I have a copy of the Chopin Nocturnes from this 2-CD release in the "Cube" that Brilliant Classics released a few years ago Chopin - The Complete Works
; the set here re-releases Adam Harasiewicz's Philips recordings of Chopin's Nocturnes and Op.28 Preludes made between 1961 and 1963, having once been available as a "Duo" set Chopin: The 21 Nocturnes; The 26 Préludes
. As the late American critic Bernard H Haggin once wrote:-
"...Chopin made a great art of writing small poetic pieces for the piano. I speak, I should say, of the music scraped clean of a hundred years' encrustation of performers' affected, mannered phrasing that has made it seem sentimental and morbid".
Adam Harasiewicz is, I think, one of the few living Chopin players (he was born in 1932 in Poland) who avoids Haggin's "encrustations", yet he is near-forgotten. He made one of the first "complete" sets of Chopin's works in the late 1950s and 1960s for Philips, and the engineers caught his wonderful performances in particularly beautiful sound. This is, as Haggin recommended, "scraped-clean" Chopin.
Along with Vladimir Ashkenazy's earlier Decca recordings, these two inexpensive CDs contain some of the best Chopin playing I have ever heard, and the set is an absolute steal!