Author Topic: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle  (Read 2056 times)

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Offline George

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #60 on: July 23, 2022, 04:39:12 AM »
St Annie's Op 57 smites all comers.

Yep, I think it is even better than any of Richter or Gilels recordings, live or studio.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #61 on: July 24, 2022, 04:17:42 AM »
So is your "argument" that the salient difference between op 133 and K 394 is just that the former is beautiful and the latter is ugly?
No. One is clearly a stylistic baroque copy and the other one is a piece the connoiseurs who Mozart had written his style copies for 40 years earlier could not make head or tails of. And still not for another 50 or more years with two more generations of Mendelssohn etc. writing solid stylistic copies in their P & F and choral pieces. So almost nobody before you could perceive the strong similarity and that there are dozens or hundreds of pieces like op.133. They all wrongly took it for a strange piece pretty much unlike everything else they knew...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #62 on: July 25, 2022, 02:12:21 AM »
Glad you are sticking with her set. I have found that some recordings and even pianists took quite awhile to grow on me. Backhaus's Beethoven wasn't to my taste at first, but it later became one of my favorites. And Richter's recordings did little for me at first and now he is my favorite pianist.

lt was with Beethoven sonata listening that I learned to listen in a diffirent way, to let go of expectations and try my best to take each performance as it comes, rather than comparing it to an ideal version in my head. In this way, I was able to appreciate performances that normally I would shy away from, stuff like Kempff's Beethoven, Backhaus's Beethoven and Arrau's Beethoven. I am grateful for this, for it helped me open my mind to recordings of other works by other composers. 

I don't say all of this because I think you have to like her Beethoven, or even that you should like it, just wanted to share my experience.

Thank you for that particular post. I understand your experiences fully and you have articulated them very well. In fact I largely share your experiences but in other genres and with other composers. I listen to and enjoy music now that I would not even have contemplated twenty years ago.

My single issue in fifty years of listening to music is solo piano music particularly when played on a modern, loud instrument. I do not want to keep banging on about this but it has been thus for about forty nine years of those listening years. The genre is my issue, to be honest, not the music itself or, to be fair, the pianists [for the most part]. I, in comparison, liked Backhaus as soon as I heard him. So to have abandoned Annie Fischer at a relatively early point in the cycle would simply have been unfair.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #63 on: July 25, 2022, 02:16:11 AM »

If it helps, I'll leave you a list of the sonatas where I think she truly exels:

Op. 2, Nos 1 +2
Op. 10, Nos 1+2
Op. 14, No 1
Op. 27, Nos 1+2
Op 31, Nos 1, 2, 3
Op. 54
Op. 57
Op. 81a
Op. 90
Op. 101
Op. 109

St Annie's Op 57 smites all comers. 




Thank you both for your recommendations.
Having learned what I have learned at this early point from this thread I do intend to return to Op. 2 when I have completed the full cycle. I want to see if I have been too unfair after hopefully gleaning more appreciation for Fischer’s style.
I also look forward with anticipation to Fischer's Op. 57 as this seems to be a strong recommendation.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #64 on: July 25, 2022, 02:18:33 AM »
Piano Sonatas Nos. 11 & 12  Opp. 22 & 26 [Fischer]


Piano Sonata No. 11 Op. 22: Robust playing from Fischer with a heavily rumbling lower left hand sonority.

I found the playing in the opening movement of Op. 26 to be quite delicate of touch and refined of expression.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #65 on: July 28, 2022, 04:51:28 AM »
Piano Sonatas Nos. 13 & 14 Op. 27/1-2


I thought that the playing in No. 13 Op. 27/1 was quite refined and expressive. I also thought that it was well balanced sonically once I turned down the volume a tad in the second movement.

Fischer’s opening movement to the “Moonlight” sonata is wonderfully delicate, tender and expressive. I find that her presentation of the second movement is also very well executed with much poise and balance. The performance of the final movement is certainly taken at speed but it is exhilarating and powerful and displays her skills to great effect. I had feared that the music would have been drowned in the thunderous rumblings of the lower register keys but these fears were not realised, thankfully. The performance, for me, of this sonata has been the best to date in the cycle thus far. Excellent!
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Offline George

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #66 on: July 28, 2022, 07:04:30 AM »
Piano Sonatas Nos. 13 & 14 Op. 27/1-2


I thought that the playing in No. 13 Op. 27/1 was quite refined and expressive. I also thought that it was well balanced sonically once I turned down the volume a tad in the second movement.

