Album: Khatia Buniatishvili, Franz Liszt (Sony Classics)

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The Independent Culture

Buniatishvili has described the piano as "a symbol of musical solitude", a quality apparent in this debut solo recording by the Georgian prodigy.

Her Liszt programme pivots around the Faust legend, with the composer believed to use the story as an unofficial "libretto" for the keystone "Sonata in B Minor", followed here by the "Mephisto Waltz No 1": both open furtively, Buniatishvili particularly emphasising the menace lurking beneath the latter's poise. But it's two shorter pieces that provide the highlights here: her "Liebestraum in A Flat Major" ripples with emotion, while the funereal "La Lugubre Gondola" possesses an austere melancholy in its drifting tonality. The Bach glosses of the "Prelude and Fugue in A Minor" bring things to a suitably formal close.

DOWNLOAD THIS Liebestraum in A Flat Major; Mephisto Waltz No 1