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91 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chopin Rise Of The Masters Collection - A Great Cross Section
This Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters collection is a tremendous value. At almost 8 and a half hours, it includes many of the polonaises, etudes, mazurkas, waltzes, concerti and sonatas that make up a major portion of Chopin's canon. Other recognizable pieces are included, such as the 4 ballades, the Barcarole in F-sharp major (Op. 60),...
Published on December 26, 2011 by Mark

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great value for a couple of dollars.
If you're not a big fan of Chopin, or just want to know what the fuss is about, this is a very cheap introduction to the composer and his works. However, the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. The presence of audible pops and crackles means that at least parts of this collection were probably lifted from vinyl.
Published on January 3, 2012 by Wizard Prang


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91 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chopin Rise Of The Masters Collection - A Great Cross Section, December 26, 2011
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This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
This Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters collection is a tremendous value. At almost 8 and a half hours, it includes many of the polonaises, etudes, mazurkas, waltzes, concerti and sonatas that make up a major portion of Chopin's canon. Other recognizable pieces are included, such as the 4 ballades, the Barcarole in F-sharp major (Op. 60), the Bolero in C major (Op. 19) and the Fantasie in F minor (Op. 49). Sound quality is good to very good.

For those obsessed with not having any duplication of downloaded works, a good portion of the tracks that are included here are also on The 99 Most Essential Chopin Masterpieces. Both are produced by the X5 group, and some are not just the same pieces but the exact same recordings. A good example would be the nocturns, all of which are the same tracks that are performed by Peter Schmalfuss and included in the other set. So if you own the other set, that may deter you from purchasing this one.

But as a purchaser of the other set, I think this collection is well worth purchasing despite the duplication. Here we have an additional ballade as well as the lion's share of etudes from Opus 10 and 25. Here we have an additional polonaise from Opus 61. The Sonata in G minor for cello and piano, tracks 39-42, is a new addition to this set. The other collection includes the Sontas in B-minor and B-flat minor for piano from Opus 35 and Opus 58.

While most of the same nocturnes are here, we have lost 2 from Opus 27. The mazurcas include additions from Opus 6, Opus 50, Opus 56, and Opus 67, while we have lost movements from Opus 7, Opus 17, Opus 33, Opus 41, Opus 59, Opus 63, and Opus 68. There is a similar mix and match of waltzes, with the subtraction of waltz number 2 from Opus 70 and the addition of waltz number 3 from Opus 64. Preludes numbers 6, 8 and 17 have also been added from Opus 28, while number 2 has been left out.

There is an argument to be made that the other collection includes better quality performances. A good portion of the pieces that are duplicated are interpreted by different musicians and orchestras. Concerti 1 and 2 for piano and orchestra, for example, are performed here by the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra while the better known recording by the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra and Abbey Simon is including in the Essentials compilation. And the waltzes are performed by Dubravka Tomsic, while the Essentials collection includes a mix of performances by Abbey Simon and Dubravka Tomsic. Yet all the performances in this set are of a high enough caliber for any lover of classical piano music to enjoy.

I only have one minor complaint as it pertains to the sound. While I enjoyed the ballades as performed by Freddy Kempf, there seems to be a resonance in the way they were recorded. I don't think it detracts from the recording, but it is noteworthy.

CONCLUSION

While perhaps 30 to 40 percent of this collection is comprised of the same pieces from the Essentials collection, the majority of those are by different performers. And the flow has been much improved with the additional works that bridge the included ones. While the other collection includes great performances, there are not too many things to complain about here. This is a great collection for lovers of Chopin and classical piano. Enjoy.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for Price Alone, January 5, 2012
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This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
I'm sure the die-hard classical fans out there will give me an earful for saying so, but this one (and others in the 'Rise of the Masters' series) gets 5 stars for price alone. At less than 2 cents per song, this is an amazing value. Half of these tracks could be throwaways and you'd still have barely spent the price of a single 'normal' mp3. The sound quality is quite acceptable. Anyone who remembers the cheap classical CDs from the 90s knows what bad quality is. This isn't it.