Fischer’s opening movement to the “Moonlight” sonata is wonderfully delicate, tender and expressive. I find that her presentation of the second movement is also very well executed with much poise and balance. The performance of the final movement is certainly taken at speed but it is exhilarating and powerful and displays her skills to great effect. I had feared that the music would have been drowned in the thunderous rumblings of the lower register keys but these fears were not realised, thankfully. The performance, for me, of this sonata has been the best to date in the cycle thus far. Excellent!

Great news!

Out of the dozens of versions that I have heard, her Moonlight, along with Lupu's, is my favorite performance of the Moonlight sonata.
"I can't live without music, because music is life." - Yvonne Lefébure

Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #67 on: July 28, 2022, 08:07:42 AM »
Great news!

Out of the dozens of versions that I have heard, her Moonlight, along with Lupu's, is my favorite performance of the Moonlight sonata.

Yes, I felt inherently that it was special.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #68 on: July 30, 2022, 05:33:12 AM »
Piano Sonata No. 15 Op. 28 [Fischer]


Fisher’s playing of Op. 28 is slightly on the earnest and the assertive side in my opinion but her playing is also very fluid. Her left hand touch is ardent but not overpowering. The sound between the registers is well balanced. She is particularly chirpy in the Scherzo movement. She gets a bit robust in the final movement but I am sure that people love that. I turned the volume down a tad and I did enjoy it.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #69 on: July 30, 2022, 05:34:48 AM »
I am posting this comment separately merely to make a point  :)

Perhaps because I have been exposed to half of it by now but I must admit to warming to Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle. It is growing on me slowly.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #70 on: July 30, 2022, 05:36:32 AM »
This time another specific question please:

I have read from previous posts on this thread that Annie Fischer recorded this Hungaroton cycle over many years. Can anyone tell me please whether or not she recorded them chronologically over that period or was it more haphazard than that?
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Offline Todd

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #71 on: July 30, 2022, 05:46:46 AM »
This time another specific question please:

I have read from previous posts on this thread that Annie Fischer recorded this Hungaroton cycle over many years. Can anyone tell me please whether or not she recorded them chronologically over that period or was it more haphazard than that?

That cannot be definitively answered by anyone not at the label or involved with the recordings, but based on internet rumors and potentially informed comments from critics, it was very haphazard, with recordings of some individual sonatas spread over years.  There has never been any indication that the sonatas were recorded in chronological order. 
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #72 on: July 30, 2022, 05:53:20 AM »
That cannot be definitively answered by anyone not at the label or involved with the recordings, but based on internet rumors and potentially informed comments from critics, it was very haphazard, with recordings of some individual sonatas spread over years.  There has never been any indication that the sonatas were recorded in chronological order.

Thank you very much for your quick response and for the information.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2022, 01:59:17 AM »
Piano Sonata No. 16 Op. 31/1 - The playing style is taut and robust but fluid in the opening movement of Op. 31/1. The opening movement can be particularly assertive, even aggressive in places. Fisher plays with great feeling and expression in the slow movement. Her supreme pianism is on full show in the final movement.

Piano Sonata No. 17 Op. 31/2 - This is a wonderfully thoughtful and considered presentation. I think that Fischer does a very fine job with the music here. Her execution of it is excellent to my uneducated ear.

Piano Sonata No. 18 Op. 31/3 - Fischer is overall, once again, robust and assertive in her playing here. However, I do not find her playing to be overly ponderous but rather exciting here. It is very fluid and it has a great sense of drive to it. I did not favour the interpretation of the music in the slow movement. It was just a tad too robust for me. I think that it would have been better served with a little more delicacy of expression.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2022, 12:45:42 PM by aligreto »
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #74 on: August 07, 2022, 02:48:04 AM »
Piano Sonata No. 19 Op. 49/1 - The playing throughout Op. 49/1, but particularly in the opening movement, is very fluid and expressive.

