Always try to make sense of a concert programme, because it often has more shape and uniformity than might appear on the surface.

The theme in Australian Daniel de Borah's piano recital for the Merlin Music Society might have been described as 'light romantic', being composed of a fantasy and fantasy-like extended pieces, a few nominal dances, a theme and variations and a brace of 'novelties'.

But when the composers are Mozart (his C minor Fantasy, played with Beethovenian vigour), Chopin, Brahms and Schumann, little is as it seems on the surface, one disturbed by Mr de Borah with a depth and focus that belied his composure.

He had arrived 'straight from Canberra’, whatever that meant. He wasn't jet-lagged but his performance was a tad breathless, at one stage segueing into the last item before the interval, Chopin's Ballade No 4, without waiting for a response to the penultimate music, three of the composer's mazurkas.

Pianists stand or fall on how they tackle Chopin. Mr de Borah had him to a tee, from the windrushes of the first and fourth ballades to the cleverly-positioned eye of the storm in the Mazurka Op 17 No 4, where the poetry was distilled to wistful sadness unspoiled by eccentricity.

He swept on through Brahms's Variations On an Original Theme Op 21, perhaps a little unreflectively, before triumphing with three novellettes from Schumann's Op 21, in which not even a bag of musical tricks could efface the composer's dual personality.

The haste of the recital was inexplicable but its almost throwaway virtuosity was spine-tingling.

It was also the Merlin's first presentation of 2012. This long-established society is one of the best in Britain with an unmatched history of presenting major international performers and now encouraging up-and-coming ones as well . Any discerning music-lover should give it serious support.