Ingrid Fliter, Wigmore Hall, London
Wednesday 27 May 2009
Live lunchtime broadcasts from the Wigmore Hall have a pleasant fizz.
And with the brilliant young Buenos Aires pianist Ingrid Fliter, whose debut disc took the musical world by storm last year, we seemed in for a treat. Launching into Chopin’s Grande Valse Brillante Op 18, she delivered its twists and turns with bewitchingly evanescent charm. Reaching the showy conclusion, however, she suddenly faltered, banged a note, got up and looked into the piano’s works, shrugged apologetically, and walked out.
Were we still on air? What were the listeners in the shires hearing? There was no sign of Radio 3’s Fiona Talkington, who had enjoined us to provide ‘atmosphere’ over which she would do her links. Instead, on marched the house manager, plus an assistant with a face like an undertaker, who shut the piano’s lid. Then they took up the floor, and descended into the depths: three new piano legs appeared, followed by three new pedals, then the sleeping beast was unwrapped and cranked into the daylight. This scene was so surreal that people began to take pictures, until an usher forbade it: fifteen minutes later, business resumed.
The remainder of Fliter’s recital consisted of Schumann’s ‘Etudes Symphoniques’, a majestic work requiring a massive feat of imaginative control, but one sensed that she had been knocked off balance. She had clearly thought deeply about how to negotiate the peaks and chasms of Schumann’s visionary landscape, and gave it wonderful sweep and grandeur, but some of the variations needed more shape. The theme should have stood out more starkly against the swirl which followed, and there were times when the musical line got lost in a welter of lovingly dwelt-on detail. Her unusual envoi was a pair of posthumous variations which came to us like ghostly, beautiful echoes; her defiant encore was Chopin’s ‘Minute Waltz’, which in her hands became 90 seconds of show-stopping fun.
Art Somebody is going around telling people he's Banksy - but it isn't the street artist
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 3 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 4 Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Game of Thrones season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as it’s not him
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
Costa Book Awards 2015: H is for Hawk named book of the year
New Ghostbusters movie lands all-female cast with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures