Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wilhelm Kempff Plays Beethoven

In 1970, when DG issued their bicentenary Beethoven Edition, Wilhelm Kempff’s cycle of the piano sonatas, completed only five years previously, was the only possible choice. I am glad that in 1997 it remains the choice, when with the sound noticeably improved — not just over the original shallow-sounding LPs but over the earlier CD issue — Kempff’s insight remains unsurpassed.
It was only last year (4/96) that I did a detailed study, setting both of Kempff’s cycles, the mono as well as this stereo set, against Schnabel’s equally authoritative but strongly contrasted cycle, yet once again the magic of Kempff leaves me in wonder, his magnetism, his unfailing sense of spontaneity, his ability to clarify textures with astonishingly clean articulation and sharp dynamic contrasts, and not least his lyrical flow, with extreme speeds generally avoided. I suppose that Barenboim’s DG cycle might have been chosen instead, but that is more effortful, less spontaneous than his superb earlier EMI set, and would have been disappointing compared with this.
Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [1997; reviewing Kempff's entire stereo Beethoven cycle]

Source :

Wilhelm Kempff


Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Sonata n° 8 in C minor "Pathétique", Op. 13
1 I. Grave - Allegro di moto e con brio  7:16
2 II. Adagio cantabile  4:55
3 III. Rondo. Allegro  4:35

Piano sonata n° 14 in C-Sharp minor
4 I. Adagio sostenuto - attacca:  6:00
5 II. Allegretto - attacca:  2:19
6 III. Presto agitato

Piano sonata n°  21 in C major "Waldstein", Op. 53
7 I. Allegro con brio  10:55
8 II. Introduzione. Adagio molto - attacca:  3:05
9 III. Rondo. Allegretto moderato   9:50

Piano Sonata n° 23 in F minor "Appassionata", Op. 57
10 I. Allegro assai  9:52
11 II. Andante con moto - attacca:  6:00
12 III. Allegro, ma non troppo - Presto  8:46


Wilhelm Kempff - p

Recorded at Beethoven-Saal, Hannover, West Germany ; September 1964 & January 1965


Melanchthon said...

lowgroove said...

Thank you for this. Some of my most favorite pieces.

BachRocks44 said...

Nice to see classical back again. Thank you!

anders said...

thank you mel may the weekends find you well

Karajanych said...

Hi, Melanchthon!
Thanks very much for this great release, but the files has expired.
Would you be so kind to reupload them?
Thanks in advance!