Zimerman's earlier performances are full of panache and authority remarkable for such a young pianist, or indeed for any pianist. These are a first choice. The recorded sound is excellent; the piano balance is a little, but not grossly, forward, but I find this fully acceptable in the Chopin concertos. Those choosing between these earlier recordings and Zimerman's new ones with a hand-picked orchetra, also on Deutsche Grammophon, are urged to go for the older recordings with Giulini, because they have much more spontaneity and freshness. The new ones aren't bad, but Zimerman is often quite mannered. He also has the dubious distinction of being the first to require 2 discs for the Chopin piano concertos--every other coupling I've ever come across comfortably fits on one CD.
UPDATE: In Europe Deutsche Grammophon has already re-released this album as part of their Originals series (at mid-price isntead of the current release's full price). If you can hold on a bit, I would wait for that issue...contrary to what a reviewer below says, this recording is NOT digital (it is in very fine, if very late, analog), so the "Original Image Bit Processing" remastering for DG Originals may be a marginal improvement--not that this remastering is cause for complaint.