This recital’s second half/second disc embraces searching accounts of Schubert’s four Impromptus D935, weighty and time-taken, yet lit and shaded, readings that belie the publisher-bestowed titles. The approach is patrician, the touch varied, the dynamic range wide, the phrasing shapely, and Sokolov’s musical address is intense. The piano is closely balanced, the pianist’s breathing often audible (so too coughs and noises-off in the audience), and it could be said that Sokolov’s Schubert is an immersive experience, if not the most capricious.

Applause is retained for what are unedited performances, Sokolov doesn’t allow patching, and there follow six encores, thirty minutes’ worth, typically generous, if perhaps unwisely beginning with a further Schubert Impromptu, the fourth and final one of the D899 set, and then embracing Rameau, more Schubert, Chopin, Griboyedov (a charming E-minor Waltz) and Debussy – Sokolov maintaining stamina and focus to the end.

Preceding this seventy-three-minute marathon, Sokolov had played three Haydn Sonatas – very appropriate to the venue of course, the composer resident there for three decades as a Court Employee – Hoboken 44, 32 & 36, to which he brings crystalline clarity, all repeats, and gives the works as an uninterrupted sequence. If a little more wit is needed at times, there’s no doubting that Sokolov’s proto-Beethovenian renditions shed interesting light on the substance of these unfailingly inventive Sonatas (in this instance, no three are the same) … and, anyway, Sokolov’s place in the pantheon of Great Pianists is assured. DG 486 1849 [2 CDs & Blu-ray video].

Sokolov in Spain.