Chopin Preludes is the recommendation for this week. I have two suggestions.
Here is one five star Amazon review of the second recommendation.
“Five BRILLIANT Stars! True Argerich Chopin treasures from the Deutsche Grammophon vault celebrating The Frédéric Chopin Year! To hear Martha Argerich play is to hear someone walking among the giants. The 3 time Grammy-winning Argentinean classical piano virtuoso is considered one of our greatest living pianists: a true child prodigy mentored by some of the greats, who lives up to her reputation of genius by thinking each piece through, applying phenomenal technique, and then playing like it’s her last performance of it. And this CD from DG catches her in 1959 (age 18) and 1967 (age 26), not only during her solo music phase but within 2 years of her double victory at age 16 of the Geneva and the Ferruccio Busoni International Competitions “within weeks of each other” in one instance, and within 2 years of winning the 7th International Frédérick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw at age 24, with special prizes given her for mazurkas and waltzes, in the other instance. The youthful Ms Argerich burns with a musical passion and intensity in these performances that makes Chopin’s music leap off the pages.
I have no ‘best of the best’ for this recording because it’s all exceptional. Whether all of this is what Chopin wanted is debatable but he probably would have loved every note of it and she is very convincing. The performance of Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Opus 23 at age 18 is an incredible pianistic feat, laying it side by side with other top pianists, demonstrating ‘the Argerich flair’ that makes this artist so special: marvelous technique, heightened drama, and impeccable timing, all the more remarkable given her young age. This is followed 8 years later by a lightning, nuanced, performance of a teenaged Chopin’s challenging Étude Opus 10, No. 4, in C sharp minor, B74 with Argerich exploding arpeggios in showers of notes as the piece ebbs and flows in ambidextrous intensity from hand to hand: clocking in at a cleanly-articulated, breathless 1:56. The Mazurka No. 36 in A minor, Opus 59, No 1; the Mazurka No. 38 in F sharp minor Opus 59 No.3; as well as the other Mazurkas and Nocturnes are both masterful and deeply emotional playing. But the Piano Sonata No.3 in B minor, Op.58, recorded live at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin, is the ‘tour de force’ of this CD, especially the Allegro maestoso, the fascinating Largo, and the stormy Finale with that last, long sizzling wall-to-wall arpeggio, all clearly demonstrating the fact that Argerich’s mighty reach never exceeds her firm grasp. Recorded in great sound in four venues. Put this CD in a safe place. My Highest Recommendation. Five AMAZING Stars! “