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Classical - Released June 10, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 4 étoiles Classica
The pairing of Antonin Dvorák's Violin Concerto in A minor and Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor is appropriate because of the similarity of their formal designs, which were influenced by Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, and because of their complementary moods. However, attentive listening will reveal important differences, such as the Bohemian rhythmic verve of the former, and the strong Brahmsian flavor of the latter. Julia Fischer finds the pieces are well-matched, and her engaging performances with David Zinman and the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra display her vibrant, charismatic playing with solid, committed orchestral accompaniment. While the Dvorák concerto has been an underdog for years, finding few champions among the great violinists, Fischer gives it as much passion and flair as she does to the Bruch, undoubtedly because it has been a favorite of hers since childhood. Bruch's concerto is an evergreen that needs no special pleading, and Fischer gives it a heartfelt performance that seems a little bigger in effect than the Dvorák, though both performances are up to this artist's high standards and sound fully realized. Decca's recording is evenly balanced between Fischer and the orchestra when they play together, though the loud tutti passages sometimes seem a bit explosive, so some care might be needed with the volume setting. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 3, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
On this 2013 Decca release, critically acclaimed violinist Julia Fischer and pianist Milana Chernyavska present a delightful recital of showpieces by Spanish virtuoso, Pablo de Sarasate. The music's fireworks give the program a strong appeal, and Fischer's technical brilliance is well-matched to all of Sarasate's demands, though her expressive intensity and soulful lyricism consistently carry the album. She pulls off all manner of flashy effects, including glissando harmonics, flageolets, pizzicati on the fingerboard, extended passages of sixths and octaves, flying spiccato bowing, and everything else in the violinist's bag of tricks, and there is never a missed opportunity for showmanship. Yet Fischer is most convincing when she has long, songlike melodies to spin out, and her control of line is always impressive, even when the melody is widely dispersed across the strings. Since the piano part is comparatively simple, often consisting of chords in a steady rhythm, Charnyavska has nothing particularly showy to play, but her support for Fischer's performance is constant and steady, and her sympathetic accompaniment is well-timed and subtle. Decca's reproduction is focused and clear, and the most dazzling passagework sparkles in the resonant recording space. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
It takes a lot of guts to write your own cadenzas. After all, most of the concertos in the standard repertoire already have their standard cadenzas, usually supplied by either the composer or some exceedingly well-known soloist, and the chance of any current soloist touching the same celestial heights is doubtful at best. Nevertheless, on this disc of Mozart's Third and Fourth violin concertos coupled with his Adagio K. 261 and Rondo K. 269 for violin and orchestra, Julia Fischer not only writes most of her own cadenzas, she touches the same celestial heights as the greatest masters of the bow. Fischer has a pure tone, an impeccable intonation, and an immaculate technique, but she also has a warm heart and a radiant soul, and her performances of Mozart's concertos are as clear and luminous as the music. Beyond that, Fischer has the rare talent of writing cadenzas that partake of the substance of the music but transfuse it with the joy of Fischer's soul, and the result not only touches the heart, it touches the infinite. Yakov Kreizberg leads the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra in stylishly polished performances and provides the cadenza for the central Adagio of the Third concerto, but this is Fischer's show and she proves herself a star. PentaTone's 2005 sound is warm, deep, and full. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 1, 2006 | PentaTone

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It's official: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy has been rehabilitated. During his lifetime, Mendelssohn was considered the supremely skilled and wonderfully expressive epitome of the early Romantic composer. After his early death, however, Mendelssohn was eclipsed by the late Romantic excesses of Wagner, and then banned by the twentieth century genocidal excesses of the Nazis. But in the final years of the twentieth century, Mendelssohn was at last returned to his rightful position in the Romantic pantheon of composers. How can such things be measured? Simple: by the surfeit of recordings of Mendelssohn's music, especially of his chamber music. Arguably his most consistently impressive body of work, Mendelssohn's chamber music exhibits two of his best qualities as a composer: his formal balance and his intense but controlled expressivity. In this 2006 release of Mendelssohn's piano trios, violinist Julia Fischer, cellist Daniel Müller-Schott, and pianist Jonathan Gilad give both works tremendously persuasive performances. Although each young player is a virtuoso with his/her own solo careers, the performances here are amazingly cohesive -- check out the Second Trio's elfin Scherzo -- and obviously affectionate -- check out the First Trio's lyric Andante con moto tranquillo. While many listeners will already have their favorite performances of the trios, listeners who begin exploring Mendelssohn's chamber music with this disc by Fischer, Müller-Schott, and Gilad's piano trios will not go wrong. PenaTone's super audio sound is so transparent it doesn't exist -- only the sound of the instruments exists. