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Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Beethoven: The Late Piano Sonatas
  • +
  • Beethoven - Piano Sonatas 8, 14, 21 & 23  (DG The Originals)
Total price: £12.07
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Product details

  • Composer: Beethoven
  • Audio CD (24 Mar. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Import Music Services
  • ASIN: B000001GY0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,405 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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7
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8
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9
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Disc 2
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Product Description

KEMPFF WILHELM

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've heard many versions of the late Beethoven sonatas since the early 70s when I was overwhelmed by these Kempff recordings. Brendel, Rosen, Ashkenazy come to mind, but must take second place. With Kempff, sublime simplicity describes the sonatas as well as the interpretations. The lightweight DG recordings match the heavenly playing.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It doesn't matter if these recordings duplicate those one may have of other artists. Kempff's interpretations are classics of their kind and bring unfailing pleasure. I am doing no more than approving of what is approved of but in the face of such class, what is one to do? These recordings date from the '60's, perhaps his best period, but with digital remastering the sound is almost a match for modern recordings so is not an issue.
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Format: Audio CD
The Righteous Brothers' song, "You've lost that Lovin' Feelin'" might be the cannon fodder of Elvis impersonators worldwide; even so, it contains one astounding lyric:

"You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips."

Consider this. The experience-to-come is so intense that one must forego the realm of the senses in order to savour it.

Here, it holds true of Kempff's 1964 survey of Beethoven's last piano sonatas where the composer shuns the world to encompass the immensity of being and tracery of the unmoved mover. It's so incendiary in its payload, mere homo sapiens can only endure for so long. This is not an aural experience: it's the bonfire of the senses and a door in itself.

In his notes for Wilhelm Kempff: Rare Recordings, Donald Manildi offers a superlative explanation of Uncle Wilhelm's wizardry:

"The distinctive qualities of Kempff's mature musicianship are many and varied. He has been called, with justice, a master of understatement. This observation refers not only to his abhorrence of eccentricities, histrionics, and ostentation; it applies equally to Kempff's preferences for a moderate spectrum of tempo choices wherein fast movements are often taken at less than their maximum limits, and slower sections are never stretched to the extreme lengths to which certain other pianists seem addicted. Similarly, Kempff never forced his instrument into anything resembling tonal ugliness. Instead he cultivated an extraordinary command of the mezzo piano to pianissimo range, enhanced by a variety of touch and a control of subtle nuance that is rare among players of any school or generation.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Extremely restrained concise readings of these Sonatas played with the right amount of delicacy and feeling as one would expect from this peerless Beethovian.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am very happy with the CDs
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