Ingrid Fliter - Chopin: Preludes - Sinfini Music

Ingrid Fliter is one of a clutch of fine pianists who were cast adrift when EMI Classics sank to the bottom of a corporate pit. Argentine born and living in Italy, she has been known to get up and leave a concert stage if the sound or the atmosphere do not feel right to her. She is an artist of the most refined integrity and it is a joy to find her reborn on a niche Scottish label, operated by a high-end hi-fi equipment maker.

Her first Linn recording a few months ago was a battle of unequals in which Fliter's serenity in the Chopin concertos was not always matched by an earthbound orchestra. Here, all alone in the 24 Preludes, there are other inequalities. At her most inspired - in the 6th and 7th Preludes, for instance - her intensity and transcendence are matched by few others, living or dead. The impact is not consistent throughout; perhaps that's beyond human reach. Some of the quicker preludes are tossed off like used wrappers. But then you reach the famous ‘Raindrop' (the 15th) or the Allegretto two tracks later and all falls miraculously into place in Fliter's larger scheme of things.

This is not a set to compare to, say, Rubinstein, Argerich or any other record legend. This is an individual statement by an artist, who lives very much in the here and now, a fleeting fragility. Ingrid Fliter is a one-off, and the recorded sound is pellucid.

20 October 2014