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Stanley Sadie’s opinion, expressed in 1963, that the two of the twelve trio sonatas by Frederick Ernest Fisher(1711/12–1760), divided equally between Op. 1 (c.1751) and Op. 2 (c.1761), were ‘among the finest of their time’ while some of the others were ‘remarkably inventive and original’ almost sells this composer short. Every single one of these works, scored for two violins, cello and harpsichord, is masterly and deserves a permanent place in the repertoire. Born in or near Kassel, Fisher spent several years in Holland, teaching music from 1741 to 1745 at the university of Leiden, before emigrating to England. After spending about two years in London he settled permanently in Cambridge, where he taught music to members of the local music society. His Op. 1 set, dedicated to the same society, epitomizes the ‘social’ character of the trio sonata genre, where individual virtuosity yields its place to amicable interaction between the players. Fisher was a cellist as well as a violinist, and this background is brought out by the rare eloquence of his bass lines. The diversity of movement types in these ordinarily three-movement sonatas is very attractive. They include powerful fugues, expansive movements in sonata form, languorous middle movements reminiscent of those in operatic overtures and a selection of dance movements, all of which mix baroque, galant and classical elements in a convincing synthesis.
Music example Sonata No. 1 (pdf) Music example Sonata No. 2 (pdf) Music example Sonata No. 3 (pdf