Rubinstein: Chopin Collection

The Chopin Collection, by Artur Rubinstein ★★★
This is not a bad collection, and certainly worth the price. Some of the recordings have not been well cleaned up, and still have very prominent record scratches, serving as a major distraction. I suppose that those noises were left in the delight the ever persisting insistence of vinyl-philiacs that records indeed are a better media for storing musical sound than CDs. Bless their hearts. I have complete sets of Idel Biret (a female Turkish pianist), and Ashkenazy. Ashkenazy is definitely the best of all the sets, with Biret coming in second and Rubinstein third. I also have single CDs of Horowitz on Chopin, which are absolutely superb, and Perahia, also superlative. Rubinstein is mechanically a master of the art of Chopin keyboarding. Though Wikipedia introduces him as “widely considered as one of the greatest piano virtuosi of the 20th century”, I don’t think so, and it was a label affixed more out of his Hollywood popularity rather than his interpretative abilities, and others in the 20th century, such as Horowitz, Brendel, and Ashkenazy had a much greater sensitivity to interpretive qualities of a piece than I ever find in Artur R. For Chopin, I would recommend the Ashkenazy set, or better yet, pick up individual pieces, such as Horowitz’s “My Favorite Chopin”.