Kempff had a special affinity for Beethoven. He was not thunderous but tended to be more gentle and lyrical. This is probably the best set there is, made in the 1950s in good sound, with Kempff's virtuosity and flair at its peak. The paying is just that bit better than on his later set (compare the two 'Moonlights) and the recording matches up. At the price this should be snapped up immediately.
This is a fantastic set. Wilhelm Kempf, perhaps the best German Beethoven interpreter of the 20th Century. It is in mono, but I really do not think that this is an issue with piano music! Pay a few pounds and enjoy all of the sonatas at your leisure: tjhere are so many to discover beyond the famous ones.
To answer a couple of queries, this, as you can tell from the track lengths, is Kempff's earlier mono set of the complete sonatas, recorded between 1951 and 56. Many rate it even higher than his later stereo version, and no one would dispute that it is one of the classic accounts. Check out the reviews for the CD version. There are of course many versions of the Beethoven sonatas to choose from, and none is definitive, but it is wonderful to have this available so cheaply (at £2.99 it is 10% the current Amazon price for the CDs).
Good, honest, scholarly performances by the legendary and distinguished pianist Wilhelm Kempff, with sensible, meaningful tempi throughout. No overblown exuberance, sentimentality or eccentricity, just the music interpreted as I’m sure Beethoven would have wanted. Although the performances, in my opinion, were probably recorded late 60’s, the sound quality is quite good. If you like good music and have not previously heard these 32 sonatas then you are in for the treat of your life. For the small sum asked for, this set is an absolute must.
Whist the most tracks are good and the price of the album is very generous, it is not the best style that I wished to hear. This is not to say it is not stylistic - but some interpretations could be more fierce and some could be softer. It is a totally matter of my preference. The recording quality is not amazingly refined, but for the consideration of the overall quality, I think it is a good album.
Never even knew I liked this type of thing. Bought on a bit of whim for some peaceful sounds based on some of the melodies I recognised by name. Can't believe just how much you get in terms of value for money. Just hours and hours and hours of really lovely music. Okay, you won't want it played all day and night every day but for a dinner party, sunday chillax or similar this is great value. I'm sure I'll upset millions of musical purists who are devoted to the finest things in life and will no doubt find it disgusting that I have just managed to turn Beethoven into a Sunday afternoon sofa sound machine...but whatever. Its great, buy it.
This is yet another of those gems of a bargain. As to where it comes from, it's just a guess but from the wonderful playing and decent mono remastered sound i'm guessing this is probably a copy of the 1st cycle Kempff recorded for DG back in the 50s. Again, the lack of the 5th star is purely down to it not being a modern stereo recording but again, I heartily recommend this, even if you already own a cycle, the insights on show here more than justify the modest outlay.
When I was young these recordings were generally regarded as the best ones around. Since then, other good versions have emerged but these performances still more than hold their own among them. it is very welcome to have them available at such a reasonable price.