It was to have been the culmination of Leonard Bernstein's Beethoven cycle: the recording of all five piano concertos with a leading pianist of the younger generation. What it became is an example of enlightened music-making, the document of an incredible empathy between conductor, soloist and orchestra - an empathy so strong that it overrode even the maestro's death. In Krystian Zimerman, Bernstein had found a congenial partner. But the full extent of Zimerman's congeniality emerged only after the maestro's death on 14 October 1990. Concertos Nos. 3, 4 and 5 had been recorded. A decision had to be taken with regard to concertos Nos. 1 and 2: either a new conductor had to be found or, following the practice of the 18th and early 19th centuries, the orchestra would be entrusted to the soloist. The latter alternative was chosen - a decision applauded throughout the music world.