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Schumann: Piano Concerto; Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 / Annie Fischer, piano (rec. 1960 & 1962)

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Released for the first time in their entirety, these remastered live recordings document two piano icons in their Lucerne Festival debuts. The Hungarian-born Annie Fischer concertized more than she recorded, and as a result perhaps enjoys a greater reverence amongst pianists than the public, a cultural injustice this recording assists in resolving. In what was her sole performance in Lucerne in 1960, Annie Fischer performs the Schumann Piano Concerto to rapturous reaction with Carlo Maria Giulini and the Philharmonia Orchestra. The American Leon Fleisher was at the peak of his career in his 1962 Lucerne debut in a Brahms-Beethoven program with George Szell and the Swiss Festival Orchestra, but only a few months after this performance he developed a condition making the use of his right hand impossible. Though Fleisher remained active as a specialist of left-handed repertoire and in his elder years regaining the use of both hands, thanks to undergoing innovative medical procedures; this recording stands as an essential milestone in Fleisher's discography. Includes a sumptuous 32 page booklet in three languages providing extensive background information on Annie Fischer and Leon Fleisher

American Record Guide, May/June 2016
Many will be familiar with Fischer's 1960 studio recording of the Schumann with Klemperer. This one with Giulini dates from the same year and comes to us from the Lucerne Festival. Few will be surprised that the sound (particularly the orchestra strings) is better on the studio recording. Still, both are more than acceptable, particularly if you like Fischer's more aggressive way with the concerto.

Fleisher's way with the Beethoven is already well known from the studio set with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra. That set is one of the marvels of Beethoven performance. This Beethoven 2 is similar. The ad hoc ensemble plays well for Szell, and the piano sound here is quite good. Could I recommend purchase of this recording? Well, yes. It is certainly a must for admirers of these artists who must have every recording they ever made. I was seduced once again by Fleisher's marvelous playing.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Lucerne Festival (Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern (08/29/1962); Lucerne Festival (Internationale Musikfestwochen Luzern (09/03/1960).


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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54
  • Performer: Annie Fischer (Piano)
  • Conductor: Carlo Giulini
  • Ensemble: Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Running Time: 31 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1841
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 19
  • Performer: Leon Fleisher (Piano)
  • Conductor: George Szell
  • Ensemble: Swiss Festival Orchestra
  • Running Time: 27 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1788-1798
  • Studio/Live: Live