This finely played, acutely interpreted and attractively recorded
recital reflects well on all concerned. Fiderkiewicz has, if one
can put it this way, Chopinesque chops. She summons up the right
sound, colours appositely, is constantly mindful of the rhythmic
flux of the music and she vests things with apposite characterisation.
In short she is a perceptive if sometimes wilful guide to the
music and has constructed a balanced recital.
It’s perverse of
me, therefore, to start with a big niggle but let’s get it out
the way now, not least because it concerns the opening track,
the C minor Nocturne. This is yet another of those overtly funereal
performances that, despite the galvanising moments later on,
never recover from an initial tempo that drags things down.
Passionate, tensile and richly contoured though the middle section
undoubtedly is it seems too much so in the context of both the
opening tempo and mood. There’s a definite feeling of rushing
and a confused sense of the architecture.
The companion Nocturne
immediately re-establishes her credentials in this repertoire.
It’s pensive, reflective, rising and cresting with melancholic
conviction. Above all she conjures the shifting patterns and
moods with real concentration. The Opp.24 and 59 Mazurkas herald
a series of elegance, touch, refinement and control. None is
quite as fast as Rubinstein’s but they resolve their own momentum
with consistent insights and a real sense of terpsichorean naturalness
The Third Ballade
sounds closely allied to a watery Barcarolle in this persuasive
performance. The glinting colour of the narrative is another
decided plus – and unlike the opening Nocturne the narrative
thread is more – though still occasionally idiosyncratically
- anchored to pertinent paragraphs. The sole example of her
way with the Preludes is richly voiced albeit the basic tempo
is very slow. Finally there’s a really buoyant adrenalin-laced
Polonaise-Fantasie in A flat major which finds all the moods,
colours and textures as well as the dramatic frame of the thing.
There’s elegance here but passion too with some very personalised
rubati. Minor finger slips are inconsequential when set against
the vitality and characterful verve of the playing.
her credentials with this recital. This is Chopin playing of often
impulsive engagement; sometimes a little too much for some but