If I had to limit my collection of recordings of the Ballades to only one disc, I would choose this one. I have not always been an admirer of Zimerman's playing. I used to think that he was perfect to a fault and that his playing could be elegant and refined to a point of being detached. I hesitated buying this disc because of this incorrect impression. I was totally taken by these performances. His performances are passionate, individual and mature. I particularly love the way he builds to the end of the F minor Ballade -- one is just swept along in his growing surge of power and brilliance. The Barcarolle and Fantasie are also beautifully played. This is a luxury class performance. The stereo sound is first class. By way of comparison, my collection currently includes Perahia, Tryon, Ax (out-of-print), Davidovich (out-of-print), Ashkenazy, Rubinstein, Arrau, Vasary, Entremont. I enjoy them all (with special honorable mention to Ax and Davidovich).