If this isn’t a successful surprise: on the occasion of the sixth Piano Day, which he created himself, Nils Frahm’s debut album is being released for the first time after a delay of almost 12 years. It was recorded in 2009 at Mumuth, the House for Music and Music Theatre of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, and begins with 14 seconds of silence before the first key of the concert grand is struck. Unlike on the intimate official debut »Felt« from 2011, the majestic spatial sound is immediately noticeable here, revealing the intensity of each keystroke and thus making even the finest nuances of the timbres perceptible. Frahm’s signature, with which he has dominated the neo-classical scene since the 2010s, is already abundantly clear on »Graz«. His emotional harmonies, schooled in classical music, already meet the spontaneity of jazz here. And although these nine compositions have remained under wraps until now, Frahm developed some pieces further during his concerts and re-recorded »Hammers« for his final breakthrough »Spaces« from 2012. »Hammers« is not only the shortest but also the most intense piece on »Graz« and also features the only vocal performance of the entire album by Peter Broderick. All in all, however, these 40 minutes make it clear that Frahm had his signature moves very early on and is now one of the best-known young piano virtuosos, and rightly so.