In 1997 Philips reissued Nikita Magaloff’s 1974-78 complete Chopin piano works cycle as a budget-priced, space-saving boxed set that did not last in the catalog very long. It now reappears courtesy of Newton Classics’ ongoing reissues of out-of-print items from Universal Classics’ back catalog.
This 15-disc set, recorded from 1990 to 1992, is a truly complete survey of Chopin's piano music, including juvenilia and the works for piano and orchestra. It may not be quite the triumph of Biret's Brahms set, in which the performances are competitive with the best to be heard anywhere. But all of this playing is thoroughly worthy of the music, and Biret's technique is strong enough to deal with such hurdles as the Études and Scherzi without flinching.
A classic collection of 11 CDs that compiles every recording that the late Arthur Rubinstein released on the RCA label from 1946-1967! Many aficionados consider these definitive performances of Chopin repertoire, produced by the legendary Grammy award winner Max Wilcox and presented in both monaural and stereo recordings.
Claudio Arrau is widely considered by many to be one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. This collection contains many of Chopin works including the rarely performed pieces for Piano and Orchestra such as Rondo a la krakowiak, Fantasy on Polish Airs and Variations on Mozart's La ci darem la mano. Like most of Arrau's works, the Chopin is played very seriously, at slower tempo, but nevertheless is superb. The Preludes, Nocturnes are recommended the most, but this collection is a must have for any Arrau fan.
When Pogorelich did not make the finals of the 1980 Warsaw Competition (where they play exclusively Chopin), his response was to sign with Deutsche Grammophon for his first recording and he made it an all-Chopin affair. From his stunning opening take on Chopin's Sonata #2, to a Funeral March restored to its grandeur, to the breaktaking final moments of the Scherzo #3, Pogorelich announced to the music world that he'd arrived.
France's Naïve label has heavily promoted the career of the young pianist Lise de la Salle, who was 22 when this recording was made. Her fashion-spread good looks fit with Naïve's design concepts, and she has the ability to deliver the spontaneous, unorthodox performances the label favors. How does she fare in a field extremely crowded with Chopin recitals? Her performances certainly aren't derivative of anyone else, and this live recording from the Semperoper in Dresden (you get a one-minute track of just applause at the end) has a good deal of attention-getting flair. The standout feature of de la Salle's performance, in the four ballades at least, is her orientation toward slow tempos, inventively deployed.