P1294. ANNIE FISCHER, w.Erdelyi Cond. Hungarian National Phil.: Piano Concerto #13 in C, K.415/387b (Mozart); Piano Concerto #2 in f (Chopin). (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL T-771, Broadcast Performance,15 Jan., 1973, Erkel Theatre, Budapest. Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Annie Fischer, a Hungarian pianist known for the elegance of her Mozart performances and her vital, prismatic approach to early Romantic repertory, was a pianist who played with an intensity of concentration and focus that seemed almost at odds with the poetry and impetuousness of her interpretive style. She shunned the machinery of modern career-making and rarely gave interviews. Preferring not to be far from Budapest, she performed mostly in Europe, although she undertook several brief tours of the United States over the last 13 years. And because she disliked making recordings, the comparatively few disks she recorded for Deutsche Grammophon and EMI are prized by collectors.
Miss Fischer was born in Budapest on July 5, 1914, and studied with Anton Székely and Ernst von Dohnanyi at the Franz Liszt Academy. She made her public performing debut in Budapest when she was 8, and she toured as a concerto soloist when she was 12. Her mature career began in 1933 when she toured Europe as the winner of the first prize in the Franz Liszt International Piano Competition. In 1935 she married the musicologist and conductor Aladar Toth, who died in 1971. In 1941 they left Hungary for Sweden, and Miss Fischer suspended her performing career during World War II. She began touring Europe again in 1946, after she and her husband returned to Budapest. But she did not make her United States debut until 1961, when she played the Mozart Concerto in E flat (K. 482) with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Her American performances thereafter were sporadic, and she made her belated Carnegie Hall recital debut in 1982. In recent seasons, she gave recitals every two or three years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Early in her career, Miss Fischer developed a large repertory that ranged from Bach to Bartok, but from the start her Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann performances were singled out for particular praise. Critics often noted that her appeal was in her interpretations rather than in her technique. She could expand rhythms beyond their natural boundaries and, particularly in her later years, complete accuracy in dense passages sometimes eluded her. Yet the impression one carried away from her performances was of an insightful and intensely musical player. On three occasions Miss Fischer was awarded the Kossuth Prize by the Hungarian Government.”
- Allan Kozinn, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 13 April, 1995
“Miklós Erdélyi was born in Budapest and from 1946-1951 studied at the Budapest Franz Liszt Music Academy with János Ferencsik for conducting. He began his career as a conductor in Budapest in 1950-51 as deputy leader of the Hungarian Radio Choir. From 1949 to 1951 he was the Budapest Harmonia Concert Orchestra conductor.
In 1957 Erdélyi was appointed conductor of the state Operaház in Budapest and soon became highly respected as an opera conductor, later becoming manager of the opera, as well. His most outstanding achievement with the opera was performance of Mozart works, but he also worked to improve music presentations and conducted the premieres of some new operas. In 1969 Erdélyi recorded Prokofiev's WAR AND PEACE for Rome Radio, and from 1977 to 1982 served as a regular guest conductor with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1986 he worked with the Tokyo Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Miklós Erdélyi's work was characterized by meticulous craftsmanship and musical lyricism and his recordings are widely available. He was recognized for professionalism, musicality, music history, and literary awareness, as well as the ability to conduct different styles of music. During the Hungarian period of artistic repression, he was considered an important figure in alternative theatre. In 1960 his work was recognized by the Franz Liszt Prize and in 1975 with the Kossuth Prize. In 1967 he received the Artist of Merit award and in 1985 the Outstanding Artist Award.”