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released September 29, 2009 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
As with any work by a composer who barely lived into his thirties, the Op. 137 Violin Sonatas (Sonatinas) of Franz Schubert are clearly early works. Written at the tender age of 19, however, these three sonatas are especially youthful even for Schubert. The opening movement of the D major Sonata is entirely Mozartian, and is forever compared to the K. 304 Sonata. Whether an homage or imitation, Schubert at once proves that he is capable of working in the strictly classical tradition before moving directly into the rest of Op. 137 with more trademark "Schubertian" characteristics. Performing these three sonatas on this PentaTone Classics SACD are violinist Julia Fischer and pianist Martin Helmchen. As her many previous successful albums have already demonstrated, Fischer is a force to be reckoned with. From the first note of the album, her Guadagnini violin sings forth with an impossibly pure, clear, beautiful tone that few can achieve. Her intonation is flawless throughout the disc, and her considerable technical skills back up her keen musical understanding of Schubert's score and delivery of precisely what is on the page free from unnecessary and undesirable affectations. The collaboration with Helmchen is one of seamless understanding and fluidity. Helmchen's touch is as sensitive and graceful as Fischer's, and the two together produce an entirely beautiful soundscape filled with moving dynamics, precise articulation, and sublime balance. The disc concludes with the much later and considerably darker B minor Rondo, Op. 70, which contrasts nicely with the less intense Op. 137 Sonatas. PentaTone's sound is spacious and inviting, and those listening in multichannel mode will enjoy the sensation of sitting right between Fischer and Helmchen. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released April 27, 2010 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
German violinist Julia Fischer, 24 years old when this recording was released, is surely a bright new star, all charisma as her diminutive self stands between conductor and collaborator Yakov Kreizberg and violist Gordan Nikolic on the cover of this disc. She has a steely technique that she brings to Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante in E flat, K. 364 -- not a steely work, but the musicianship here is superb. Fischer and Nikolic make an attractive pair in the work, her razor-sharp tone set against his gutsier sound production, all the contrasts held together by Kreizberg's brisk tempos and no-nonsense forward drive. There are recordings of the Sinfonia Concertante that play more directly to sentiment, but the work's intricate architecture breathes in this interpretation. An additional bonus is the inclusion of the rarely heard Concertone in C major for two violins and orchestra, K. 190, a work that also has solo oboe and cello parts and seems to hang in the balance between the concerto and sinfonia concerante (multiple-soloist) genres. The performers bring a nice lilting quality to the first two movements, rather sprawling creations of the young Mozart that demand really compelling soloists of the sort on display here. The only complaint is over-resonant sound, the result of PentaTone's decision to record in a Haarlem church -- the wrong place for music intended for a medium-sized, crowded, well-upholstered room. It destroys the intimate scale of the performance and causes the soloists and the harpsichord continuo of the Concertone, especially, to sound a bit like they are swimming in a watery chamber. The clarity of Fischer's playing, however, is not compromised, and it's a real wonder. She has also recorded two of Mozart's solo violin concertos with the same forces, but this disc in a way suggests even greater talents. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released April 1, 2007 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Is violinist Julia Fischer in the same league as David Oistrakh in her recording of Brahms' Violin Concerto? Are Fischer and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott in the same league as Oistrakh and Mstislav Rostropovich in their recording of Brahms' Double Concerto? No: Oistrakh and Rostropovich are playing big, muscular, and heroic music while Fischer and Müller-Schott are playing intimate, sensuous, and lyrical music. Fischer's tone is lovely, her technique is impeccable, but best of all his interpretation of the Violin Concerto is sweet, smiling, and joy-filled. Müller-Schott's tone is warm, his technique is impressive, but best of all his interpretation of the Double Concerto with Fischer sounds like a love duet from an Othello written by a German. Together with the lush and enveloping accompaniment of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra Amsterdam led by Yakov Kreizberg, Fischer and Müller-Schott turn in performances that aren't in the same league as Oistrakh and Rostropovich -- they're in a wonderfully seductive league of their own. PentaTone's super audio digital sound is rich, full, deep, and just about real. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | PentaTone

