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Beethoven: Emperor Concerto, Pathetique & Appassionata Sonatas / Fischer, Furtwangler


Release Date: 03/12/2002 
Label:  Emi Classics Références Catalog #: 74800   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Edwin Fischer
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The justly acclaimed Fischer/Furtwängler “Emperor” first appeared on CD alone at full price, then at mid-price coupled with the pianist in Beethoven’s Op. 10 No. 3 sonata. EMI’s latest “Emperor” refurbishing gains over its predecessors for sheer presence and textural richness, with weightier sounding cellos and basses and more noticeable studio noises: chair squeaks, bow scrapes, and the like. Fischer’s fingers aren’t quite as fiery as they were for his pre-war counterpart (with Karl Böhm and the Staatskapelle Dresden), and they attempt more than they can comfortably execute at the Rondo’s outset and in the first-movement development. Still, Fischer’s rhetorical adjustments in the Rondo never feel imposed upon the score. And the Read more slow movement is to die for, full of expansive phrasing, gorgeous inflections, and trills from another, better world. Furtwängler inspires the strings to play with more body and inner vibrancy here than in their performance a few months later for Herbert von Karajan, with Walter Gieseking as soloist.

Filling out the disc are Fischer’s 1952 “Pathetique” and “Appassionata”, both new to CD. Again, Fischer’s playing is more sedate and prone to minuscule finger slips than in his pre-war versions of these works, and it’s less boldly accentuated in comparison to Schnabel’s angular bite. Yet you can’t help but be drawn into Fischer’s mellow, organ-like sonority, which even in the softest passages never loses fullness of body. Incidentally, Fischer omits the crucial repeat in the finale of the “Appassionata”, which he observed on 78s. Let’s hope that Fischer’s Op. 10 No. 3 hasn’t disappeared for good, and that EMI soon will bring out the pianist’s 1954 studio recording of Beethoven’s Op. 111.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Edwin Fischer (Piano)
Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 02/1951 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 39 Minutes 20 Secs. 
2.
Sonata for Piano no 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Edwin Fischer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1804-1805; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1952 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3, London 
Length: 20 Minutes 49 Secs. 
3.
Sonata for Piano no 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Edwin Fischer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1952 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 3, London 
Length: 17 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat 'Emperor' Op. 73 (2001 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat 'Emperor' Op. 73 (2001 Digital Remaster): II. Adagio un poco mosso -
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat 'Emperor' Op. 73 (2001 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Allegro)
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor Op. 13 (Pathétique) (2001 Digital Remaster): I. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor Op. 13 (Pathétique) (2001 Digital Remaster): II. Adagio cantabile
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor Op. 13 (Pathétique) (2001 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Allegro)
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 (Appassionata) (2001 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro assai - Più allegro
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 (Appassionata) (2001 Digital Remaster): II. Andante con moto -
Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor Op. 57 (Appassionata) (2001 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro, ma non troppo - Presto

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