Souvenir de Florence Opus 70 (2) Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky Download 'Souvenir de Florence Opus 70 (2)' on iTunes
A stunning and unexpected return - Richard Clayderman's Romantique takes a selection of classical favourites and turns them into piano favourites, and gets a Classic BRIT Award nomination in the process.
A romantic (obviously, given the album's title) start, this Khachaturian ballet favourite is especially grand and glorious when it reaches the incredible climax.
It's a timely choice for Richard Clayderman, what with the spectacular success of the movie version of the blockbuster musical. But here you can hear the songs beautifully stripped back to their bare essentials in this inventive arrangement, which manages to keep the tunes at the forefront.
This is the piece that unexpectedly turned Richard Clayderman into a superstar, presented here in a digitally remastered version to mark his return.
Managing to make this arrangement sound as vocal as Delibes intended is no mean feat - we're so used to hearing this piece sung rather than played. Clayderman makes it sound surprisingly fresh, though, thanks to his gift of bringing out the richest harmonies.
Clayderman turns his attentions to the world of musicals again, this time using the crunchiest chords and biggest tunes that Leonard Bernstein wrote to his advantage.
Showing his versatility, Clayderman gives a sensitive instrumental reading of the Adele song (surely the only time she's been mentioned in connection with the Classic BRITs?) that keeps the heartache as an essential ingredient. Here's the great man himself, playing some tunes for the tortoises at London Zoo. Obviously.
Two warring families united by star-crossed lovers - perfect fodder for the Clayderman piano fingers. Listen to how much fun he's having with those massive chords, too.
Richard Clayderman isn't the only Album Of The Year nominee to turn to one of John Williams' most famous themes for inspiration - Nicola Benedetti also performs the piece on her album The Silver Violin.
One of the most covered pop songs in history gets the Clayderman treatment. Leonard Cohen's original draft for the song had dozens of alternative verses, but thankfully Richard knows when to cut his losses with this one and keeps it short and sweet.
One piano master takes on the work of another - Ludovico Einaudi's not only perfected his own brand of haunting, cyclical piano minimalism, he's also a Classic BRIT Album Of The Year nominee too! So if Clayderman wins, so does Einaudi… sort of…
It doesn't get more romantic than this - one of Puccini's best-loved arias doesn't even need the heart-rending libretto to make it affecting, all it needs is Richard Clayderman.
It's become a vocal classic in recent years thanks to Westlife and Josh Groban (pictured), but Richard Clayderman gets a little bit of the action too with this instrumental version. Not likely to be everyone's cup of tea, but if nothing else it proves the huge diversity of nominees this year.
It's a great year for Puccini's most famous aria. Not only has Pavarotti's recent Decca compilation brought it back to the nation's consciousness, but Richard Clayderman has got in on the act too. Delicacy, poise and some lounge-y drums too - bet Puccini didn't see that coming.