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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Edwin Fischer’s set was the first ever ‘48’ to be put on shellac 78s, being recorded in 1933–6. Fischer has often been spoken of as an artist of intellect, but his approach here is neither remote nor cool. Moreover, he produced a quality of sound and a sense of line that are an unfailing source of musical nourishment. The EMI transfers (by Andrew Walton) for EMI’s ‘Great Recordings of the Century’ are first class and the set is economically laid out on three mid-priced CDs, each accommodating close on 80 minutes. The Naxos transfers are also very impressive, the piano sound full and pleasing. However, Naxos has issued each Book on a pair of super-bargain discs, so the saving in cost is less than it might have been. The mastery and subtlety of Fischer’s Bach playing needs no restating, for it has never been surpassed.

American Record Guide, June 2001

"Listening to Edwin Fischer's Well-Tempered Clavier over these past couple of months ranks as one of the most enjoyable musical activities I've had in some time, and I'm confident you'll feel the same way."

Turok’s Choice, May 2001

"He (Fischer) has incredible articulation, and a particular trick of signifying cadences by highly expressive melting changes of tone color without slowing down the pace. Restored sound by Stuart Rosenthal is particularly effective. Once heard, these performances are not likely to be forgotten."

Bryce Morrison
Gramophone, May 2001

"Awe-inspiring recordings at budget price. Here, then, is Fischer at his most sublimely poised and unruffled, offered at Naxos's bargain price in beautifully restored sound."

Jed Distler, October 2000

"With this release, you can purchase Edwin Fischer's pioneering set of Bach's 48 Preludes and Fugues at...budget price. The main question for collectors, of course, concerns the quality of these new transfers by restoration engineer Stuart A. Rosenthal. Producers Marina and Victor Ledin mention that the 78s were restored utilizing the full capabilities of the CEDAR noise reduction system. ...Naxos includes intelligent, insightful annotations by Farhan Malik."

Andrew Farach-Colton
Barnes & Noble

"To those reared on Bach as played by Glenn Gould, Edwin Fischer's style may seem disconcerting. Where Gould's primary focus was clarity of counterpoint, Fischer concentrated on mood, color, and lyricism. And while you won't find Gould's precision here -- these preludes and fugues were recorded in the 1930s, before the days of tape splicing -- few pianists so thoroughly explored the emotional depths of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier as did Fischer in these legendary performances­KFischer has the chops for this demanding music. The recordings, however, are slightly cloudy, but this only adds to their sense of intimacy. (Producers Marina and Victor Ledin were wise not to add any artificial boost to the treble.) In short, another historic recording at a bargain price from Naxos."

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10:14:57 PM, 11 February 2016
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