How thrilling to see these performances FINALLY arrive on CD. Our poor old vinyl copy of the Etudes has been worn paper thin. I can still recall the first time my partner played it for me -- my jaw literally dropped. Performances of astonishing technical virtuosity and brilliant clarity, always in the service of the music itself. You'll hear inner voices in these performances I doubt you've ever heard before. Anievas makes this music speak in a way no other performance I've ever heard has. It's criminal that he's not better known. I can't imagine a better gift to yourself or anyone else who loves this music.
To many piano afficianados, Agustin Anievas' performances of the daunting Chopin Etudes have long been considered among the most accomplished among those of the great artists of our times who have recorded them. Anievas achieves not only technical mastery (he first performed the Etudes at the age of 10!), but succeeds in demonstrating that these works challenge not only the performer's technique, but his interpretative range. Finally, they have appeared on CD, a bargain in itself. But to find the Ballades and Waltzes added to the package makes this one of the best buys of the year, not only musically but economically as well. I rate it among the prize piano albums in my collection.
I stumbled across these disks in my ongoing Amazon.com search for versions of the Chopin waltzes to add to my fairly large collection. I am embarrassed to say that I had known nothing of Agustin Anievas before reading the liner notes that accompany these recordings, but I shall be on the lookout for his name from now on. His interpretations of the waltzes sound relaxed and are certainly realxing. Unlike many other pianists, Anievas seems largely intent upon mining the melodious rather than upon showcasing his own technical abilities -- not only in the waltzes (19 of them rather than the traditional 14) but in the etudes and ballades as well. Particularly impressive is his ability somehow to produce powerful fortes and even fortissimos without banging on the keys. The quality of his sound as reproduced here undoubtedly owes much to engineers and producers of EMI. Anievas obviously loves the music, and he manages to render it more lovable than ever to this Chopinophile. The abundance provided on this 2CD set makes the price a real bargain.