Piano Sonata No. 20 Op. 49/2 - The playing touch throughout Op. 49/2 is light but veering on the robust side, for me. It is also, once again, fluid and expressive.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #75 on: August 07, 2022, 02:49:51 AM »
Piano Sonata No. 21 Op. 53 “Waldstein”
 
My ear would be a little more familiar with this sonata than with many others. I did not like the opening movement here. I think that it lacked fluidity and coherence. I also had to turn the volume down quite a lot to enjoy this in any comfortable way. I also felt that it was a bit rushed. The tempo indication is Allegro con brio but this felt like a Presto or even Prestissimo in places! Yes, I understand that Fischer may be endeavouring to imbue drama and excitement but personally I believe that she missed the mark here.

The slow movement is a great contrast in terms of tone and tempo and Fischer delivers a fine interpretation and performance here for me.

The final movement was also very successful here for me. Fischer is wonderfully delicate and expressive given the dynamic range in this movement. This movement was eminently successful, for me and I enjoyed it a lot.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #76 on: August 08, 2022, 03:27:54 AM »
Piano Sonata No. 22 Op. 54

The opening movement is a tale of two halves here, for me. Fischer commences relatively delicately and expressively in the appropriate sections and indulges in a keyboard banging exercise in the other relevant sections.

The second movement is another example of Fischer’s heavy handed pianism, I find. The quality of her playing is never in question, however.
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Offline Holden

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #77 on: August 08, 2022, 11:58:40 AM »
Piano Sonata No. 21 Op. 53 “Waldstein”
 
My ear would be a little more familiar with this sonata than with many others. I did not like the opening movement here. I think that it lacked fluidity and coherence. I also had to turn the volume down quite a lot to enjoy this in any comfortable way. I also felt that it was a bit rushed. The tempo indication is Allegro con brio but this felt like a Presto or even Prestissimo in places! Yes, I understand that Fischer may be endeavouring to imbue drama and excitement but personally I believe that she missed the mark here.

The slow movement is a great contrast in terms of tone and tempo and Fischer delivers a fine interpretation and performance here for me.

The final movement was also very successful here for me. Fischer is wonderfully delicate and expressive given the dynamic range in this movement. This movement was eminently successful, for me and I enjoyed it a lot.

I would agree with you regarding the Allegro con brio. She has the Allegro but the brio is missing. This movement needs to give the impression that it is driving relentlessly forward. This is best achieved by a lightness of touch and the correct use of dynamics. The light touch does not come out, especially in the left hand. She also slows down her phrasing in places which also robs the movement of some of its momentum. If I had to use one phrase to characterise her playing "heavy handed in places" comes to mind. Compare her performance with Rudolf Serkin (1952), Solomon and Dubravka Tomsic to get an idea of what I am talking about.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #78 on: August 08, 2022, 12:17:13 PM »
I would agree with you regarding the Allegro con brio. She has the Allegro but the brio is missing. This movement needs to give the impression that it is driving relentlessly forward. This is best achieved by a lightness of touch and the correct use of dynamics. The light touch does not come out, especially in the left hand. She also slows down her phrasing in places which also robs the movement of some of its momentum. If I had to use one phrase to characterise her playing "heavy handed in places" comes to mind. Compare her performance with Rudolf Serkin (1952), Solomon and Dubravka Tomsic to get an idea of what I am talking about.

Thank you for your thoughts, comments and suggestions.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Help with Annie Fischer’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle
« Reply #79 on: August 09, 2022, 02:44:36 AM »
Piano Sonata No. 23 Op. 57 “Appassionata”

A number of people here had advised me of the value of Fisher’s account of the “Appassionata” sonata. They were not wrong and I have not been disappointed here.
I believe that this particular sonata suited her playing and interpretation style very well. She is ebullient and assertive, electrifying in places, but the music flows very well and she is well controlled in her execution. Her pianism is wonderful. The slow movement is impressive for me. I think that she really gets at the essence of the music.
I was also pleased that the oftentimes thunderous sound of the particular instrument was not overbearing.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.