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
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
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Edwin Fischer (Piano)
Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria
Date of Recording: 02/1951
Venue: EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK
Length: 39 Minutes 20 Secs.
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