Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
At 99 cents--grab it!
on September 6, 2013
Although I'm a big fan of Chopin's piano music, I hesitated over buying this collection at $5.99 for months before finally deciding to go for it. The reason for the hesitation is that, while I like many of the fine pianists who contributed their performances to this edition, I already own a pretty comprehensive Chopin's collection--usually in multiple versions by the likes of big names such as Rubinstein, Horowitz, Argerich, Ashkenazy, Arrau, Richter, etc. So why buy more versions by very good but somewhat lesser names?
However, I finally decided to go for it and just as I was pressing the "buy" button I realized that the price had dropped from $5.99 to 99 cents. As you can imagine, I pressed that button all harder so that the price wouldn't disappear before my eyes.
And I'm glad I did. These are very fine accounts of Chopin's core repetoire. Everything you'd expect to find is here except for the complete Mazurkas--of them we get only a handful. I've now listened to most of the set and everything is very good, with Abbey Simon playing the bulk of the collection. OK, he's not quite at the Rubinstein level (especially in the Nocturnes)--but who is?--and his accounts are very graceful and enjoyable. Of Simon's work, so far I most like the Etudes--played with delicacy and poetry rather than fiery virtuosity. I also like Simon's first Concerto (I haven't yet heard the second, which is next on my list). Klein's preludes are very good. I also particularly like Johanessen's Polonaises, played with lyricism and authority. He's a pianist I had not heard before, and I'm very glad to make his acquaintance.
So there's a lot for the veteran Chopinist to appreciate, and it's nice to have his major body of work in a single collection.
Moreover, if you're new to classical music or you don't yet have a comprehensive Chopin collection, this is truly a must-buy, particularly at the present low, low price.