Readers of my national Examiner.com site know that I have a particular interest in recorded anthologies. These often require considerable listening time to prepare for writing. However, that listening establishes a context that often provides a sharper view of any individual composition. Even after I have written my piece, many of these collection hold up to frequent repeat listening experience, as I continue to flesh out a broader perspective of music history that is as much auditory as literary.
Such readers will probably also have observed that I have yet to write about any major collection of music by Frédéric Chopin. The fact is that I do not have any such collection, nor am I particularly interested in seeking one out. For overall breadth in my understanding of Chopin, I have long relied on my collection of the complete recordings that Arthur Rubinstein made for RCA. His coverage of Chopin may not have been comprehensive, but I have made up for any missing pieces with other recordings. Furthermore, most of the major chunks of the Chopin repertoire were recorded more than once by Rubinstein; so this collection offers the luxury of multiple points of view, particularly where the major warhorses are concerned.
Meanwhile, I have plenty of other recordings by many different pianists, all of which properly prevent me from falling back on trying to assume that any of Rubinstein's recordings are, in any way, "ultimate authority" recordings!