Sunday, May 30, 2010

My recommendations for Chopin recordings

The New York Times recently came out with its recommended Chopin recordings on this, his bicentennial year.  Here are my recommendations (links are to my reviews):

* Concertos: Zimerman - Primakov
* Ballades: Rubinstein - Perahia
* Etudes: Perahia - Wild
* Impromptus: Rubinstein (1960s version) - Perahia
* Mazurkas: Rubinstein (1930s version) - Ohlsson (also, selected Mazurkas from Horowitz and Kapell)
* Nocturnes: Rubinstein (1930s version) - Pires
* Polonaises: Rubinstein (1950s version) - Ohlsson [Ohlsson's version also includes rarely heard early polonaises]
* Preludes: Argerich - Ohlsson
* Scherzos: Rubinstein (1930s version) - Pogorelich (because every piano collection should have some unadulterated wierdness)
* Sonata No. 1: Why bother? But if you must, go with Ohlsson or Ashkenazy.  (Addendum, 2014: Primakov now reigns supreme in this work.
* Sonata No. 2: Rubinstein (1960s version) - Horowitz (1962 version)
* Sonata No. 3: Kapell - Rubinstein
* Waltzes: Lipatti - Rubinstein (preferably both the 1953 and 1963 versions, which are very different from each other)

Miscellaneous compositions:
* Trois Nouvelle Etudes: Rubinstein (1958 version preferably over 1960s version)
* Introduction and Rondo, Op. 16: Horowitz
* Berceuse: Rubinstein (1958) - Cherkassky

Arthur Rubinstein and Vladimir Horowitz.  Two giants of Chopin interpretation with vastly diverging styles.

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