There are not many good complete recordings of Chopin's dances in the current catalogue, so] a big welcome to the Philips compilation of the Polonaises and Waltzes - not quite all the Waltzes, though only anoraks will complain about the minor omissions.
Adam Harasiewicz won the Warsaw Chopin Competition in 1955, preceding Pollini [in 1960] and Argerich [in 1965]. I have no hesitation in making this issue my benchmark for both Polonaises and Waltzes. Harasiewicz has an impeccable sense of style - just listen to the crisp edge he gives the opening of the "Military" Polonaise, Op. 40 no. 1 - and he also has an acute poetic sense - as in the gloomy fatalism which hangs over the E flat minor Polonaise, Op. 26/2. Read more
His command of Chopin's virtuoso decorative writing is superb, too - he revels in it - and he's one of the very few pianists to solve the riddle of the problematic Polonaise-Fantaisie, taking the listener through it without any uncertainty.
In the Polonaises Harasiewicz keeps a sense of dignified poise. In the Waltzes, on the other hand, he is irresistibly physical, even punchy, while characterising contrasted sections with a brilliant sense of character.