Paul van Kempen

Conductor

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Verdi & Fauré: Requiems

Verdi & Fauré: Requiems


Fauré:

Requiem, Op. 48

Pierrette Alarie (soprano), Camille Maurane (baritone) & Maurice Duruflé (organ)

Chœurs Elisabeth Brasseur & Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux, Jean Fournet

Verdi:

Requiem

Gré Brouwenstijn (soprano), Maria von Ilosvay (contralto), Petre Munteanu (tenor) & Oskar Czerwenka (bass)

Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma & Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma, Paul van Kempen


Verdi’s mighty operatic Requiem and Fauré’s more demure offering are stablemates in this collection of rare recordings of these masterpieces. Reissues of Paul van Kempen’s recordings on Eloquence have been garnering great critical plaudits and this is the first international release on CD of his recording of the Verdi, made for Philips in 1955 and featuring stirring contributions from the soloists, especially soprano Gré Brouwenstijn and contralto Maria von Ilosvay. Jean Fournet recorded the Fauré Requiem twice. While his later recording, in stereo, has been widely available, his darker 1953 reading of this work, which features Pierrette Alarie and Camille Maurane, is a rarity.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4824011

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

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Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3, 7, 8 & Consecration of the House Overture

Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 3, 7, 8 & Consecration of the House Overture


Beethoven:

Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 'Eroica'

Consecration of the House Overture, Op. 124

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92

Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93


Except among record collectors and an ever dwindling number of music lovers who were lucky enough to have heard him conduct in public prior to his death in 1955, Van Kempen remains little more than a name in a book. The reasons for his relative obscurity are not that difficult to understand. Outside The Netherlands and Germany he had no career to speak of, and during his prime he conducted in wartime Europe, which was hardly the ideal place from which to spread his fame throughout the English-speaking world. Yet on the evidence of a handful of extraordinary commercial recordings made between 1951 and the year of his death, Van Kempen was clearly one of the most distinctive musical minds of his generation and one of the most individual Tchaikovsky conductors the century has known.

Following the very popular release of Paul van Kempen’s Tchaikovsky recordings with the Concertgebouw Orchestra on Philips (Decca Eloquence 480 8536), we now present the three Beethoven symphonies (Nos. 3, 7 and 8, recorded in 1951 and 1953) he made for Philips, coupled with his 1952 Deutsche Grammophon recording of ‘The Consecration of the House’ Overture. The mono sound is vibrant and the performances, all with the Berliner Philharmoniker, are insightful, passionate and thrilling.

“this is an outstanding issue. […] Van Kempen and the Berlin orchestra do indeed play the work in a wonderfully sensitive manner” Gramophone Magazine, December 1954 (Symphony No. 3)

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4820270

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 & Tone Poems

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 & Tone Poems


Tchaikovsky:

Capriccio italien, Op. 45

Romeo & Juliet - Fantasy Overture

1812 Overture, Op. 49

Marche slave, Op. 31

Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'


Between January and December 1951 Dutch conductor Paul van Kempen recorded a series of major Tchaikovsky works with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The performances are at once fiery and incandescent – a kind of meaningful sound and fury – and have long been out of the catalogue. But even when they were issued they divided critical opinion, some seeing the recordings as revelatory, others as hysterical. Van Kempen’s Tchaikovsky recordings are clearly those of a man who was not only a spiritual descendent of the Great Romantic conductors of the past, but was also a fiery, audacious and temperamental musician with a number of deeply personal things to say. Born in 1893, Van Kempen joined the first-violin section of the Concertgebouw when he was 17. In 1934 , he was appointed conductor of the ailing Dresden Philharmonic, whose fortunes he guided during the next eight years. During his tenure, Van Kempen transformed the orchestra into one of the best in Germany, earning special praise for his precise yet sweeping interpretations of the major choral and orchestral scores of German Romanticism. His recordings of the fifth and sixth symphonies of Tchaikovsky have long been prized among collectors. Here then are all of Van Kempen’s Tchaikovsky performances with the Concertgebouw collected on a 2CD set. As James Svejda points out in his illuminating notes, ‘Compared to the often bland and faceless time-beating that passes for Tchaikovsky ‘interpretations’ today, the Van Kempen recordings are a souvenir of a long-vanished era when conductors were men, not anonymous ciphers, a time when the composer and his major interpreters could all be unabashed, unashamed Romantics.’ Clearly, this isn’t Tchaikovsky for the faint-hearted!

