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138 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Set,
In this, his anniversary year, we have been deluged with 'complete' editions of Chopin's works but this set is something special. Although produced at bargin price, it does not contain bargin performances but some of the finest from the DG, Decca and Philips catalogues.
Rather than concentrating on one pianist, the compilers have included all the major musicians who recorded for the Universal labels between 1970 and 2007 in what are, arguably, some of their very greatest greatest Chopin recordings. Thus we have, among other fine discs, Zimerman's quite superb and moving Piano Concertos from 1999, Pires' wonderful Nocturnes, Pollini's fine Etudes, Ashkenazy's Waltzes and - a great surprise for me - the young Blechacz's superlative Preludes.
The chamber works and songs are extremely enjoyable and, as you would expect, the recording quality excellent throughout. The booklet contains an interesting essay by Jeremy Siepmann, a time-line, and full discographical details.
A wonderful set which will provide a lifetime's pleasure. It is not the cheapest on the market but the quality of the performances make it will worth the extra outlay.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent interpretations and value, this is the set to get!,
I am a great lover of Chopin's music, and so recently I decided to take the plunge and purchase a complete edition of his music.
Music is taken from the Deutche Grammophone and Decca catalogues. Here we have great Chopin interpretations, including Ashkenazy's waltzes, Pollini's etudes, Zimerman's concertos etc. In short, this is a selection of classic, definitive interpretations of Chopin's music. There is a nice variety of artists, including pianists from the younger generation, Yundi Li and Blechacz, who play the impromptus and preludes respectively, which are very good. Pires' nocturnes are lovely, while in my opinion not quite as excellent as Rubinstein's, her playing has a great singing tone. I don't think I'll be listening to the songs and variations as much as the other cds, but it is good to have everything!
Sound quality cannot be faulted. Packaging is good, the 17 discs are arranged in separate paper envelopes inside a good box. I have no qualms with this considering the number of CDs. The music is also presented with a good booklet with some interesting background on Chopin, reflections on his music, and photos of pianists featured in the set. Another feature not to forget is the outstanding value of this set.
This set will give hours of joyous listening. I heartily reccommend it.
210 of 220 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cherry-picking the DG and Decca Chopin catalogues,
This isn't a proper review; it's simply a disc by disc list of the music and performers to help you, like myself, decide whether or not you want to invest in this box set.
CD 1: Piano Concertos 1 & 2
Krystian Zimerman/Polish Festival Orchestra
CD 2: Variations on "La ci darem la mano"; Fantasy on Polish Airs, op.13; Krakowiak - Concert Rondo, op.14; Andante spianato & grande polonaise, op. 22 (orchestral version)
Claudio Arrau/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Eliahu Inbal
CD 3: Ballades 1-4; Fantaisie, op.49
3 Nouvelles Etudes; 3 Ecossaises
CD 4: Etudes, opp.10 & 25; Barcarolle, op.60; Berceuse, op.57
CD 5: Mazurkas 1-29
CD 6: Mazurkas 30-57; 3 Mazurkas, WoO; Mazurka no.51 in f (revised version)
CD 7: Nocturnes 1-10
Maria Joao Pires
CD 8: Nocturnes 11-21
Maria Joao Pires
CD 9: Polonaises 1-7
CD 10: Andante spianato & grande polonaise, op. 22 (solo version)
3 Polonaises, op.71; six posthumous Polonaises; 2 Bourrees; Galop marquis; Feuille d'Album; Cantabile in B flat; Fugue in a; Largo in E flat
CD 11: 24 Preludes, op.28; Prelude in A flat, op. post.; Prelude in c#, op.45
CD 12: Scherzos 1-4
Rondeau, op.1; Rondeau, op.5
Rondeau for two pianos, op.73
Kurt Bauer, Heidi Bung
CD 13: Piano Sonata no.1
Piano Sonatas nos. 2 & 3
CD 14: Variations sur un air national allemand; Souvenir de Paganini; Variations brillantes, op.12; "Hexameron" variations; Allegro de concert, op.46; Bolero, op.19; Tarantelle, op.43
Introduction, Theme & Variations in D
Vladimir Ashkenazy & Vovka Ashkenazy
CD 15: Waltzes 1-19
CD 16: Piano Trio, op.8
Beaux Arts Trio (Pressler, Cohen, Greenhouse)
Cello Sonata, op.65; Introduction & Polonaise, op.3
Martha Argerich & Mstislav Rostropovich
Grand Duo Concertante on Themes from Meyerbeer's "Robert le Diable"
Lambert Orkis & Anner Bijlsma
CD 17: Nineteen songs
Elzbieta Szmytka, soprano; Martin Martineau, piano
70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chopin complete edition (DG),
This is a superb complete Chopin. I haven't stopped playing it since I bought it. It boasts perfomances from a number of contemporary keybord giants, for example: Pollini (Etudes, Scerzos, Polonaises), Ashekenazy (mazurkas, waltzes), Joao Pires(Nocturnes), Zimerman (ballades, concertos) and an electrifying performance of the underrated cello sonata by Argerich and Rostropovich which has just been rated the best on CD review. My only criticiem is that there could be more of Argerich - but that's always true. Could be the bargain of the year!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chopin piano music,
Purely wonderful. Everything that Chopin wrote for the piano, including some songs. Various artists, including some that I've never heard of who play beautifully nevertheless. Highly recommended.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Chopin,
I bought this CD set on Amazon and have marvelled at the exceptional and varied talent that has played the various works of Chopin. The recording is first class and the performers beyond compare. Hours of enjoyment had and awaiting er.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superb quality and value,
Wonderful quality. The playing is superb, especially the nocturnes by Pires. Rated the best nocturnes and most authoritative rendition of Chopin's nocturness..can't agree more. Zimmerman 's style is also great and precise while a bit too cerebral at times. The only issue I have is that there are too many discs covered by Pollini's playing: I am sure there are far more better interpretations of Chopin than Pollini..he just doesn't cut it emotionally with the contemporary audience
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recordings of choice at an unbeatable price,
As well as various boxed sets of his works, the bicentenary of Chopin's birth generated unforgettable recitals such as Maria Joao Pires' late-night Nocturnes prom at the Albert Hall last year. The fact that it is her recording of the Nocturnes in this set is testament to the overall quality of the collection. If you needed further evidence you will also find Krystian Zimerman's concertos, Maurizio Pollini's Etudes and Vladimir Ashkenazy's Mazurkas and then, if like me you haven't already come across him, one is introduced to the stunning Rafal Blechacz playing the Preludes.
Amongst the less well known works, the trio op.8 is performed by the Beaux Arts
In the past I have been ambivalent about boxed sets containing a composer's complete works, but here the set exudes quality from start to finish. At this price it is a no-brainer, even if you already have some of these seminal recordings.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great survey of a romantic master.,
This complete works of Chopin is just that - complete. It was lovely to hear some of his rarer pieces and the performances are all sound.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How wonderful!,
My young pianist boy received this set from Santa this Christmas. We listened to 2 of them, had to replay and replay and replay...it's sooooooooooooo beautifully interpreted, reflected Chopin's heart and soul.Thank you Santa!
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