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Annie Fischer plays Beethoven Sonata op.49 no.2

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Uploaded on Dec 4, 2009

I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Tempo di Menuetto

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Op. 49 No.1 in G minor and No.2 in G major, are short and relatively simple sonatas, both having two movements and are published in 1805. These sonatas are referred to as the Leichte Sonaten ("Easy Sonatas") and were most likely composed by Beethoven as pedagogical pieces meant to be given to his friends and students. It is said that these pieces were accidentally published during a period of financial distress.

The Piano Sonata No. 20 was probably written around the time Beethoven composed the Third and Fourth sonatas, but because it was published in Vienna in 1805, nearly a decade after it was actually written, it was assigned then-current opus and sonata numbers, which classified it alongside works from the composer's middle period. Similar circumstances caused Beethoven's B-flat Piano Concerto to appear as his second, even though it predated the first.

Beethoven often suppressed works in his early years, either revising them later for publication or determining that they were not fit. In fact, he withheld many early works from publication for life. In the case of these two sonatas, it is believed that, had Beethoven himself released these sonatas for publication, he would have called them sonatinas, owing to their modest proportions.

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Annie Fischer (1914 - 1995)

Hungarian pianist Fischer was born in Budapest, and studied in that city at the Franz Liszt Academy. 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. Her playing has been praised for its characteristic intensity and effortless manner of phrasing as well as its technical power and spiritual depth. She was greatly admired by her contemporaries as Sviatoslav Richter; Richter wrote that -Annie Fischer is a great artist imbued with a spirit of greatness and genuine profundity"-. Her interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Schumann, as well as Hungarian composers like Bela Bartok continue to receive the highest praise. 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 artificially be constricting. Her greatest legacy, however, is a studio-made integral set of Beethoven piano sonatas. A self-critical perfectionist, she did not allow the set that was worked on since 1977 to be released in her lifetime. Only after her death the recordings of the 32 sonatas were released.

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