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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2006
Back in 1981, I stumbled upon an unlabeled cassette recording of the Chopin op. 10 Etudes. Greatly impressed, I spent the next eighteen years searching and listening to dozens of recordings of the Etudes in an effort to identify the pianist and recording. Meanwhile, I was finding no match for the sheer musicality of what I was hearing on the cassette. At last I discovered that the mystery pianist was Tamas Vasary, in a recording he made in the 1960's and available once again as part of this freshly-released, 3-CD box set. Here one will find technique and pianism aplenty as Vasary demonstrates his mastery of the assorted technical problems found in the Etudes. But unlike many pianists, some of whom see the mastery of these problems (or, in some cases, the avoidance of them) as the end or goal in playing the Studies, Vasary keenly perceives, and never loses sight of, the truth, beauty and poetry behind this music, and compromises nothing in his pursuit. In the playing of that counterpoint passage in op. 10 #4, for example, one will not hear the pedal being used as a crutch, or whitewash, as it often is in this instance. Rather, one will hear, with perfect clarity combined with a wonderful, round tone, music of a composer who was, after all, a great fan and disciple of that master contrapuntist, J.S. Bach. A first regard for musicianship and, above all else, a love for the music itself, clearly is in evidence in Vasary's recording. Get it - even though you already have a recording of the Etudes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have already enthused about the companion Trio set from DG containing the Nocturnes, Waltzes, Ballades and Scherzi; this issue, recorded in the mid-60's displays the same qualities which have always endeared Tamás Vásáry's Chopin to me. I find his judgement of tempi, phrasing and dynamics to be just right, hence my title. For some, his unobtrusiveness as an interpreter is too self-effacing and they require more artistic intervention and personality; for me, his fluency, fleetness and finesse carry all before them. I do not believe that he has ever been given the pre-eminence his artistry deserves, although you can find many effusive critiques of his pianism, going back years.

Beauty of sound, plushness and elegance are the hallmarks of Vásáry's style but I hear no lack of passion in, for example, the tumultuous and indulgent opening to the B flat minor Sonata and the sound here is superb for its era; the 2005 remastering has removed most of the tape hiss without excising the higher frequencies. Vásáry gets just the amount of authentic lift into the Mazurkas - after all, he is Polish - without sounding laboured, self-conscious or mannered. The two piano concertos on the third disc have the advantage over and above Vásáry's skills of the Berlin Philharmonic under two excellent East European conductors (Polish and Hungarian). Of course I love Kissin, Rubenstein, Pollini and Feltsman in Chopin, but as composite bargain sets these DG Trio issues are deeply satisfying and top value.
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on 13 April 2014
Being an amateur listener of 'the classics' I've found that radio programs tend to play music within a limited selection. Perversely, my early pleasure from classical music was from works by Isao Tomita, created on a synthesiser, but then sought the original works. Occasionally, having heard piano music without orchestral accompaniment, I found that it can be quite delightful. Now I'm exploring beyond the world of Beethoven, Mozart and Debussy. I know no technical terms, but I know what I like. As for CDs in general, what beats the radio is not having to listen to all the 'ers and ums' from amateurs trying to sound professional with prepared scripts.
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on 5 March 2015
I was born in 1960 and collected Vasary's Chopin in my late teens. Reviewers then suggested there was no need to look elsewhere, and I took their word for it. Thirty years on I acknowledge that there is more to Chopin than Vasary, but these would be very good discs to start with even before the price was reduced
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on 13 July 2015
Service and item excellent. Thank You
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2014
Great piece of everlasting Classic
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1 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2009
Some of the works are rushed;are they trying to put too much on the discs?
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