Bottom line - If you're not a pretentious brat, these are good quality recordings at an awesome price and a great way to become familiar with Chopin.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid 4 stars and a superb value!, January 13, 2012
By 
Edward Park (Dallas, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
Undoubtedly Chopin is one of the most beloved piano composers in history and with his countless pieces it's hard to capture them in a single purchase especially one that's less than 2 bucks. Well, not any longer! To have this many Chopin pieces in a single album, including both concertos is a phenomenal value. So what's the catch... First catch is, although the performances are well done, they are performed by relatively unknowns(albeit talented and capable artists). I would say they are all formidable performances. Second catch is, the recordings are not particularly high quality. Specifically, many of the performances are a bit distant sounding and a bit muddled, IMHO not to the point where it's a problem though. This purchase are for those that love Chopin and don't really care who's playing it as long as it's being played well. It's also for those who love to have Chopin playing the background for hours on end. This purchase is not for those who can't stand anyone else playing Chopin other than Argerich, Ashkenazy, or some other legendary pianist or for the audiophile who needs the mics scientifically placed to capture every nuance.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VALUE, February 11, 2012
By 
Jerome Szpila (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
Some reviewers have mentioned some complaints about the sound quality of the recordings. True, they are not up to the standards of your modern classical release. In my opinion, however, some of the modern releases seem over-produced and fail to capture the organic essence that lies behind these performances. I grew up listening to my father's classical records and continue to listen to quite a bit of classical music on record. I'm used to a little bit of imperfection. As a result, I tend to focus more on performance quality and the emotional resonance of the music. In this collection, you get solid renditions of the "best of" Chopin. The only reason to pass up this collection is if you already own most of the music in this collection. Otherwise, even if you aren't a huge fan of Chopin, this collection is well worth the current $1.29 price tag. If you are very picky about sound quality and having the best-ever recordings...well, then, don't purchase it and spend the $80 dollars it would cost you to buy all of this music separately. Most people, though, would enjoy this just as much.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Collection of Chopin for Mere Pennies!, May 20, 2012
By 
Melinda (Somewhere Outside Austin, Tx) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
If you need to fill holes in your Chopin collection, or you're looking to replace that lost or broken CD. Or, if you've never bought a Chopin CD or MP3, then this is the collection for you - at $1.99 you can hardly go wrong. You can't beat the price with a stick and you get hours and hours of quality music by the one of the greatest Romantic composers of all time. There are the ballades, the etudes, the preludes, the nocturnes, the mazurkas among others. These are primarily piano pieces - but oh! what piano pieces! They are complex, lyrical, sonorous, uplifting, radiant piano pieces that are the signature of Chopin. No one writes music likes this other than Chopin. This is music at it's best! Chopin was clearly a genius, and it shows on the tracks on this MP3 download. Use it for relaxation, meditation,reading, or as the background for your life. It's simply beautiful!

FOR THE MUSIC PURISTS: Use this to fill holes in your collection - it's so cheap, it's almost like stealing. There's so much here that you can't go wrong, even if some aren't perfectly executed.

FOR EVERYONE ELSE: Use this to build your collection. There are at least 8 other MP3 downloads like this one which would start the basis for a lovely classical music library. If you get to the point where a piece doesn't sound right, or bothers you in any way, go out and explore alternatives. There are tons out there. What I like, you may not, and vice versa. For example, the only people I like play Rachmaninoff are Rachmaninoff and Mischa Dikter. Yet, I'm told a lot of people play him well - I just don't agree. It's all personal taste. Take recommendations, but figure out what you like yourself.

At $1.99 each, that makes it under $18.00 to have 1800 tracks of 9 classical masters, ranging from Bach to Debussey. You can't even buy a family of 4 fastfood for that little. Or you could buy 18 tracks on i-tunes, not 1800. I can tell you, I did it, and it's been the soundtrack to the greater part of my life since I did so. It especially makes wonderful background music while reading anything from fiction to nonfiction - and of course making dinner. You can't beat this deal - just buy this! Buy all of them! Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Composer Compilation
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Music of Chopin, May 22, 2012
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This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
This is the best set of music put together of Chopin that I have bought. 2 bucks for 100 songs that are wonderful. From Waltz to Preludes to Etudes, there wonderful and I suggest if you are looking for which Chopin you should buy, this is it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Chopin, June 7, 2012
By 
Alexzinho (Austin, TX, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
When I was little and had to practice piano, my teacher would tell me to listen to Chopin to hear the wonders of the piano. While I never became proficient or talented on the piano, I still love the sounds and intricacy of Chopin's work. This is a great collection of his work and for an amazing price. Not sure how they make money off this, but it's worth every penny to me!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, May 4, 2012
This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
This is a ridiculously good bargain, a MUST for Chopin fans. He is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest composers of all time. His music is very diverse and moving. Fantaisie-Impromptu is a must.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of music for the money, January 20, 2013
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This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
I like Chopin, mostly from listening to nocturnes. This gives me chance to explore a large selection of Chopin's music. As others have said there is a lot of music here for $2. I haven't had time to listen to all the performances yet. The ones I have heard so far are very respectable, even if the performers are not well-known (or even not known at all). So far the quality has been quite good. I have not heard any background hiss or pops that someone mentioned. For the most part I play this via iTunes or directly through my laptop so I don't expect audiophile recording quality. My ears aren't that good anyway. For less than the price of a latte you can get hours of enjoyment many times over. This is one instance where you get way more than you pay for.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces, December 24, 2012
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This review is from: Chopin - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces: Rise of the Masters (MP3 Music)
Like other albums in this series, this is an excellent way to hear some of this composer's best music, piano and orchestral (many people don't know he wrote orchestral music). I would like to see this series extended to other composers, including ones from the 20th-century.
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