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.
Most of this disc is taken up with Liszt's Christmas Tree, an unusually modest suite based on Christmas carols. It also offers charming pieces by Reger, Tchaikovsky, Rebikov, and Lyapunov based on Christmas themes, and a couple of Bach transcriptions. Eteri Andjaparidze, whose first CD was a sensational Prokofiev collection, plays this music truly superb musicianship and the kind of pianistic color that has become a rarity. Her Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is the most beautiful I've heard since Dinu Lipatti's. And wait until you hear her delightful playing of Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride! It's deliciously witty and charming.
Works include solo pieces, works for two pianos and four hands piano. The works for two pianos include Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and an arrangement of El Salon México by Bernstein. Four Movements for Two Pianos by Glass was commissioned by the Ruhr Piano Festival for its 20th anniversary celebration in 2008 and was premièred by these artists.