If you have ever wondered if Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings could be a success played on a piano, then Jean-Yves Thibaudet gives a clue. He’s a sensitive guide (using his own transcription) if a little foursquare, but the opening alerts that quiet playing is going to be in short supply – due to a very forwardly balanced piano transferred loudly (as here, too: http://www.colinscolumn.com/janine-jansen-antonio-pappano-record-12-stradivari-for-decca/). Even with a considerable cut in volume, forte treble notes can ping somewhat. Nevertheless, much to enjoy during seventy-nine minutes, including chirpy Couperin, eloquent Scarlatti and consoling Liszt. Thibaudet waltzes with Schubert (with help from Richard Strauss) and Chopin, embraces Brahms and Elgar, boogies with Morton Gould, and includes Pierné, Granados, Villa-Lobos and Poulenc (a mix of scintillation, languor and charm). The booklet includes a conversation between the pianist and Renée Fleming. Decca 485 2081.