Ingrid Fliter - Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Chopin: Piano Concertos - Classics Today

Artistic Quality: 7

Sound Quality: 9

Chopin's two concertos often benefit from the use of a chamber orchestra. In this recording, for example, one encounters punchier brass tuttis and leaner yet more varied string articulation, plus more prominent woodwinds and timpani than usual...Everything works better when such characteristics reflect what Chopin actually writes, such as in the well differentiated detached and legato articulation in the F minor concerto finale.

Pianistically speaking, Ingrid Fliter's clean technique, pearly runs, and penchant for coaxing out inner voices are lovely to behold. Yet there's a studied self-conscious quality to much of Fliter's playing that contrasts to Murray Perahia's classical poise and expressive economy, or Martha Argerich's more energized volatility at the opposite interpretive end. Listen, for example, to Fliter's slightly overphrased second theme in the E major concerto Rondo that Arthur Rubinstein shapes with conversational naturalness and no less accuracy. On the other hand, Fliter takes decisive charge of the F minor concerto's Larghetto, where her dynamic surges and rhetorical underlining enhance the music's flowing intensity and operatically-influenced long lines. In short, the art of simplicity still eludes Fliter's Chopin, yet her genuine engagement with the music certainly commands attention.

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