Performing—and recording—the complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano concertos is a remarkable achievement for any pianist, at any stage in their creative life. But a recent release from Hyperion Records offers a singular synthesis of extraordinary solo playing, exceptional conducting and exquisite orchestral performance. Breathing vibrant, surprising avidity into all of this is Stephen Hough, with his customary élan. Hough is a tireless artist, devoted to his craft and to the betterment of our 21st-century musical world. At this autumnal stage in his career, he is beloved and with good reason: his inheritance is of that rare and reverent keyboard tradition dating back to Beethoven’s time. Presumably, the British pianist has been performing these piano concertos since his youth and yet, much of the disc’s material suggests a re-envisioned approach, a wide-eyed zeal for such canonic works, always tempered, deferential and selfless. Hough brings his experience to bear: such thrilling artistry glistens through every last note—and silence—on the record. We the listeners are gladdened beneficiaries.