Never one to travel light, Andras Schiff brought two concert grands over from his Italian home for the latest instalment in his epic cycle of all 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, which he is delivering in over a dozen venues.
For the experimental textures of the three sonatas of the Opus 31 set, Schiff plumped for the perfectly proportioned dynamics and pedal colours of a Bosendorfer, an ideal vehicle to reveal how, with their cross-hand techniques, use of tremolandi and recourse to operatic devices, these powerful works push the resources of Beethoven's contemporary piano to their limits and beyond.
Though superficially spectacular, they rely upon an inner thoughtfulness from their interpreter, and in Sunday's recital Schiff seemed to be sharing with us his private communion with greatness.
There were some intriguing outcomes, including endearing reminiscences of Haydn in the chirpy way he attacked figuration in the opening movement of the E-flat Sonata, and prefigurations of Schubert in the same work's spinning tarantella - such a bad influence on the younger composer, when Beethoven at least had the knack of knowing when to stop.
For the intellectually (as well as virtuosically) searching Waldstein Sonata Schiff switched to a Fabbrini instrument, luminous of tone and light in keyboard action, which aided Schiff's un-faked octave glissandi in a well-paced finale.
Throughout this reading there was plenty of appropriate forward momentum (with some legitimate leanings on sforzandi), and a constant recognition of the importance of tonal colourings.
Schiff returned for his encore to the Bosendorfer for the Andante Favori, the Waldstein's original slow movement, elegantly delivered here but deliberately old-fashioned in effect.
Misha Donat's programme-notes were marvels of their kind from which we can all learn - and written with such clarity.