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Annie Fischer - Icon (The Complete London Studio Recordings) Box set


Price: £16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Annie Fischer - Icon (The Complete London Studio Recordings) + Malcolm Sargent - Icon (The Great Recordings) + Strauss Conducts Strauss, Beethoven and Mozart
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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 April 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 8
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B00I3LJQYO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,534 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr Swallow on 15 Jun. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is self-recommending. One of the great pianists of the last century at super bargain price! Just listen to that peerless Mozart for a start. These discs also include Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert and Liszt (conducted by Klemperer!) so no hesitation needed. Buy!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Roger Francis on 6 Jan. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Variable recordings, essential playing especially Schumann
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Everson Thorpe on 16 May 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Despite the "vintage " nature of these recordings the playing shines through and these are an essential addition to any CD collection of the "Romantic " era.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tailoratdrum on 2 Dec. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
The heart of this collection and perhaps dearest 8 April 2014
By Kirk List - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
...to Annie Fischer belongs to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. She recorded them in the late 1950's and the
early 1960s. She re-recorded some of this repertoire later for Hungaraton, including Mozart #s 20 and 21 with Ervin
Lukacs, the complete Beethoven sonatas, more Schumann, the Schubert Bb sonata D960 and the Beethoven concerto #3
with Heribert Esser (she had recorded it in the late 50s with the two Mozart Concert Rondos with Ferenc Fricsay for DG). The EMI sound on the Icon definitely improves upon the EMI lps on which I first heard much Icon material.
Compared to the Hungaraton CDs, it is softer edged and less boxy/intimate but still attractive. The concerti also
possessed better sound in their most recent CD incarnations, especially #s 21 and 22 with Sawallisch. In the six
Mozart concerti, she receives excellent support from the Philharmonia. Boult and Sawallisch are similar-sympathetic
and precise but a bit more restrained than Kurtz who is a bit wilder and more overtly romantic in #s 24 and 27. Fischer could be virtuosic, fiery and passionate period. I heard her in concert once-in the Beethoven third concerto
with Szell, recall most her hunched over the piano, hair flying. She revealed a passionate temperament regardless of the composer, with obvious sympathy for Schumann, Schubert and Beethoven (especially in opus 53, 109 and 111).
In Schumann she is equally responsive to manifestations of Florestan and Eusebius.. Her Liszt and Schumann concerti are more mixed. She and her
husband were close friends with Klemperer from his relatively happy period in Budapest, but his conducting here
is too stolid (c.f. her Liszt sonata on Hungaraton.) This a valuable and rewarding collection, I think.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Annie Fischer was a pianist of great distinction and taste 18 Mar. 2015
By Michael Birman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I confess that I approached purchasing this collection with some trepidation on two fronts: I feared an interpretive gulf between Fischer's early-20th century musical genesis and my 21st century tastes, which are attuned to a musical aesthetic which is probably now light years away in terms of Mozartean and Beethovenian performance practices. I also feared an acoustic gulf, which is widening. As our ears become used to listening to music recorded in high-definition sound, listening to early recordings becomes a matter of patience and understanding, two saintly traits that are problematic because I am definitely not a saint. Nevertheless, I took the plunge and I am pleased that I did because the performances in this collection opened my eyes on several fronts.

Fischer like Richter, disliked recording in a studio, requiring an audience in order to create that psychic connection that seems to act as a kind of performance valve. Musicians can "sense" the combination of an audience and room, which is invested with attributes that act as a feedback mechanism, but almost in a preternatural sense in that the musician appears to know their effect upon an audience even before the notes are played. Recording studios are antiseptically antithetical to this required experience and Fischer was merely one of a long line of performers for whom studios are undesirable. Gould, Celibidache and Furtwangler are other musicians for whom the studio was a musically unpleasant ordeal.

Despite these feelings of unease, between 1955 and 1966 Fischer made a splendid series of studio recordings for EMI and the fruits of those sessions are included in this collection. The highlights of this box set, for me at least, are the six recordings of Mozart piano concertos: Piano Concertos Nos.20 & 23, Piano Concertos Nos.21 & 22 and Piano Concertos Nos.24 & 27. They reveal the last gasp of old-school 19th century views of Mozart, the courtly purveyor of roccoco musical "comfort food" rapidly morphing into a much deeper Mozart. He is now the universal genius whose expressive palette has a nearly infinite capacity to portray the entire range of human experience, its sorrows and joys, in music that is like a prism. Mozart seems to contain all of the "colors" of the emotional rainbow in the ambiguity of his music, which can be tenderly happy and wistfully tragic at one and the same time. A successful performer of these concertos must convey this complexity while making it sound simple. Fischer is one of the few great pianist of the early 20th century who understood this. Clara Haskil was another pianist who grasped that Mozart's true depth as a composer lay in the emotional ambiguity of his music. Concerto No.23 with its somberly beautiful middle movement is played with delicacy and elegance but with weight! You feel the tragedy in this sorrowful music. Both minor key concertos, No.20 and No.24 are played with powerful expressiveness, but always with the proper finesse. Fischer was a born Mozartean who found herself on the cusp of a musical revolution. The orchestral accompaniment on these recordings is always tasteful but it is large and would not be played like this today. Fischer's innate ability as a Mozartean lets us dismiss the ornate accompaniment and concentrate on her playing.

Fischer gives comparable performances in the Beethoven sonatas, in the Schubert works, and the Schumann and Liszt concertos. She always plays with a proper sense of proportion, matching the era and the musical persona of the composer she is performing. Fischer is careful never to impose herself on a performance, rather she allows the music to speak for itself and submerges herself into the composer's intentions. This is our own "modern" viewpoint and you can hear it here first in Annie Fischer. Her Bartok concerto is equally free from imposition: she allows the music to be its own craggy, inscrutable self without pianistic trickery to make it more palatable to a mainstream audience. Fischer's orchestral accompaniment, although it reflects its era and is quite large throughout, is nevertheless sympathetic and never a burden. Sawallisch and Boult were superb conductors and you can hear it in these recordings. The sound, although a bit long-in-the-tooth, is surprisingly rich and full. EMI's engineers knew what they were doing. Fischer's piano is always front-and-center, carefully recorded so that the sound is well-balanced, with a hint of reverb to avoid dryness in the sound of the piano. Having listened to this box set many times, I admire these performances and have come to treasure Annie Fischer as a pianist of great distinction and taste.
2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 4 Aug. 2014
By SandSon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wonderful!
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