Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 3; Mazurkas, Op. 59; Barcarolle, Op. 60; Grand Valse Brillante, Op. 18; Waltzes, Op. 64; Ballade No. 4

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COMPOSERS: Chopin
LABELS: EMI
ALBUM TITLE: Chopin
WORKS: Piano Sonata No. 3; Mazurkas, Op. 59; Barcarolle, Op. 60; Grand Valse Brillante, Op. 18; Waltzes, Op. 64; Ballade No. 4
PERFORMER: Ingrid Fliter (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 514 8992

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For most music lovers the name of Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter hadn’t really registered before she was awarded the lucrative Gilmore Artist Award in 2006 (previous recipients have included Leif Ove Andsnes and Piotr Anderszewski), although she came second to Yundi Li at the 2000 Warsaw International Chopin Competition. She is now a BBC New Generation Artist and has a contract with EMI; we’ll be hearing a lot more of her. Fliter’s Chopin, as previously heard on two live VAI discs, was notable for its energizing muscularity. This is still occasionally present, in for example the Grande valse brillante, Op. 18, but her playing is now enriched immeasurably by a poetic depth and subtle expressive imagination. In fact, her interpretation of the Third Sonata is unusually reflective, without ever being entirely inward looking. Although she risks becoming a shade indulgent towards the end of the slow movement, her glowing lyrical impulse is a rare treat. Only in the finale does one really desire a more urgent virtuosic drive and grandeur, in which respect Lipatti still sets the spine tingling. Fliter beautifully shapes the melodic lines of the highly sophisticated Op. 59 Mazurkas, gives a luminous and eloquent account of the Barcarolle, and brings a freshness and verve to the waltzes. The Fourth Ballade, one of Chopin’s greatest works, is laced with loving detail and lyrical flair, but for all Fliter’s wealth of expressive nuance one sometimes wishes her incessant rubato would yield to greater simplicity. The recorded sound is warm if sometimes a little woolly. All told, a super disc.