Beatrice Rana plays the Twelve Opus 25 Études one to another, with only the barest of pauses halfway through. It’s a continuum that works well, adding drama to the whole, even beginning No.6 out of the dying embers of its predecessor. Her lyrical playing is especially rewarding, so too the clarity of her fingers, such as in the cantering No.3 or the impish No.4. As recorded though, the piano forwardly balanced, it may be that some dynamic contrasts, especially the quietest ones, do not fully register (no problems with those that are loudest). Yet Rana’s is playing of consideration, a sensitive touch when required, and very shapely phrasing. Indeed each of these dozen pieces is made compelling given the thoughtfulness that Rana invests in them: the rhythmic bounce of No.9 is a delight (reminding of John Browning’s RCA version as part of his survey of Opuses 10 & 25) and there are plenty of stormy passions in evidence for the final three Studies, although greater expanse is needed in No.10 (from 1:00-3:21) and elsewhere bass notes tend to be attacked mercilessly, as captured by the microphones anyway.

Plenty of fire and technical fearlessness informs the outer sections of the first three Scherzos, the song-like Trios often seductive; yet, competition is stiff, and Rana must yield to Michelangeli in No.2 (DG), although I smiled at the way she claws at some notes in the coda (from 11:28), and to Ashkenazy for its successor (Decca), although the water-fountain middle section of the latter is nobly heartfelt. She comes into her own for the elusive final Scherzo, which is poised and expressive, attractively flittering, and generously soulful. Warner Classics 9029676424.