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Chamber Music - Released September 9, 2016 | Orfeo

Hi-Res Distinctions Diapason d'or
Two of the world's leading string soloists have teamed up for Orfeo's Duo Sessions, and their virtuosity and musicianship carry this 2016 album, even though the CD consists of relatively unfamiliar material. Violinist Julia Fischer and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott have performed as a duo over a period of ten years, and they have established a rapport that is evident in their musical interests and their ability to communicate on the same high level. Here they play four works that test their remarkable abilities and give them considerable room for expression, but the pieces themselves seem to have languished in that special obscurity reserved for much modern chamber music. These works are rarely programmed, no doubt because of the relative scarcity of violin-cello duos, and only Maurice Ravel's Sonata for violin and cello has a firm place in the repertoire. Yet the pieces by Zoltán Kodály, Erwin Schulhoff, and Johan Halvorsen are certainly accessible and attractive, and these compelling performances will give them a higher profile. Fischer and Müller-Schott are most familiar to listeners in their roles as concerto soloists, though this tête-à-tête shows a new side that their fans will appreciate just as much. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Julia Fischer's Poème is an excellent album for fans of late-Romantic and post-Romantic violin classics, essentially oriented toward melancholy coloration and passionate expressions. The Poema autunnale by Ottorino Respighi, Poème by Ernest Chausson, and The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams are tone poems that feature the violin as soloist and maintain either a lyrical or reflective atmosphere for most of their duration. Of the works included here, only Josef Suk's Fantasy in D minor has the full range of expressions, tempo contrasts, and formal design that make it a fully realized violin concerto. Fischer's energy and technical virtuosity easily carry the Fantasy, and the performance is quite compelling for its brilliance and drama, centered around the violin's flashy part. The tone poems are more ephemeral and diffuse in their moods, and while all have passages that allow Fischer to show her impressive skills, they are almost too consistently orchestral in texture to sustain a concertante feeling. Rather, these works let the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, under Yakov Kreizberg, share equally in the expression, so while Fischer is always prominent, her playing is more a textural part of the whole. The net effect of this programming is that it permits the attentive listener and Fischer devotee to focus on details, while others who want an album of lovely background music can certainly play this CD at a low to moderate volume for that purpose. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released October 7, 2014 | PentaTone

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Violin Concertos - Released January 1, 2006 | PentaTone

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The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, though not widely appreciated in its time, has come to be one of the crown jewels of the violin concerto repertoire. As such, it has been recorded hundreds of times by as many violinists and various orchestras. In contrast, the miniatures also included on this album are rarely heard; this is truly a shame as they were written before (with the exception of the Op. 42 Souvenir) the concerto and allow listeners to listen in on Tchaikovsky's experimentation and exploration of the instrument before he began writing the concerto. Equally interesting, the Meditation movement of the Op. 42 Souvenir was originally written as the slow movement of the concerto but was later pulled and made into the first movement of the three miniatures. Violinist Julia Fischer has received extensive accolades and keeps musical company with some of the most prominent performers and conductors of our day. She does not fail to live up to her reputation in this recording. Her sound is deep and throaty, a wonderful quality for this concerto. Fischer's technique and intonation are seamless, and her musical passions shine through in each risk-taking track. For the oft-recorded concerto, however, she does not bring anything new or revolutionary to the table. So while this album is highly recommended for its collection of miniatures and suitable as a first recording of the concerto, listeners who may be seeking something a little fresher may wish to check out Joshua Bell's recording with Michael Tilson Thomas and the Berlin Philharmonic. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 24, 2020 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | PentaTone

