Disc one contains all the three books of Etudes and disc two includes strikingly original Ligeti masterpiece, Musica ricercata and breath takingly intricate Three Pieces for two pianos, and less known yet highly evocative works for four hands and other earlier works.
In Etude Book 1, Ullen plays most of the pieces slightly slower than Aimard whoes pianism is technically more refined, but from Book 2 on Ullen gets better and better. While Aimard's rendition of Etudes is more impressionistic focussing on tonal colour, Ullen's playing is more percussive with Prokofiev-like aggressiveness, accentuating complexity and structure of each piece with less use of pedal. With slower Etudes his playing does not lack sensitivity and tonal delicacy.
Ullen captures chillingly nightmarish atmosphere of Musica ricercata far better than Aimard. Three Pieces for Two Pianos are mesmerizingly complex and thrilling. Each paino part is played by Ullen and over-dubbed later. Overall, if you love Ligeti's music, this is hugely enjoyable set.