If one uses the word "artist" in the strictest, highest sense, Ashkenazy is that - an artist above most artists. Some performers specialize, and they record the complete piano works of Beethoven, or Mozart, etc. What a marvelous feat. Ashkenazy, however, has gone a long way toward recording the complete works for piano! One might think the man is a machine, but he is not. Every recording of his is a truly new, quite original approach, and his readings always make wonderful sense. Ashkenazy never uses his lightning, ultra-precise technique to show what he can do, but he will use it aplenty if he must (the Rachmaninoff Etude Tableaux), but in many pieces where performers zip through a passage, Ashkenazy will sometimes play that passsage slower than we've ever heard. For him, the music, the artistry of a work is the goal. I have only one question. Why did the producer (and the artist) use that piano in the Chopin Etudes! The instrument's hammers are in dire need of voicing (very metallic), and it's out of tune. In the "Winter Wind" introduction, for example, the sound is painful. The playing of the etudes (one of the pillars of the piano repertoire) is superior to all other recordings. It just seemed so strange that the piano's poor condition would be overlooked. Ashkenazy is one of a small group of transcendent pianists of the last 150 years. There have not been many like him. Hopefully he will keep playing for a long, long time.