

Maurizio Pollini said Fischer’s playing was marked by ‘a childlike simplicity, immediacy and wonder’ while the distinguished writer Bryce Morrison commented on her ‘depth and spiritual serenity’. All these recordings are great additions to her relatively small discography.

Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

I. Allegro affettuoso

II. Intermezzo: Andantino grazioso

III. Allegro vivace

Ludwig van Beethoven: 15 Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme in E flat major, Op. 35, "Eroica Variations"

Introduzione col Basso del Tema

Variation 1

Variation 2

Variation 3

Variation 4

Variation 5

Variation 6

Variation 7

Variation 8

Variation 9

Variation 10

Variation 11

Variation 12

Variation 13

Variation 14

Variation 15

Finale: Alla Fuga

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109

I. Vivace ma non troppo

II. Prestissimo

III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung: Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo

Gramophone Magazine

June 2012

“you are made aware once more of Fischer's robust poetry, of her economical, never inflated or exaggerated style. Less mercurial than, say Moiseiwitsch, less vertiginous than Argerich in the Schumann Concerto, her performance is none the less one of fiery engagement and a grateful sinking into repose in the first movement's melting A flat episode...Throughout, she abhors trickery of any kind...This is a deeply gratifying issue.”

Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.

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