Music: Piano Bravissimo

Treasures and pleasures abound in a mammoth CD selection of the century's virtuoso pianists

Tom Deacon, director of catalogue exploitation for Philips Music Group in Amsterdam, is one of those people blessed with the sort of memory for facts usually on display when 14-year-olds argue football trivia with their elders. Ask Deacon about a recording of a composition by a particular pianist, and he will rattle off all the details: the record label, the date and place of the recording, possibly even the precise microphone placement for the session. It's also likely that the recording will be in Deacon's personal collection of 25,000 LPs and 10,000 CDs. So when Philips decided to anthologize the work...

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