Here on five CDs are Wilhelm Kempff’s complete Decca and DG concerto recordings dating from the 1950s. Most mercurial of musical geniuses, Kempff’s playing created an instantly recognisable aura and ambience, making comparison with other great pianists of the 20th century an exercise in irrelevance. For Alfred Brendel, Kempff was ‘like an Aeolian harp, ever ready to respond to whatever interesting wind blew his way’ and although there was clearly a ground plan behind his interpretations they were marked by an improvisatory charm and pulse that gave a rare individuality to virtually all his performances. Outwardly benign (some considered him cosy, or gemütlich) his playing brimmed over with a colour and nuance worn with an enviable ease and lightness. Unlike so many of his colleagues (Schnabel and Myra Hess, for example) Kempff adored recording and was more than happy to present this or that jewel-like facet of a score for his listener’s endless fascination and delight.