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The story of Leon Fleisher’s return to piano playing is a heart-warming one; the musical rewards are just as remarkable. Originally issued on Vanguard and recorded in 2004, the programming is genius: Baroque music intended to ‘get us all into the zone’ as Fleisher puts it, performed with the utmost integrity, nestles with ‘night music’ (Chopin and Debussy’s responses to moonlight). Fleisher’s delicacy in the Chopin Mazurka (Op 50 No 3) is balanced by the famous D-flat Nocturne delineated with painterly greatness, and the result is one of the great performances. Schubert’s D960 is unforgettable: a dramatic reading, it holds a slow movement of disturbing desolation and exudes transcendent understanding.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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