The box set comprised 100 volumes featuring 72 pianists of the 20th century, each volume with two CDs and a booklet about the life and work of the featured pianist. The set contains a variety of composers from different eras, from Baroque to Contemporary classical.
The Japanese company, BMG Japan, sorted the original RCA RED SEAL CDs according to the composers and the year when the music pieces were created. BEST100 series are the best representative CDs, which were carefully chosen from those music pieces by acting and recording, and they were released again with the mark of RCA BEST100. These CDs are the most impressive records in the classical field at RCA’s best. Theoretically, we could find the single originals of those CDs, but BMG Japan reorganised excellently for everyone. During BMG Japan period, it was released for the first time in 1999 and for the second time in 2008 after SONY took over BMG. BEST100 series belong to the latter.
A finalist in the XVII International Chopin Piano Competition, Japanese pianist Aimi Kobayashi shows her evident sympathy for the music of the Polish composer here. His Second Piano Sonata, complete with its Funeral March finale, is played with winning poetry in a fine performance that’s alive to the vividly contrasted moments of light and shade. The more demonstrative music of Liszt, too, finds Kobayashi an imaginative interpreter. She tackles the Dante Sonata with energy, and tunes into the contemplative mood of the three Petrarch Sonnets with creativity and personality.