Sigismond Thalberg was a Wunderkind and one of the most accomplished virtuoso pianists of the 19th century. Mendelssohn, Chopin and Clara Schumann were impressed by his technical skills. As legend goes there was a big rivalry between Thalberg and Liszt, though mostly fomented by the press. Thalberg was also a composer whose focus laid mainly on fantasies on operatic themes. In the 19th century this was a genre aiming to delight audiences with the familiarity of known melodies, the ingenuity of the transcriptions and their spectacular virtuosity. Thalberg wrote fantasies on quite a number of opera by Italian composers. These fantasies and other works are presented now in a comprehensive set by the Italian pianist Francesco Nicolosi. Nicolosi specializes in the interpretation of Thalberg's composition and the result is truly remarkable. With an exquisite technique, a wonderful sound and an impeccable legato these recordings have no rival. They came to be in the 1990s as individual releases and brought Nicolosi the Bellini Golden Prize. They are now being made available for the first time as collector's item.