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Edwin Fischer: Public Performances and Broadcasts, 1943-1953 *6CDs Special Price* Classical, Box set
Live performances from Edwin Fischer's final decade of concerts feature him as soloist, chamber musician, and conductor. Fischer's rare interpretive insights can best be heard in his exalted slow movement of Brahms's Sonata No. 3, earning appreciative applause from the knowledgeable audience. The set includes inevitable finger slips and wrong notes, inconsequential byproducts of his striving for artistic integrity. More important, his unerring sense of tempo conveys the heart of the music. Slow movements are soulful but liquid. Drama is always present, allied to a gorgeous tone. His reputation for seriousness doesn't prevent a romp through the Rondo of Beethoven's Concerto No. 1 or the beautifully phrased, long-breathed lyricism of the Romance movement of Mozart's 20th Concerto. Appropriately, since Fischer was an outstanding Bach interpreter, there's a lot of Bach here, including a Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 unannounced anywhere on the box, track listings, or notes. Much of the Bach on this set will sound dated and heavy to modern ears, but it's compelling nonetheless. Those who know Fischer's lofty Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 with Furtwängler (Testament) will be surprised to hear this nearly contemporaneous, swifter, and less symphonic live version with Hans Munch. It's a highlight of a set with few duds. At six discs for the price of four, and nicely packaged in a space-saving box with good notes and variable sound (mostly vintage broadcast quality), the set is a valuable tribute to a great artist. --Dan Davis
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On the other hand the impressive amount of conductors who emigrated to North America translated by far, the major attention of these new audiences, proud to have an ensemble conducted by Toscanini, Reiner, Koussevitzky, Stokowski, Ormandy, Mitropoulos or Walter.
And being Fischer a man of low profile, his last appearances were in Salzburg and other places of the old continent. Somehow, he embodied ed a vanished approach of playing the piano, and all his contributions to diffuse Bach and Mozart's piano music were relegated to a second level.
But fortunately for him and for us, Paul Badura Skoda was his spiritual inheritor and thanks to him we were able to get some invaluable recordings during the Fifties.
Fischer will be reminded far beyond his own historical age, because his personality, kindness and charm as human being and interpreter. He is part of the elite of the great poets of the piano. So, don't miss this or any other album which takes his name.
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