CHOPIN Complete Waltzes – Fliter
Presenting them in their published order, followed by the 11 posthumous waltzes with and without opus numbers, Ingrid Fliter sets a new benchmark for the complete waltzes. From beginning to end, this is among the finest Chopin recordings of recent years.
Why? Each waltz emerges as if a great actress were reading a short story, each with its own colour and character. Fliter’s “timing”, by which I mean her phrasing and rubato, is judged to perfection; her tempi are near ideal; she never loses sight of Chopin the poet or reinvents him as a red-blooded virtuoso. In addition, the superbly voiced piano is realistically recorded, neither too distant in that impersonal back-of-an-empty-hall way nor so close that the instrument is not allowed to sing.
Dip into any section of any waltz at random and you will hear a version to supersede, or at least rival, your current personal favourite. To do this in all 20 waltzes is a remarkable achievement. One can admire the chilly perfection of Dinu Lipatti but he fails to touch the heart as Fliter does in such passages as the seventh theme (dolce) at 3'30" in Op 18; neither is he as playfully insouciant with the contrasting forte/piano central grace-note section of the F major Waltz. Though you may thrill to the virtuoso treatments by Hofmann in the two A flat waltzes and Rachmaninov in the E minor Waltz, Fliter stays faithful to the spirit of the composer without denying her own keyboard personality.