Album: Chopin, Journal Intime – Alexandre Tharaud (Virgin Classics)

All the rage in literary circles, the "personal history" has only lately caught on in classical music.

Here, Alexandre Tharaud traces his relationship with Chopin from pre-school experiences of listening to an elderly ballet-accompanist play waltzes in 4/4 time, through the first piece he learnt (Contredanse), his conservatoire audition (the second Ballade), his student "party piece" (the F minor Fantasie), and snapshots of touring life. The sound is sometimes over-bright but Tharaud's playing is never less than elegant.