The first two installments in the Argerich Collection deserved nothing less than raves, and this last installment certainly deserves the same on musical grounds. Some of the two-piano pieces tended to be out of print, but with a bit of scouring online, nothing here is exactly scarce. Let me give the contents before making any further remarks, and for those who don't need further remarks, it's enough to say that the whole set is a treasure trove and a bargain, except for those true Argerich devotees who are likely to own most of the higher profile recordings already.
Sonata for 2 pianos, percussion & orchestra, BB 121, Sz. 115
Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
Variations on a theme by Haydn for two pianos, Op. 56b 'St Anthony Variations'
Cinderella, Op. 87
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
Ma Mère l'Oye
La Valse (for 2 pianos)
Rondo for piano duet in A major, D951
Fantasiestücke in A minor for Piano Trio, Op. 88
Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67
The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 'In Memory of a Great Artist'
The pianist's collaborators are nothing less than stellar in their own right: Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Yuri Bashmet, Nicolas Economou, Mikhail Pletnev, and Nelson Freire. I believe that I've reviewed all of these performances individually, but looking over the list now, I must say that each and every recording could be considered best in class, an astonishing claim considering how wide-ranging Argerich's repertoire is on these CDs. As you can see, there's a predominance of piano duets, a form that Argerich favors almost to surfeit; you can get duplications of these works on EMI and other labels, with various partners gathered from her summer festival in Lugano. but she is so attuned to Economou, Pletnev and Freire that no one could be better. the major two-piano music that is absent are Rachmaninov's two Suites. I find Argerich too hectic in those works, but you can judge for ourself by seeking out her versions on Teldec (both suites) and EMI (Suite no. 2).
I suppose I deserve an Unehlpful when I declare that I can't pick a favorite from this box set. But an embarrassment of riches is the best kind of embarrassment, when all is said and done.