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If you don’t have a powerful record company to promote your wares, and if you’re not a natural for media interviews, the international circuit can be a cruel place. Such is the case with the Georgian pianist Nino Gvetadze, who has been overshadowed by showier but less refined compatriots who have hogged the available coverage. But her new album is an unalloyed delight.

She conceived the idea for it early in 2020, when her emotions, like everyone else’s, were on a roller-coaster. ‘I discovered that nothing felt more natural and satisfying than playing the music of Robert Schumann’, she writes in her liner note. His music could brighten an hour in this year of ‘loneliness, isolation, and silence’. The pieces she chose ‘found their place like pearls on a thread – looking back on the first piece of Schumann I had learned as a child (Arabeske), watching my own children discovering their images in Kinderszenen, and living in this strange new reality’. Her programme does indeed cohere, and its title (in German, ‘lonely’) has been adroitly chosen. Her manner with Kinderszenen (‘Scenes from childhood’) is sweetly conversational, and her Kreisleriana has a wonderfully relaxed eloquence. Her ‘Vogel als Prophet’ (‘Prophet bird’) is exquisite beyond words.

MICHAEL CHURCH Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2021 - ©Rhinegold Publishing