That’s Stephen Hough, pianist, who has recorded all of Chopin’s Nocturnes, so many celebrated pieces,, and he has done so most beautifully, aided by top-class recorded sound and exemplary presentation. Hough’s readings are searching, sensitive and shapely, with an attractive freedom of expression, and, where dramatic contrasts are required, he doesn’t shirk them. These are transporting performances, full of song and moonlit suggestion on Hyperion CDA68351/2 (2 CDs).

There is also a splendid Hough Schumann recital,, during which emotions run high as well as secretively, and stories are told, often created by listeners’ imaginations. Plenty of musical poetry, too, when Robert met Clara, on Hyperion CDA68363. All-round excellence.

Two ideal Christmas gifts for the romantic piano-fancier, and not just for the festive period. A lifetime in fact.