Although technical brilliance and fiery bravado have elevated this Georgian pianist to the top of the classical world, there’s an understated reverence in her approach to Mussorgsky’s most celebrated work. When she opens with Promenade, its hymn-like reverence invites us to stroll slowly through the gallery of works inspired by the composer’s friend. The gorgeous pieces we enjoy along the way—a lamenting, darkly colored Il vecchio castello, a Ballet des poussins dans leurs coques that’s light and fragile, a starkly hypnotic tour through the Catacombae—proves that Buniatishvili is able to conjure the colors and characters with heartrending poignancy.

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