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

The Argentinian-born pianist Ingrid Fliter, a winner of the prestigious 2006 Gilmore Artist Award and a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist has already made three recordings for the EMI label - one of Beethoven and two of Chopin - that have garnered much critical acclaim, but this new coupling of the two Chopin Piano Concertos is her first to appear on the Linn label.

As a former silver medal winner in the 2000 Frederic Chopin in Warsaw in it is clear that the music of this composer is not only at the centre of Ingrid Fliter's repertoire, but from an early age has occupied a special place in her psyche. In both concertos the fluency of Fliter's playing is matched by especially clean articulation and a welcome forward momentum. Her use of rubato is finely controlled, yet in both slow movements there is no lack of poetry, thanks especially to her limpid cantabile playing. The scintillating performances of the outer movements of these two concertos exemplify this pianist's immaculate technique and excellent musicianship.

The orchestral accompaniments from Jun Märkl and the forty players of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra are both elegant and supportive to the soloist, with Peter Whelan's expressive bassoon solos a particular pleasure, whilst Chopin's often unfairly maligned orchestration here sounds beautifully transparent.

The multi-channel recording made in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh (7-9 June 2013) by Philip Hobbs possesses a crystalline clarity, albeit with a touch of hardness that is probably more an artefact of the hall's bright acoustic than the engineering. However, it is good to hear the timpani reproduced so crisply, and the balance between piano and orchestra could hardly be bettered.

In spite of considerable competition on record in these two concertos Ingrid Fliter's spellbinding and refreshing accounts of both works can be confidently recommended. Future recordings by this absorbing pianist are eagerly awaited.
26 February 2014