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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.
24 helpful votes
25 helpful votes
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Most beginning classical pianists are familiar with Chopin from the easier preludes, waltzes, and nocturnes. I actually first heard many of these pieces for the first time on a Vox box of LPs which included performances by Novaes, Frankl, Klien and others. I think there were 12 LPs and the records were about a dollar a piece. This box does not duplicate that box but there are many excellent performances here. The recording of the etudes by Simon reveals much of the beauty which is frequently lost when these pieces are just played to show off technique. The box also documents the recordings Simon made for Vox of the Waltzes, Scherzos, Ballades, Sonatas, Impromptus, and the two piano concertos. Simon was born in New York in 1922 and has had a long succeesful career as a performer, teacher, and judge at competitions. Simon has a reputation as a super virtuoso who is capable of playing with great beauty, long singing lines, and intelligence. It is wonderful to have so much Chopin from this pianist. I wish the box contained a larger sampling of Moravec's Chopin. Moravec's nocturnes recorded for another label rank very highly on many reviewers lists. This box is an excellent introduction to the music of Chopin. If you love romantic music, you should enjoy this box. If you have never studied the keyboard you might even think about giving it a try. Adults can learn to play the piano. While some of this music is meant for virtuosos only there are many of the pieces that can be started with a year or two of lessons. It is a great way to relax and bring beauty to your life.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on April 30, 2015
I love classical music. Chopin in no exception.

I also love it when I can put an entire stack of LPs on the record player and forget about it all day (but it's hard to find a record player that will automatically turn them over).

Well, Amazon and the people at VoxBox have solved that problem. This album will play for over 11 hours, will flip them if you can imagine it, and will allow you to flip for the music itself.

I wish VoxBox had more of these cheap long albums.
1 helpful vote
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on May 4, 2013
A collection of older performances. Excellent performances and recording quality at an excellent price. You can't beat packages like this to start a library of the music of the masters. Unlike sampler packages that may include only selected movements of major works, these works are complete. The selected pieces in a sampler are like listening a story in which most of the chapters were omitted.
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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on May 11, 2017
Quick review: Quality and Quantity are great. I'm not an expert, but have been listening to Chopin complete sets for years, and I did pick up different voicings in this set that I enjoyed. Notes: I am biased on these big sets for low $, as you'll see in my other reviews.
1 helpful vote
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on May 6, 2015
The recording quality is not the greatest. I like the mix of songs on the album, and for the price it was a great purchase. I do plan on spending the $15-16 for a higher quality album.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on April 5, 2017
These are old recordings, and they have a lot of background noise, pops, and rumbles. Ok, I tossed a dollar to the monkey grinder and the monkey tipped his hat to me, but I can make better use of my disk drive space than this garbage.
1 helpful vote
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on August 23, 2013
This has to be the best deal since Alaska. Abbey Simon was a great interpreter of Chopin and the other pianists included on this amazing set are also inspiring. Regardless of the price this is a very high quality release. I have enjoyed many of these performances on cassette for years (which cost more than a dollar) and now it is good to have it in a digitized format.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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VINE VOICEon August 30, 2013
I cannot say enough about what an outstanding value this set is. This is another one of my VoxBox favorites. Don't think this is just another collection of classic Chopin rendered by second rate artists. Not so Dear Reader! There is one of my favorite pianist, Ivan Moravec, playing Chopin like there is no tomorrow. You will hear from other top notch people like Klein and Simon bringing out the beauty of Chopin.

Most of the numbers are in mono nevertheless the artistry involved makes this a superb set. Thank you VERY much VoxBox.
1 helpful vote
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on October 25, 2017
Great deal for the price. I like the recordings.
1 helpful vote
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