Chopin: Complete Waltzes

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COMPOSERS: Chopin
LABELS: EMI
WORKS: Complete Waltzes
PERFORMER: Ingrid Fliter (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 698 3512

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Fresh from her first EMI disc, a glowingly lyrical Chopin recital which included a smattering of waltzes, Ingrid Fliter has now recorded the complete waltzes, repertoire for which she has a special flair and affinity. Once again her playing magically combines a personalised poetic impulse with an exhilaratingly choreographed virtuosity.

Fliter revels in the proliferation of faster pieces, whisking them off the page and giving their sparkling passagework both refinement and shape. She is dazzling and imaginative in the brillante waltzes, Op. 18 and Op. 34 Nos 1 and 3, yet she is equally attuned to the more reflective pieces. Try the A minor Op. 34 No. 2, where the melody is gorgeously shaped and the rubato and tonal nuance perfectly judged. Or hear the way she ghosts in the openings of the B minor Op. 69 No. 2 and the F minor Op. 70 No. 2, before increasing her tonal resilience. And her poise and radiance in the rarely heard posthumous E flat major makes one wonder whether Fliter knows Michelangeli’s live recording.

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Such revelations abound. Like all recordings of Chopin’s complete waltzes, this is a disc best dipped into rather than heard in one sitting, but Fliter’s account can compete with the best, and she has been superbly recorded. It is, however, surely time this gifted pianist set down a broader range of repertoire. I look forward to it immensely. Tim Parry