Similar artists

Albums

$12.99

Classical - Released May 20, 2011 | Sony Classical

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
$17.49
$14.99

Concertos - Released September 14, 2012 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
$17.49
$12.99

Solo Piano - Released March 15, 2019 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
Recordings of Schubert's swan song in the piano sonata genre, the Piano Sonata in B flat major, D. 960, are abundant, and Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili deserves credit for trying something well out of the mainstream. This said, your reaction to the album may correspond to your general orientation toward iconoclasm. Buniatishvili's approach has the virtue of being coherent: she plays Schubert in a Lisztian way, and to underscore this she wraps up the program with Liszt's transcription of the famed song Ständchen, from the Schwanengesang cycle, D. 957. The four Impromptus of Op. 90 strike a nice balance between pianistic freedom and the intimate dimensions of these pieces; sample the final A flat major piece to hear the strongest argument for what Buniatishvili is doing here. She has a good deal of Lisztian charisma and a way of making you listen to what she's doing. The B flat major sonata you may find less satisfying. The opening movement is quite deliberate, with lots of tempo rubato, large dynamic contrasts, and pregnant slowdowns, with an enormous and not fully explicable full stop before the recapitulation begins. Other pianists (Sviatoslav Richter comes to mind) have approached the work this way, but perhaps nobody has taken the slow movement as slowly as Buniatishvili does: she takes more than 14 minutes with it, where most pianists take nine or ten. The last two movements are more conventional, and they can't quite cash the checks that the enormous first two movements are writing. This is a case where your mileage (kilometers?) may definitely vary, but where the artist definitely hasn't made safe choices.
$17.49
$12.99

Classical - Released March 10, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
$17.49
$12.99

Classical - Released February 5, 2016 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res
Once in a while comes a really wild release from one of the major labels, and here's the top candidate for 2016. Pianist Khatia Buniatishvili deploys her formidable technical talent in breakneck-speed readings of these 19th and 20th century classics, and moreover, in extremely unorthodox interpretations. They may be outrageous, but they're certainly not boring. Buyer reactions are going to be all over the map, so here's a rough stab at a balanced view. Perhaps the most extreme piece here is Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, where Buniatishvili discards the static series of tableaux plainly suggested by the title of the work and by nearly a century-and-a-half of performing tradition in favor of an impressionistic reading that is by turns dreamy and frenetic. Among the works on the program, this one may be hardest to swallow for the majority of listeners, but even if you're disconcerted, sample Ravel's La Valse (track 17). This is frenetic as well, but there's a long tradition of emphasizing that side of the work, and here Buniatishvili can be extremely compelling. The Three Movements from Petroushka are again unorthodox Stravinsky, epic rather than cool, but again both highly original and brilliantly executed. With superb recording from Berlin's Funkhaus studio capturing an artist who has worked in the pop realm and there learned something about seizing the attention of an audience, this is a major release from a striking young talent.