It's unclear who called Alexandre Tharaud "Le poète du piano"; searches for the phrase outside of references to this release yield nothing, and it would not be out of the question that this unconventional pianist bestowed the title upon himself. In some cases, "bad boy of the piano" might be a more appropriate title. Tharaud is nothing if not full of surprises, including popular songs (try The Beach Boys adaptations) and such adventures as a wildly decorated "Turkish Rondo" of Mozart. This is, after all, a pianist who doesn't keep a piano in his home, preferring to practice at friends' homes where he has to concentrate on the material. Typically, in what is supposed to be an anthology, Tharaud includes a good deal of newly recorded material, including works from a cycle called Corpus volubilis that he composed himself. The selections cover recordings from 2009 to 2020, and they're divided into three sections (three CDs in the physical version): "Solo," "Concerto," and "Raretés & Surprises." Most of the works in the first two parts are well known, with Tharaud often applying novel treatments. The third section is pure Tharaud, containing not only the Corpus volubilis pieces but also delightful pieces by Jean Wiéner and Paul Le Flem, both little known outside of French regions. One is struck by the breadth of Tharaud's repertory; he is capable of fresh, Gould-like Scarlatti and Rameau, Romantic standards, and contemporary pieces, all insightful and compelling. Ultimately, Tharaud is the kind of musician listeners either love or hate, but this is a fair representation of his talents.