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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Only months after Deutsche Grammophon released Anne-Sophie Mutter's recording of Bach's violin concertos, Decca released Julia Fischer's recording of the same pieces. The similarities between the two discs run deeper than merely their shared repertoire. Both labels are branches of Universal Music Group and both violinists are individualistic German women, though Mutter is currently at the peak of her career while Fischer is just a bit past starting out. The differences, however, are likewise remarkable. The Deutsche Grammophon disc includes the world premiere of a new work by Sofia Gubaidulina dedicated to the violinist, while the Decca disc includes the more conventional coupling of Bach's Concerto for violin and oboe in C minor, BWV 1060. But, of course, the most striking difference between the discs is Mutter and Fischer's very different performance styles. Mutter's approach to Bach, like her approach to everything, is wholly modern with plenty of vibrato, portimento, and glissando, plus a very flexible sense of tempo rubato, particularly in the cadenzas. Fischer's approach to Bach is also essentially modern but tempered by historically informed performance practice, that is, with vibrato used only at the top of swells, few traces of portimento or glissando, and a tighter sense of tempo plus a stronger feeling for rhythm. Furthermore, while Mutter's attack is firmer, her tone more commanding, and her phrasing more sculptured, Fischer's attacks are smoother, her tone more insinuating, and her phrasing more seductive. Both players' interpretations are highly expressive, though Mutter's tends toward the overtly dramatic, while Fischer's leans toward the intimately lyrical. In the end, it's as hard to imagine Mutter's fans taking to Fischer's disc as it is Fischer's fans taking to Mutter's disc. Longtime listeners may want to sample both and may ultimately end up heading back to Arthur Grumiaux's 1978 recording for a purer but no less expressive set of performances. It should be noted that Fischer is accompanied by the now conductorless Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, which proves no less excellent an ensemble for that deficit, and that Decca's digital sound is more discrete but no less present than Deutsche Grammophon's. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet
The conventional view of Niccolò Paganini's 24 Caprices puts them among the encores and etudes violinists use to hone their skills and show off their prowess. But Julia Fischer regards them primarily as expressive works that are as rich in lyricism and emotional color as they are in advanced techniques, and her 2010 Decca album shows her considered approach to the music. There's no doubt about Fischer's impressive abilities, which are apparent from hearing the first Caprice, and all the trickiest double- and triple-stops, bowing styles, and various means of articulation that are included in this fantastic work reveal her phenomenal gifts. But as amazing as Fischer's performance is for sheer technique, it is highly pleasurable because of her polished musicality and firm control of every nuance that is either overt or suggested in the music. The notoriously difficult Caprice No. 6, which Fischer plays con sordino, has a special ghostly quality that makes it much more ethereal and Romantic in character than an exercise in playing trills. Even the ever-popular Caprice No. 9, and that favorite of composers of variations, the Caprice No. 24, have a freshness and vitality that come directly from Fischer's genuine feelings, not merely her dazzling skills. Decca's sound is crisp and clean, so the full range of the violin's timbres and dynamics come through without studio boosting. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 3, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet
On this 2013 Decca release, critically acclaimed violinist Julia Fischer and pianist Milana Chernyavska present a delightful recital of showpieces by Spanish virtuoso, Pablo de Sarasate. The music's fireworks give the program a strong appeal, and Fischer's technical brilliance is well-matched to all of Sarasate's demands, though her expressive intensity and soulful lyricism consistently carry the album. She pulls off all manner of flashy effects, including glissando harmonics, flageolets, pizzicati on the fingerboard, extended passages of sixths and octaves, flying spiccato bowing, and everything else in the violinist's bag of tricks, and there is never a missed opportunity for showmanship. Yet Fischer is most convincing when she has long, songlike melodies to spin out, and her control of line is always impressive, even when the melody is widely dispersed across the strings. Since the piano part is comparatively simple, often consisting of chords in a steady rhythm, Charnyavska has nothing particularly showy to play, but her support for Fischer's performance is constant and steady, and her sympathetic accompaniment is well-timed and subtle. Decca's reproduction is focused and clear, and the most dazzling passagework sparkles in the resonant recording space. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Humour/Spoken Word - Released May 2, 2017 | Audio Media Verlag