The young Argentinean stamps her authority with a finesse beyond her years.
Michael Quinn 2009-11-06
In the run up to next year’s 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, Ingrid Fliter returns to the composer’s solo piano music to offer a survey of the complete waltzes that is as fresh and vital as morning dew.
Fliter’s second disc for EMI is her fifth foray into Chopin on disc (following a brace of CDs and a DVD on the North American VAI label) and reinforces her standing as an artist with something considered and challenging to say about a composer caught on the cusp between classical restraint and romantic rhetoric.
Relishing the elegant satin sheen of the music’s surface and alert to the expressive thrust beneath, Fliter probes the waltzes for evidence of darker emotions and an underlying ‘sense of the tragic’. What results is a recital that seduces and surprises in equal measure, the search for hidden shadows stripping away the patina of glossy and superficial accretions to hint at a more pronounced and pertinent strain of melancholia within.
Characterised by feeling, fluency and a lightly worn refinement, Fliter gently attempts to adjust the emotional temperature of many of the waltzes, inking in and accenting their romantic leanings to thoughtful and telling effect. She sets out her stall with deliciously involving accounts of the two ‘Grande Valse Brillante’s (Opp 18 and 34 No. 3); readings of nimble acuity that sparkle with joyful, improvisatory-like trills anchored in a revealingly grounded and reflective turn of mind.
The profiles of similar twilit contours are brought to the fore elsewhere, but it’s not all mournful gloom by any means. The posthumous ‘Sostenuto’ is by turns determinedly playful and wistfully plaintive, ‘L’adieu’ is noticeably less lachrymose than you might be accustomed to (and is all the better for it), and Opus 64 begins with an infectiously lively account of the ‘Minute’ waltz that teases and tickles in equal measure.
Three waltzes are repeated here from Fliter’s EMI debut last year, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from snapping up this altogether scintillating recital in which the young Argentinean stamps her authority with a finesse far beyond her years.