Khatia Buniatishvili’s new recording for Sony Classical is a concept album as imaginative, sensitive and philosophical as the pianist herself.
“Labyrinth” explores the unfathomable quest that is human life. It plots a filmic course through hesitance, wistfulness, sensuality, pleasure and pain – all seen through the eyes of a woman enlightened by self-reflection and wisdom.
Recorded at La Grande Salle Pierre Boulez at the Philharmonie de Paris, the album occupies its own half-real domain, drawing on the evocative language of composers from Scarlatti to Morricone and from Bach to Glass.
The labyrinth, says the French-Georgian pianist, is ‘our fate and creation; our impasse and deliverance; theRead more polyphony of life, senses, reawakened dreams and the neglected present; unexpected and expected turnings of the said or unsaid ... The labyrinth of our mind.’
After strong statements in the music of Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Mussorgsky and the folk music of her native Georgia in her album ‘Motherland’, Buniatishvili has assembled her most varied musical menu yet in “Labyrinth”. She puts her formidable pianism in the service of her extraordinary imagination with typical fearlessness, depicting one woman’s dance with life in all its horrors and joys.
Included are film scores by Philip Glass (The Hours) and the late Ennio Morricone (Once Upon a Time in America), canvases for piano by Erik Satie and Serge Gainsbourg, a Latin American dance by Heitor Villa-Lobos, an Estonian prayer by Arvo Pärt, a Hungarian study by György Ligeti, John Cage’s infamous stretch of musical silence and concert works by Scarlatti, Brahms, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Couperin and Liszt.
For the album Buniatishvili also did arrangements herself including Bach’s Badinerie for four hands and the composer’s Sicilienne (BWV 596) based on Vivaldi’s Concerto in D minor RV 565.
‘Deborah’s Theme’ from Morricone’s Once Upon a Time in America was released as a single in July, as a tribute to the composer who died earlier that month at the age of 91, after an unrivaled career in film music.
Khatia Buniatishvili is one of classical music’s true one-offs, a pianist with almost unequalled delicacy of touch and a film-director’s ear for focus-pulling and storytelling. She is a preferred collaborator of top-drawer musicians including Zubin Mehta, Paavo Järvi and Gidon Kremer and has recorded with all three.
Buniatishvili achieves a lovely velvety tone in music by Couperin and Liszt and in the beautiful closing Adagio by Bach after Marcello’s Concerto for Oboe and Strings. Labyrinth spotlights Buniatishvili as a curator with a distinctive perspective as well as a pianist with an unusually sensitive spirit.
Deeply DisappointedJanuary 20, 2021By S. Frye (ST PETERSBURG, FL)See All My Reviews"I was very disappointed in both the technology and artistry. I found the piano to sound over-miked. I recently purchased Helene Grimauds Memory which is many of the same selections. Grimauds artistry far surpassed what I heard on this cd."Report Abuse
poor quality recordingJanuary 20, 2021By David faulkner (Albuquerque, NM)See All My Reviews"Got the disc, put it into my car stereo on the way to the store. The sound quality was utterly abysmal: sounded as it had been recorded under water, wrapped in a towel. I even ejected the disc and replaced it with another to see if my player was at fault: no problem. The factory-supplied stereo in my car (Mercedes-Benz) is better than average, and I was appalled at the quality of this disc. I played through two tracks by the time I reached the store, and deposited the disc in the trash can at the door. The disc was a Sony, a company I thought to have higher standards. I will certainly never buy another Sony recording. Ms. Buniatishvili should be notified. Sony is doing her a disservice."Report Abuse