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Kempff plays Bach, Beethoven & Schubert [Original recording remastered]

Franz Schubert , Johann Sebastian Bach , Ludwig van Beethoven , Wilhelm Kempff Audio CD


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1. Fantasia - Recitativo
2. Fuga
3. In Tempo D'un Menuetto
4. Allegretto
5. Allegro
6. Scherzo. Allegretto
7. Allegro
8. Allegro assai - Andante -Tempo 1 - Andantino - Tempo 1
9. Allegretto
10. Allegro
11. Andante - Allegretto Tranquillo - Andante
12. Allegretto

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cross-section of Kempff in good form 7 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This would probably be as good a disc as any for someone looking for an introduction to Kempff. Here the qualities that distinguish Kempff's playing--a compelling combination of poetry and logic--are consistently in evidence, and the repertoire is well suited to his distinctive style. The downside from the repertoire perspective is that neither sonata is exactly essential Beethoven or essential Schubert (though Kempff does make the Beethoven sound much more interesting than it might in other hands).
How do these compare to Kempff's studio recordings of the Beethoven and Schubert sonatas? The Schubert seems slightly freer and more fluent than the studio version, but in both cases the overall approach is I think basically the same. If you're happy with the studio versions, there probably isn't a compelling reason to get these live ones too (and if you really don't like the studio versions you probably won't like these any better). However, the D. 946 piano pieces aren't included in Kempff's studio Schubert sonatas and may make this disc worth acquiring even if you do own that set.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious and historical recital! 30 Aug 2010
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Wilhelm Kempff was more than a great pianist, a singular artist or fabulous musician; he became an emblem in the art of playing the piano. Nobody like him has made to sing the piano with such warmth, expression, or assertiveness. This memorable recital which took place in 1969 shows him in the peak of his artistic powers. His august playing, accurate commitment, incomparable genius and unequalled éclat derives from his genuine attitude around every piece he played, going to the deepest layers of the meaning of the score and far beyond. And this courageous approach I have felt it in other seven artists, Sviatoslav Richter, Edwin Fischer, Paul Badura-Skoda, Joseph Szigeti, Denis Brain, Wilhelm Furtwangler and Pablo Casals.

Radiant, expressive and accurately played , this historical recital was widely commented and coveted. And thanks to this extraordinary label, we have the chance to reproduce it for preserving the memory over the years.

Bach, Beethoven and Schubert were together with Schumann, Brahms and Mozart the most akin composers around the prestigious and successful career of this legendary artist. Such is the transcendental significance of this recital. It's part of the legend of one of the few poets the piano ever had.

Don't miss by any pretext.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Cantabile is the Essence of Music" 21 Jan 2012
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Legend has it that Robert Johnson once met up with the Devil in the backblocks of Mississippi and in exchange for his soul, became master of the Blues. I wonder whether Kempff likewise made some sort of Faustian deal; how else does one explain his most unique attribute: the weightlessness of his art?

Kempff is considered to be a Beethoven specialist but there are limitations: no titanism. Other pianists more virile have greater claims in works such as the Waldstein, the Appassionata and the Hammerklavier. But whenever Beethoven turns inwards to address God, Kempff is sovereign. It's the Pianist as Prospero. Perhaps the best illustration of his sorcery is the Paris concert from October 1968 Wilhelm Kempff Plays Schumann: Arabeske, Papillons, Davidsbundlertanze (EMI Classic Archive 24), and Beethoven: Piano Sonatas No. 14 Moonlight, No. 17 Tempest, No. 27 in E Minor. Even the Devil himself - a virtuoso of éclat - must have been enthralled by this Tempest: "we are such stuff as dream are made on, and our little life is rounded by a sleep". The Parisians look utterly mesmerized and rightly so. If a fire had broken out, they would have perished in the flames.

This BBC disc emanates from a famous concert. Much like the grassy knoll in Dallas, it is amazing how many people now claim to have been there on the night.

Kempff is always magisterial in Bach: where else is one to find such sonorous polyphony? The Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue, BWV903, sound as if they are being played by a ghost: they're hypnotically ethereal. The booklet states that they run for 12'12"; I am prepared to believe it but ultimately I do not know: I was insentient to the world for its duration. They're the chief reason to acquire this disc. Kempff's account of Beethoven's Opus 54 sonata and the various works by Schubert might replicate his feats from elsewhere but they're triumphs all the same. In his hands, the F Minor sonata by Schubert, a minor work in the cold light of day, refutes Democritus in its reversal of time; once again, however temporarily, one stands pristine in the Garden. And remember to start breathing at the close of the G Flat Impromtus.

The (stereo) recording is suitably atmospheric.

I do not know what consideration Kempff had to offer up in exchange for the deal; I hope the Devil went easy on him.
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Casals Were An Angelic 19 year old Girl, This is How S/He Would Play Piano 27 Feb 2006
By achdukleidustein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Obviously Casals was a cellist, but what i mean is Kempf has the sound of a sturdy classicist, no gimmicks, while at the same time this absolutely angelic, (or magical if you prefer) quality to his playing that makes it sound both etheric and improvised.

This won't suit everyone's taste. For example, his Goldberg Variations, i am very used to and in love with Gould's rendition, so it took a little while to get used to Kempf's. They are both very very fine.
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