Sunday, January 1, 2012

Schumann : Symphonic Studies - Ingrid Fliter

A pianist that is neither without admirers nor detractors – I've heard some rather scathing things said about her Chopin waltzes in particular. Here's a chance to put her to the test in a work that defies the pianist to string together its many gems into a coherent necklace. Local colour and inspiration are just not enough; a sense of the big picture is needed too. 

I think she holds the work together well, but see what you think!

Radio 3 HD internet stream.

Download from Rapidshare


  1. Agree, this and Carnaval are two of the most difficult works to hold together and in keeping with Schumann's Eusebius and Florestan.... So far, excellent. I'd say she does one of her best jobs here. This is the first Schumann solo work I've heard her play. She played the concerto here in La Plata but I was unable to attend. I did go to her recital at the Colón and was absolutely fascinated by her LvB Apassionata. She got a terrible review from a local critic who is "hired" by the Tiempo family and is definitely biased and I dare say receives well earned cash for his "good" reviews, be the performances good or otherwise. Fliter has now sworn she will never return to play in her home country.

    Regarding this Schumann, I must admit she can definitely see the bigger picture. I noticed a marked growth as an overall artist during her Colón venue. And this is evident here in the Schumann. The version is powerful and has a broad color palette played with élan and deep insight of the text. I personally LIKE her touché too much and am too big a fan to find fault. I think she should put this on CD with other Schumann works. Sorry! Too long! I get carried away when I like what I hear!

  2. Good to see you visit! I thought you would be attracted by the Fliter, knowing your passion for her playing.

    Actually, when I think about it, I'd add the Davidsbündler and the Humoreske to the rapidly-growing list of Schumann that's fascinating in detail but hard to mould into an overall shape!

    It's disgusting the way local hacks behave. Same in Ireland. There is little point in telling people that the Irish Times has about the same circulation as the Arkansas Farm Machinery Monthly; in this little pond, this particular carp is monarch.

    Still, who would listen to a critic for 40 minutes? I'll take Fliter six times out of five!

  3. Glad to be here! One last comment, after a second and third listening to this version... There's one thing I would still ask of her in this work: to let herself go. Once she grows confident and the work has wound its way under her skin, I'm sure this will happen and it will become even more exciting in performance. This is a quality I found in her Beethoven Op.53, which had me glued to the edge of my seat and kept me there for the rest of the programme, which was a selection of Chopin works. As an afterthought, her playing reminds me of Géza Anda. I make no comparison but it would be good if she listened to him, especially so in these Études.

    Am with you on the two other Schumann works similar in complexity.... Davidbündler is a work my mother used to play a lot so I have trouble warming up to it... [We didn't get on!!!] and Humoresque is one I have learned to love through Richter. I "should" listen to others.... homework for later!

    And thanks again for this rare gift by Fliter and the chance to exchange thoughts with you. Always enlightening!

  4. very fine performance.

    what's the source for this? radio broadcast?

    there also is something appended at the end of the symphonic etudes. what is it?

    thank you very much!

    1. Sorry to have missed your comment! It's a BBC broadcast, and the material at the end is the studies that Schumann omitted from the final version. Some people include them in the actual piece, but I think it's better to play the piece in its more concise form and play the rejected variations as a sort of appendix, as she does here.
      I do agree with La D de P – I prefer the player to throw caution to the winds in the final pages!