Béla Bartók was one of the major pianists of the 20th century, something forgotten by many music lovers, who think of him only as a composer. The power, clarity, and concentration of his playing are mesmerizing even across the barriers of years and antique sound. All of Bartók's 78s are here, along with some live performances including the breathtaking 1940 recital with violinist Joseph Szigeti. This set will have the most appeal to those who want to hear the composer's ideas about performing his music. But any lovers of great pianism may find it worth investigating. The recordings are all well transferred.
-- Leslie Gerber