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These are, effectively, historical documents despite the recording dates. Ciccolini has long been a presence on the piano scene (he won the Long-Thibaud Competition in 1949; he died in 2015). The pairing with the young Nézet-Seguin is inspired, the conductor finding perfect tension at the opening of K466. This is one of the great Mozart performances, up there with Haskil, Brendel and Barenboim. Ciccolini is polished and patrician, his cadenza (Beethoven) perfectly judged. The odd moment of misjudged ensemble belies the live provenance, but pianists everywhere could learn from Ciccolini’s pellucid tone.

The Rachmaninov is balanced and intelligent. The LPO is impassioned, Ciccolini a touch cooler; the combination is most persuasive. Every pianist should hear this disc, a perfect memorial to a great man.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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