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a Chopin sequence of amazing expressiveness
on 25 March 2017
This is Chopin as a youthful, passionate being, blown like a leaf by his own feelings, whoever they may have been for ... Khatia Buniatishvili gives an extraordinary portrait of the composer, essentially as a poetic, gentle soul, but also of great power. The way the opening Waltz in C sharp minor leads into the grandeur of the Second Sonata leaves one in no doubt that this was someone who lived in extremes. She slows down considerably for the second subject, but voices it so beautifully you cannot but be won over. Her legato has a beautiful, immaculate tone, but the playing at other times is turbo-charged - the following Scherzo, for instance. In the Concerto No. 2 she is joined by the Orchestre de Paris and Paavo Jarvi, the conductor who brought forth such stunning results in her latest Rachmaninov disc. Here the same sense of line and urgent phrasing gives a superb spring to the whole, while Buniatishvili seems to combust for sheer elan and fleet-fingered majesty. She gives the impression of being always one step ahead in her mind, recalling the playing of Heifetz (admittedly on a different instrument) in her ability to be very fast but also give a large scale to the phrasing, as if somehow she has all the time in the world. It is amazing playing - she is one of the greatest two or three pianists in the world.