on November 29, 1999
If you've ever wanted a benchmark recording of Chopin, get this one!
This recording made waves more than a decade ago when it was one of the first to take advantage of Telarc's state-of-the-art digital recording process. On an LP, it challenged many styli to stay on-track during the lowest keys of the Tarantelle. (Telarc used this recording as a test track for audiophile equipment.) On CD, it still ranks among the best recordings in a now technically stringent industry.
But that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. This CD's success lies in its two main stars: Malcolm Frager and the Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand Piano. Frager gives a truly remarkable performance of Chopin. His selected pieces provide a rich sampling of what the composer has done for the piano. I particularly loved his rendition of Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise-a work not often included in many repertoires. And the Bösendorfer (considered the "Rolls Royce" of pianos) sounds astounding-crisp, sweet treble and clear, resonant bass. This piano should really be featured in more recordings.