I mentioned in the Rubinstein thread a few days ago about not liking Zimerman’s Chopin. This was not very fair, because it was based on listening to a small sample of recordings many years ago. As such, I decided to revisit some of his recordings (not just Chopin). I started with the Ballades disc from 1988 (according to Spotify). I really didn’t like the ballades much at all, with the first being the worst (way too fussy). There were some good moments in the coda of the 4th, however. The barcarolle was really very good, and the fantasie offered some new insights. I then listened to his Chopin concerti with Giulini. I think the F minor might be as good as Ashkenazy’s Chopin competition performance, which has been my reference for many years now. KZ played with impeccable taste in both of these concerti. I remember not liking his self-conducted remakes of these, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard them.
I also listened to his Debussy preludes, which I found good interpretatively but, curiously, I didn’t like his sound. Nor did I think he played with much colour. Suprising for Zimerman (especially the sound, which he usually approaches with fanatical perfectionism). I really like his Liszt recordings, e.g. the Sonata and concerti. I don’t know if he’s done much else (think there’s totentanz too, which I remember liking). I’d be interested in other suggestions, btw.