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Edwin Fischer - The Legacy of a Great Pianist - 2001, FLAC

25-04-2016, 15:09
Classical Music | FLAC / APE

Title: The Legacy of a Great Pianist
Year Of Release: 2001
Label: Music & Arts Program
Genre: Classical > Fantasies
Quality: FLAC
Total Time: 6:29:21
Total Size: 767 Mb

Edwin Fischer - The Legacy of a Great Pianist - 2001, FLAC

In paying tribute to Edwin Fischer, Denis Matthews recalled the ironic observation of a colleague that, despite the fact that they were both regarded as consummate exponents of the core German repertory, neither Fischer nor Schnabel would have made it through the scale and arpeggio examinations of any self-respecting conservatoire. Such a remark was, of course, not intended to be disparaging, but to reinforce the self-evident truth that digital accuracy and fast reflexes may well make a virtuoso, yet still leave a performer high and dry when faced with the deceptive simplicity of, say, a Mozart slow movement. 'To blame Fischer because he occasionally played a wrong note or two is to blame him for possessing qualities of heart and mind that asked far more of his fingers than the purely physical demands of the pyrotechnician.' Fischer's performance ethic was founded on the need to purge any trace of self-aggrandisement or superficial mannerism in the face of his art. Equally, he was wary of the Pharisaical literalism of the purists: 'There are those who prefer to read rather than hear a score, but in such a bacteria-free atmosphere, nothing can live!' Such sterility was wholly contrary to his belief in interpretation as a form of spiritual quest. Although there was a degree of freedom in his playing that in other hands could be viewed as indulgence, Fischer saw himself essentially as a go-between rather than a medium, allowing the music, in the words of Alfred Brendel, who worked with him, 'to emerge of its own accord'. Thus the balance he sought between pure intellect and humanity was a natural outgrowth of his thinking on the relationship between the printed score and its realization in sound: 'Only art experienced within, in which the personality plays a creative role, can have validity.'As Ronald Smith recalled – Smith, along with Denis Matthews, recorded the Bach BWV1063 with Fischer – 'the whole idea of a definitive performance would have been quite alien to Fischer' and so there are often considerable differences between his commercial and studio recordings and performances of the same works captured under concert conditions. An instance of this, as Farhan Malik points out in his typically thorough and informative note, occurs in the Bach Concerto in E, BWV1053, where the middle movement is markedly slower in the present performance than in a recently released studio recording dating from five years later. Likewise, in the A major Concerto the tempos he adopts, as well as a degree of general restraint, seem to reflect an underlying sobriety that has taken the place of the joie de vivre and ebullience of his 1936 studio version. Similarly, the opening of the Brahms B flat Concerto in this version is noticeably less sublimely drawn out than in the famous 1942 Furtwangler account, yet the performance as a whole is hardly less leonine and, indeed, especially in the last movement, there are fewer of the technical problems that bedevil the earlier version. Also, despite the legendary rapport and unity of purpose that existed between Fischer and Furtwangler, the breadth and lyricism of Fischer's handling of the slow movement is supremely expressive in the present performance.Equally, although Fischer could often find the clinical atmosphere of the studio totally inhibiting, there can be no denying that the live version of the Brahms F minor Sonata presented here exposes his vulnerability under pressure, in this case a disastrous memory lapse in the third movement, which, having lost the thread after the Trio, he then brings to a desperate, if inventive, conclusion of his own. From this point he never fully regains his composure, beginning the Intermezzo almost without a break and nervously dashing through the last movement. Yet the lyrical intensity of his Andante – Arrau described this as 'the most sublime love-music after Tristan' – is on an altogether different plane from his studio recording a year later and evidences the kind of impassioned poetic utterance of which he was capable, the spontaneous applause at the end of the movement as inevitable as it proved disconcerting.It is valuable, too, to have the opportunity to hear Fischer in repertoire that he did not record commercially, such as the Brahms Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 21 No. 1, which receives not only an accurate performance but one that unfolds with such a natural communicative eloquence that one wonders why he seems only to have programmed it for one season. Likewise, the Beethoven Fantasia, Op. 77, finds him on wonderful form, highlighting the improvisatory contrasts of the writing tellingly yet without exaggerated gesture. It is, perhaps, in the Beethoven First Concerto, as soloist, conductor and supplier of cadenza, that some of the most impressive music-making is to be found, displaying his inter-disciplinary mastery at its most accomplished. His control of colour and phrasing at the keyboard is reflected with remarkable unanimity in the orchestral playing, the effect being that of chamber music on a grand scale. This aspect of Fischer's art is central to an understanding of his importance, the self-effacement it embodies a reflection of his total dedication to a higher ideal. As Andre Tubeuf observed: 'Fidelity to the letter is something within the capabilities of the most humble student. Fischer's fidelity … is that of the master, who has long ceased to be a student, but forever remains a servant'.

Edwin Fischer - The Legacy of a Great Pianist - 2001, FLAC

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Edwin Fischer - The Legacy of a Great Pianist - 2001, FLAC

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