Works by Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Kod‡ly & Mozart

COMPOSERS: Beethoven,Chopin,Kodály & Mozart,Works by Haydn
LABELS: BBC Legends
ALBUM TITLE: Annie Fischer
WORKS: Piano works
PERFORMER: Annie Fischer (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: BBCL 4166-2
Annie Fischer was scandalously omitted from Philips’s Great Pianists of the Twentieth Century series. She has tended, anyway, to have a rather fringe existence on record, so any addition to her discography is welcome. This CD from three BBC recitals is nearly all of vintage quality. Take the least rewarding work, Beethoven’s Variations in C minor. Thanks to her precise weighting of chords, the marvellous articulation of the shortest notes and the power of the bass line, we get a sense of cumulative strength which I have never heard previously in this piece, and which has made me revise my opinion of it sharply upwards.

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In something as familiar as the Moonlight Sonata Fischer is just as fresh and revelatory. Nothing is taken for granted, she finds the idiom and appropriate weight for each piece, so without overdoing the seriousness of Haydn’s great Variations in F minor, she leaves us in no doubt that this is an intense and introspective work. I was surprised that the Mozart C minor Sonata is, apart from some striking passages, a bit light. Otherwise this is a disc of constant joys, in decent broadcast sound of its time. Michael Tanner