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Motherland / Khatia Buniatishvili

Buniatishvili,Khatia
Release Date: 07/01/2014 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 373462   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachPeter Ilyich TchaikovskyFelix MendelssohnClaude Debussy,   ... 
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

“A unique selection of magical piano moments that have shaped Khatia’s life,” reads the sticker on what appears to be a gimmicky concept album, but in fact turns out to be a carefully crafted program of 17 mostly short, introspective pieces by as many composers. Although the music embraces a wide and diverse stylistic range, the selections flow in and out of each other easily and integrate extremely well. More importantly, Khatia Buniatishvili reveals a capacity for calm, sensitivity, and focus light-years removed from her customary “pit bull in a china shop” approach to virtuosic fare like the Liszt B minor Sonata.

She begins with a fluid and translucently-voiced reading of the Bach/Petri Sheep May Safely Graze
Read more transcription, followed by “October” from Tchaikovsky’s The Months, which is somber and contained in contrast to, say, Shura Cherkassky’s big singing line. Her dry and rather glib F-sharp minor Song Without Words Op. 67 No. 2 dashes from the starting gate, paying little heed to the composer’s “leggiero” directive, while a languid Clair de lune finds Debussy’s basic pulse barely clinging to life in the opening section.

What sounds like a gorgeous Michel Legrand movie theme harmonized by Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett is actually Giya Kancheli’s gorgeous main theme from Lana Gogoberidze’s film When Almonds Blossomed. In the seventh piece of Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata cycle Buniatishvili projects the steady detaché left hand more firmly and briskly than in Sony’s recent recording with Kit Armstrong. Buniatishvili’s Brahms B-flat minor Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 2 shapelessly swoons and sighs; it would have benefited from the Liszt Wiegenlied’s sustained austerity and controlled nuances, or the Ravel Pavane’s intelligent textural balances.

A lovely Dvorák E minor Slavonic Dance for piano duet features Buniatishvili’s sister Gvantsa, while Khatia makes three pieces associated with Vladimir Horowitz (Chopin’s C-sharp minor Etude Op. 25 No. 7, Scriabin’s C-sharp minor Etude Op. 2 No. 1, and Scarlatti’s E major Sonata K 380) absolutely her own. A tender Grieg “Homesickness” leads into the traditional song “Vagiorko Mai” in Buniatishvili’s own transcription that starts simply and concludes with Rachmaninov on steroids. Lastly, Buniatishvili slows the Menuet from Handel’s G minor Suite down to Satie-like stillness, then quietly slips into Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina. The sparse phrases and individual notes flicker, fade, and disintegrate to the point where you’re not sure if the music actually has stopped. Hannah Dübgen’s gushing booklet notes convey the candor and substance of fan club flattery and paid advertising.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Cantata No. 208: Schafe können sicher weiden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 02/23/1713; Germany 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
2.
The Seasons: October: Autumn Song by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Russia 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
3.
Songs without words, vol 6, Op. 67: no 2, Allegro leggiero in F sharp minor by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845; Germany 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
4.
Suite bergamasque: 3rd movement, Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890/1905; France 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 37 Secs. 
5.
When Almonds Blossomed: Theme by Giya Kancheli
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1972 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 10 Secs. 
6.
Musica ricercata: No. 7 by György Ligeti
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Modern 
Written: 1951-1953 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 53 Secs. 
7.
Intermezzi (3) for Piano, Op. 117: no 2 in B flat minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Austria 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
8.
Wiegenlied for Piano in E minor S 198 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Rome, Italy 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 13 Secs. 
9.
Slavonic Dances (8) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 72/B 145: no 2 in E minor by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Bohemia 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
10.
Pavane pour une infante défunte by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1899; France 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
11.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 25: no 7 in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1836; Paris, France 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 4 Minutes 43 Secs. 
12.
Pieces (3) for Piano, Op. 2: no 1, Etude in C sharp minor by Alexander Scriabin
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1887-1889; Russia 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 28 Secs. 
13.
Sonata for Harpsichord in E major, K 380/L 23 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
14.
Lyric Pieces (6), Book 6, Op. 57: no 6, Homesickness by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Norway 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
15.
Vagiorko mai (Don't You Love Me?), folk song setting for piano by Khatia Buniatishvili
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 2 Minutes 41 Secs. 
16.
Für Alina by Arvo Pärt
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Estonia 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 5 Minutes 3 Secs. 
17.
Suite, HWV 434: Menuet in G minor by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin 
Length: 3 Minutes 55 Secs. 

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