Asher Fisch Liszt Wagner Paraphrases

01/09/2012
Geoff Adams
Otago Daily Times (NZ)

Israeli-born Fisch, who conducted the Wagner Ring highlights recently reviewed, now shows his artistry on the keyboard. He plays Liszt’s transcriptions, which champion showpiece scenes selected from Wagner’s German operas, adding his own virtuoso piano touches to fine music. It is a superb recital that conjures up the Pilgrims’ Chorus from Tannhäuser, the opening scene of Meistersinger, the Spinning Chorus from Flying Dutchman and other wonderful moments from the operas, seven tracks in all. Then there are three rarities added to the satisfying menu: short piano pieces written by Wagner himself early in his career. The Arrival of the Black Swans is notable for recycling the famous Tristan chord from Tristan und Isolde that in 1861 he had just finished composing.

Highlights: Exquisite sounds well-recorded; excellent booklet.