Annie Fischer

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Annie Fischer
Born (1914-07-05)July 5, 1914
Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died April 10, 1995(1995-04-10) (aged 80)
Budapest, Hungary
Alma mater Franz Liszt Academy of Music
Spouse(s) Aladar Toth
Awards International Franz Liszt Piano Competition, 1933

Annie Fischer (July 5, 1914 – April 10, 1995) was a Hungarian classical pianist.

Biography[edit]

Fischer was born in Budapest, and studied in that city at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music with Ernő Dohnányi. In 1933 she won the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in her native city. Throughout her career she played mainly in Europe and Australia, but was seldom heard in the United States until late in her lifetime, having concertized only twice across the Atlantic.

She was married to influential critic and musicologist Aladar Toth (1898–1968); she is buried next to him in Budapest.

Fischer, who was Jewish, fled with her husband to Sweden in 1940,[1] after Hungary during World War II joined the Axis powers. After the war, in 1946, she and Toth returned to Budapest. She died there in 1995.

Her playing has been praised for its "characteristic intensity" and "effortless manner of phrasing" (David Hurwitz), as well as its technical power and spiritual depth. She was greatly admired by such contemporaries as Otto Klemperer and Sviatoslav Richter; Richter wrote that "Annie Fischer is a great artist imbued with a spirit of greatness and genuine profundity." The Italian pianist Maurizio Pollini praised the "childlike simplicity, immediacy and wonder" he found in her playing. Her interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Schumann, as well as Hungarian composers like Béla Bartók continue to receive the highest praise from pianists and critics.

Fischer made significant studio recordings in the 1950s with Otto Klemperer and Wolfgang Sawallisch, but felt that any interpretation created in the absence of an audience would necessarily be artificially constricting, since no interpretation was ever "finished." Her legacy today thus includes many live concert recordings that have been released on CD and DVD (including a performance of Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto available on YouTube, and a Beethoven Third Concerto with Antal Doráti conducting). Her greatest legacy, however, is a studio-made integral set of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas. She worked on this set for 15 years beginning in 1977. A self-critical perfectionist, she did not allow the set to be released in her lifetime but, since her death, it has been released on compact disc and widely praised.[2]

Recordings[edit]

Annie Fischer's recordings have been released by several major record companies, which include: BBC Records, Doremi, EMI Classics, Hungaroton, Orfeo, Palexa, Q Disc, Urania, Melodiya and ICA Classics.

Beethoven[edit]

  • Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15 (1)
  • Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (3)
  • Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor" (1)
  • Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1 (2)
  • Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 2, No. 2 (2)
  • Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 2, No. 3 (2)
  • Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, Op. 7 (2)
  • Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10, No. 1 (2)
  • Sonata No. 6 in F major, Op. 10, No. 2 (2)
  • Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op. 10, No. 3 (3)
  • Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" (3)
  • Sonata No. 9 in E major, Op. 14, No. 1 (2)
  • Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 14, No. 2 (2)
  • Sonata No. 11 in B flat major, Op. 22 (2)
  • Sonata No. 12 in A flat major, Op. 26 "Funeral March" (1)
  • Sonata No. 13 in E flat major, Op. 27, No. 1 "Quasi una fantasia" (2)
  • Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 "Moonlight" (4)
  • Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 "Pastoral" (2)
  • Sonata No. 16 in G major, Op. 31, No. 1 (3)
  • Sonata No. 17 in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2 "Tempest" (2)
  • Sonata No. 18 in E flat major, Op. 31, No. 3 (2)
  • Sonata No. 19 in G minor, Op. 49, No. 1 (2)
  • Sonata No. 20 in G major, Op. 49, No. 2 (2)
  • Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 "Waldstein" (2)
  • Sonata No. 22 in F major, Op. 54 (2)
  • Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" (2)
  • Sonata No. 24 in F sharp major, Op. 78 (2)
  • Sonata No. 25 in G major, Op. 79 (2)
  • Sonata No. 26 in E flat major, Op. 81a "Les Adieux" (2)
  • Sonata No. 27 in E minor, Op. 90 (2)
  • Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101 (2)
  • Sonata No. 29 in B flat major, Op. 106 "Hammerklavier" (2)
  • Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109 (2)
  • Sonata No. 31 in A flat major, Op. 110 (2)
  • Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111 (3)
  • Variations (32) in C minor on an Original Theme, WoO 80 (1)
  • Variations and Fugue in E♭ major on an Original Theme 'Eroica', Op. 35

Mozart[edit]

  • Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K 466. (1)
  • Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K 466: 2nd movement, Romanze. (4)
  • Concerto No. 21 in C major, K 467 (3)
  • Concerto No. 21 in C major, K 467: 2nd movement, Andante (3)
  • Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K 482 (5)
  • Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K 482: 2nd movement, Andante (1)
  • Concerto No. 23 in A major, K 488: 2nd movement, Adagio (1)
  • Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K 491 (1)
  • Concerto No. 27 in B flat major, K. 595 (1)
  • Prelude and Fugue in C major, K 394 (383a) (1)
  • Rondo for Piano and Orchestra in D major, K 382 (1)
  • Sonata No. 10 in C major, K 330
  • Sonata No. 12 in F major, K 332 (300k) (1)
  • Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K 457 (1)

Schumann[edit]

  • Carnaval, Op. 9 (2)
  • Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (2)
  • Kinderszenen, Op. 15 (2)
  • Kreisleriana, Op. 16 (2)
  • Fantasia in C major, Op. 17 (1)

Bartók[edit]

  • Concerto No. 3, Sz 119 (3)
  • Hungarian Peasant Songs (15) for Piano, Sz 71 (1)
  • Romanian Folk Dances
  • Allegro Barbaro

Liszt[edit]

  • Concert Etudes (3), S 144: No. 3 in D flat major, Un sospiro (1)
  • Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, S 124 (2)
  • Grandes Etudes (6) de Paganini, S 141: No. 6 in A minor, Quasi Presto (1)
  • Sonata in B minor, S 178 (1)
  • Hungarian Rhapsody No.14

Schubert[edit]

  • Impromptus (4), D 935/Op. 142: No. 1 in F minor (1)
  • Impromptus (4), D 935/Op. 142: No. 2 in A flat major (1)
  • Impromptus (4), D 935/Op. 142: No. 3 in B flat major
  • Impromptus (4), D 935/Op. 142: No. 4 in F minor (1)
  • Sonata in A major, D 959 (1)
  • Sonata in B flat major, D 960 (2)

Chopin[edit]

  • Concerto No. 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11 (1)
  • Ballade No. 1 in G minor op. 23
  • Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, B 125/Op. 39 (1)

Bach[edit]

  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

Brahms[edit]

  • Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5

Dohnányi[edit]

  • Rhapsodies (4), Op. 11: No. 2 in F sharp minor

Haydn[edit]

  • Sonata for Keyboard in F minor, H 17 No. 6

Kodály[edit]

  • Dances of Marosszék
  • Lingering Song

Mendelssohn[edit]

  • Rondo capriccioso in E major, Op. 14
  • Scherzo in E minor, Op. 16 No. 2

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cambridge Companion to Bartok, p. 188
  2. ^ Uncle Dave Lewis, All Music Guide