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The great Hungarian pianist, Annie Fischer (1914-1995), a self-critical perfectionist, was uncomfortable in the recording studio. Without an audience, she felt the resulting performance would be ‘artificially constricting’ since no interpretation was ever ‘finished’ or definitive as commercial recordings aim to be. Nevertheless, she did make several studio recordings for EMI and other labels and they remain much sought after by collectors and admirers of her artistry.
Otto Klemperer was a great admirer and no doubt persuaded her into the studio for these recordings of the Schumann and Liszt piano concertos, though, as you will note from the recording dates and the production crew involved, these must have been fairly intensive sessions, with a gap of two years between the concertos being taped. The results, however, display all Fischer’s trademarks of “a great artist imbued with a spirit of greatness and genuine profundity”, as Sviatoslav Richter said of her.
In the original review in The Gramophone of November 1963, the late Edward Greenfield enthused: “Time and again this performance of the Liszt has made me cry out at the sheer magic of the music, instead of my usual “what an old warhorse it is!”. For the first time ever I begin to understand the sort of impact it must have made when it first appeared last century, so fresh-sounding and even modern do Fischer and Klemperer make it sound.” Of the Schumann “the performance is interesting… and… the recording is technically admirable.”
Cut at Abbey Road Studios from the original stereo analogue master tapes with the Neumann VMS82 lathe fed an analogue pre-cut signal from a specially adapted Studer A80 tape deck with additional ‘advance’ playback head, making the cut a totally analogue process.
Pressed on 180g vinyl to audiophile standards using the original EMI presses by The Vinyl Factory in Hayes, England.
- Hi-Q Records Supercuts 180g Vinyl
- Cut at Abbey Road Studios from the original EMI stereo analogue master tapes
- Superior Audiophile Pressing
- Features original album artwork
- Made in England
ID: Hi-Q Records – HIQLP 048