Moravec on VAI, reissues of the excellent Connoissieur Society recordings. Very fine performances, well recorded and some of the best piano sound I've ever heard on CD. Well worth seeking out.
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If you want a recording of all 14 Chopin Waltz's and some other pieces that are played the best, search out Dinu Lipatti. I assume though that this is not what you mean by "sound the best". (Many recorded in 1950 shortly before he died of Leukaemia at age 33.)
If you want to have a "religious" experiance with Chopin, you should purchase the CD by my favorite piano player;
CHOPIN MAZURKAS; BALLADE 1, PRELUDE OP.45; SCHERZO..
ARTURO BENEDETTI MICHELANGELI (1972) DG-413449-2 (CD)
This may be the most wonderful experience in piano music I have ever had.
RCprince & Sugarbrie, ever listen to this one?.......Frank
there are several good ones out there, ie: the ashkenazy stuff on london, but i guess, in my opinion, its tough to beat the remastered rubenstein sets. the sound is beautiful, and they have an excellent 1 Disc "sampler" for new listeners. i also own some very nice old recordings on dg, done by thomas vazary (sp)? anyway, done maybe in the mid 60's, but fine, nonetheless. happy listening! don
I will echo the recommendation of the Moravec recordings originally released on the Connoisseur label. Moravec is a consummate interpreter of Chopin, with performances of extreme intelligence, insight and grace. Additionally, you will be hard pressed to find a more naturally recorded piano than in these Connoisseur recordings.
Gregm, dont forget the Pollini Etudes on DG, unmatched as far as I can hear. Its been nice talking to a few of you in the last 8 months, maybe 3 or 4 total people, but I see that this place is not for me. Stonewalling is what alot of this crowd seems to do. When they hate you, they ignore you. Good luck to all of the nice ones that have been friendly.......Frank
I see excellent taste in the references to the classic performances of Moravec, Lipatti, Rubinstein, and Michelangeli. My German mother-in-law is a concert pianist and a Chopin connoisseur/collector: she once gave me a CD I was very impressed with: El Bacha, Chopin Oeuvres de Jeunesse 2 (1828-1829) (Forlane 1998); it made me love Chopin's juvenilia as I never did before. For the Nocturnes I keep coming back to the Livia Rev on Hyperion, somewhat unsteady rhythmically, but lovingly played and relaxing before bedtime.
Glad to be of service Greg. When the music is this important, it is essential to have the best performances.
AS you probably know, Pollini is a student of Michelangeli's, and has the chops to be able to pull off the nightmarishly difficult Etudes. The record has been in the Catalougue since 1971 and I am sure it must be in print as even DG knows it may be the finest Etudes ever recorded;
CHOPIN: ETUDES OP 10 & 25; DGG 413794-2 (CD)
DGG 2530291 (LP)
The sound is mostly dreadful lacking in bottom fundamentals, but with a performance this great, who cares......Frank
There are some recordings that simply sound more like a real piano (on most systems), and there are some recordings that capture great performances of Chopin. I suspect that most of us on this site would like a combination of both, but even then there remains a wide range of interpretations. My bias is to have the piano score played fairly "straight" without excessive emotion, and in this sense I think Rubinstein was the greatest interpreter of Chopin; plus the RCA CD's don't sound too bad. (On the other hand, Arrau plays with such extreme rubato that I just can't believe it reflects the composer's intentions.) I also like Pollini on DG and would especially recommend the Preludes or Polonaises or Ballades. Don't overlook Valerie Tryon playing Scherzos/Ballades on CBC Records (CD1092). A little known work that inspired me to play Chopin is the set of Waltzes done by Geza Anda on RCA Victrola (CD 7744). Audiophiles, don't miss Malcolm Frager playing selected Chopin on Telarc (CD-80280)... incredibly realistic sound, and very nice technique too. Finally, it is interesting to hear Rachmaninoff play Chopin from the 78rpm records (transfered to CD by BMG Classics), but hard on the ears.
The magnificent Chopin Waltzes, have never really been played to my 100% satisfaction by Rubinstein (uninspired performances),or any other, until I discovered the Dmitri Alexeev performance on EMI Digital(1985). This faulty early digital recording, contains the most inspired, grandiose and wonderful playing of these familiar pieces. A certain rightness to the playing that makes ones inner soul feel great. I searched most of the catalogue and was mostly unhappy with all other performances (including Lipatti on EMI) There may be nothing else Alexeev plays of any value, but his rendition of the Waltz's secures his place in my book..........Frank
CHOPIN: WALTZ'S (19), EMI/ANGEL CDC 7 47501 2 (CD)