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Ingrid Fliter, born in 1973 in Buenos Aires, has won a measure of acclaim for her Chopin recordings. Here, the 32-year-old Spanish conductor Antonio Méndez adopts something of a trudging tempo for parts of the first movement of the Schumann Concerto, smoothing over rough edges and sharp corners in the music. This leaves angularity to be expressed by the soloist, who is confident but not entirely cohesive in her approach. Fliter has admirable keyboard skills, but her artistic choices sometimes work against her. There are moments when momentum falters, apparently as a matter of choice, and the results seem mild-mannered or staid, rather than expressive. The finale finds Fliter in especially lively form, but overall her reading leaves room for further development compared to mighty past recordings in which every note counts emotionally. The legacy available on disc is considerable: Yves Nat (EMI Laser Series), Radu Lupu (Decca), Rudolf Serkin (Sony), Dinu Lipatti (Warner Classics) and Murray Perahia (CBS Masterworks); or indeed among Fliter’s near-contemporaries, the Brilliant Classics recording by Klára Würtz.

In the Molto allegro con fuoco opening of the Mendelssohn, Fliter shoulders much of the burden of dynamism, and does so capably. Yet the notes do not seem to add up to a worldview, as they do in recordings by Anton Kuerti (Doremi Records); Perahia (CBS Masterworks 1); András Schiff (Decca); and Serkin (Musical Concepts). Instead, the Mendelssohn Concerto as heard here is an appealing but somewhat vacant entity, influenced by bel canto tradition. Fliter is neat and punctilious, avoiding the sense of Dionysiac abandon that may be heard in performances by Yuja Wang and other younger performers.

BENJAMIN IVRY Read the full review on Agora Classica

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