Argentine piano virtuosa Ingrid Fliter, now in her late 30s, is in the sweet spot of her career. A medalist at the 2000 Chopin Competition and the 2006 recipient of the Gilmore Artist Award, she has played with many of the world’s top orchestras and is one of the few artists still making recordings with a major label. Thus it is that she feels no need to carve a niche or set herself apart from other pianists. Her recital program Sunday evening at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington in Rockville contained no premieres or Argentine works; rather, she planted her flag firmly in the central canon of Beethoven and Chopin, and, for the most part, she delivered.
In the opening Beethoven Sonata Op. 31, No. 3, the fingers were crisp and expressive. Accents were a little underpowered, but the rhythmic drive and dynamic range were exemplary. The “Appassionata” was less successful; Fliter had an unfortunate tendency to speed up when the music became fast and loud. In climactic moments, she began pedaling with her heel rather than her toe, and the crashing waves of arpeggios in the first movement’s coda lifted her off her bench. A great show, of course, but it would have been better yet with firmer tempo control. The variation movement lacked a sense of architecture, and the finale suffered from too much tempo fluctuation, although the technique was infallible.
In a Chopin set of a nocturne, five waltzes and the Ballade No. 4, Fliter brought beauty and expert control without adding anything especially insightful. Though her right hand sang with the greatest freedom, the left was often prosaic, even bland. The artist can certainly run with the big hounds, but there is room for development.
Battey is a freelance writer.