Highlights include: Piano Concerto 1 & 2 – Krystian Zimerman
• Variations / Fantasy on Polish Airs / Krakowiak / Andante Spianato – Arrau
• Ballades – Krystian Zimerman
• Etudes Op 10 & 25 – Maurizio Pollini
• Mazurkas – Vladimir Ashkenazy
• Nocturnes – Maria João Pires
• Polonaises – Maurizio Pollini & Martha Argerich
• Preludes – Rafał Blechacz
• 4 Impromptus – Yundi Li
• 4 Scherzos – Maurizio Pollini
• Piano Sonata No. 1 – Lilya Zilberstein
• Piano Sonata Nos. 2 & 3 – Maurizio Pollini
• Waltzes – Vladimir Ashkenazy
• Piano Trio – Beaux Arts Trio
• Cello Sonata – Mstislav Rostropovich & Martha Argerich
• Songs – Elzbieta Szmytka & Malcolm Martineau
Wholenote Discoveries - April 2010
Included in the list of composers whose anniversaries are celebrated this year are two of the greatest and best loved masters of the Romantic Era, Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann, both born 200 years ago. It is only good business then for recording companies to issue and re-issue fine performances to feed, they hope, the heightened demand for the birthday boys’ music. First up is Chopin (March 1) whose entire published works fit nicely on 16 or 17 CDs. The absolute pick of the packages comes from Deutsche Grammophon which also happens to be at an attractive price, particularly for German pressings. Every opus number is represented here in excellent to superlative performances. One could not hope for a better group of artists, mainly pianists, of course, than DG has assembled from their own catalogue plus Decca and Philips. Krystian Zimerman’s acclaimed 1999 performances of the two piano concertos with the Polish Festival Orchestra are on the first disc. Zimerman is heard again in the Ballades. Claudio Arrau is the soloist in the other concerted works. Maurizio Pollini plays the Etudes, the Polonaises, the Scherzos and the 2nd and 3rd Sonatas. Maria João Pires plays all the Nocturnes and Vladimir Ashkenazy plays the complete Mazurkas, the Waltzes, and a host of miscellaneous pieces. The Beaux Arts Trio plays (you’ve guessed it) the Trio in G minor. Also heard from are Anatol Ugorski, Martha Argerich, Lilya Zilberstein, Yundi Li, Mstislav Rostropovich, Anner Bylsma, and others including Polish soprano Elzbieta Szmytka in the songs. The reasonably informative booklet includes a brief chronological table of Chopin’s life, plus recording data. All in all, this is a most pleasing and very recommendable collection. Bruce Surtees
The best value for your money to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Chopin's birth!!!
A completely reworked version of the 1999 DG Edition, now split between DG and Decca
recordings, with 17 CDs housed in a cap-box. The famed Maurizio Pollini recordings form the backbone of this collection including his Etudes, Sonatas, Polonaises & Scherzos.
New DG Highlights: Zimerman's Concertos,(now on 1 CD) Blechacz's Preludes amnd Pires's Nocturnes.
New from Decca: Arrau - Piano Works with orchestra, Ashkenazy - Mazurkas and Waltzes.
A timely re-issue, released in front of the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, March 1st,