Most helpful critical review
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
More like Three and a Half Stars
on February 4, 2006
When I think of the piano, the first composer that comes to my mind is Chopin. Chopin was a composer who excelled in small form writing for the piano. He wrote beautiful melodies with complex accompaniment that was both challenging for the performer and enlightening for the listener. Chopin did not write many multi-movement pieces and what he did write is generally not as good as his solo piano pieces anyway (this is my opinion, not a fact).
When buying recordings of Chopin's music, there are basically two options. You can either go with a "Greatest Hits" type collection, which works very well with Chopin, or you can buy collections that assemble all he wrote for a certain form (preludes, nocturnes, etudes, etc...). If you are new to Chopin, I suggest buying a "Greatest Hits" collection, though not necessarily this one, even though this is the CD in my car right now. The playing is okay but it's nothing really that special. Considering all the masterful Chopin interpreters out there, such as Rubinstein, Ashkenazy, Argerich, Pollini, and Perahia, it seems silly not to start with a pianist that you really love, since almost every great pianist has recorded works by Chopin. Having said that, this collection contains almost all my favorite works by Chopin, my only complaint being I wish it had more than one nocturne. Thus it serves as a good introduction to Chopin's music. I would recommend the Favorite Chopin collection by Ashkenazy over this collection because not only is he an amazing pianist and a masterful interpreter of Chopin, but it's two discs for the price of one.