Recordings: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 1951 (1812 Overture), May 1951 (Symphony No. 6, Marche slave), July 1951 (Romeo and Juliet), December 1951 (Symphony No. 5, Capriccio italien)

“Van Kempen delivers hyper-Romantic, viscerally exciting Tchaikovsky in the manner of his Dutch mentor, Willem Mengelberg.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2014 ****

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4808536

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

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Concertgebouw Lollipops

Concertgebouw Lollipops


Berlioz:

Le carnaval romain Overture, Op. 9

Eduard van Beinum

Benvenuto Cellini Overture

Bernard Haitink

Clarke, Jeremiah:

Trumpet Voluntary 'Prince of Denmark's March'

Eduard van Beinum

Dvorak:

Scherzo capriccioso, Op. 66

Bernard Haitink

Elgar:

Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major, Op. 39 No. 1

Antal Doráti

Franck, C:

Les Eolides - Symphonic Poem

Willem van Otterloo

Glinka:

Ruslan & Lyudmila Overture

Bernard Haitink

Grieg:

Two Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34

Eduard van Beinum

Nicolai, C O:

Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor overture

Eduard van Beinum

Rimsky Korsakov:

Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36

Igor Markevitch

Saint-Saëns:

Danse macabre, Op. 40

Bernard Haitink

Schubert:

Marche Militaire, D733 No. 1

orch. Guiraud

Paul van Kempen

Sibelius:

Finlandia, Op. 26

Eduard van Beinum

Sousa:

Semper Fidelis

Antal Doráti

The Stars and Stripes Forever

Eduard van Beinum

Strauss, J, I:

Radetsky March, Op. 228

Paul van Kempen

Strauss, R:

Der Rosenkavalier - Suite

Eugen Jochum

Thomas, Ambroise:

Mignon Overture

Eduard van Beinum

Verdi:

La Forza del Destino: Sinfonia

Bernard Haitink


This highly appealing collection of light-orchestral classics gathers up eighteen years in the history of one of the world’s most celebrated orchestras during the golden age of the LP.

Ever since its foundation in 1883, the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam has been blessed with a hall that, to all intents and purposes, belongs to them. Unlike many of their rivals, they not only perform but rehearse and record in the hall. The hall’s own superb acoustic has always been a further attraction for record companies, and between 1950 and 1968 microphones were frequently set up to record the orchestra.

Those microphones mostly belonged to Decca and to the fledgling local Philips company, and on the podium were not only its music directors – during this period, Eduard van Beinum and, from 1961, Bernard Haitink – but also celebrated guest conductors. There were long-established maestros and friends of the orchestra such as Eugen Jochum, Paul van Kempen and Willem van Otterloo, but also younger, dynamic maestros including Antal Doráti.

When recording sessions went well, and the main works were in the can ahead of schedule, the time was not wasted, but filled with shorter pieces. These would both conveniently fill out a short-measure LP and be guaranteed enticements to the ever-growing market of consumers, though in some cases, the reserve pieces were only released on a 45-rpm record, which sometimes disappeared from the catalogue after a short period.

Many of those recordings, often made on the hoof with a delightful spontaneity that shines through even now, are gathered on this set for the first time. Typical of them is The Stars and Stripes Forever. This was put on tape one day in September 1958 without rehearsal, played straight through, and at the end Van Beinum addressed the orchestra: ‘Now that, gentlemen, is a recording!’

Sometimes the juxtapositions of conductor and repertoire are immediately arresting: not only Van Beinum in Sousa but Haitink in Glinka and Verdi. The waltz-suites from Der Rosenkavalier play to Jochum’s under-rated strengths as an operatic conductor. Igor Markevitch conducts the Polovtsian Dances and Russian Easter Festival Overture to the manner born.

The booklet includes an informative and insightful note by Niek Nelissen, as well as cover illustrations of the LPs and EPs that gave rise to this unique collection.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4825650

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.75

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 weeks.

Beethoven: Piano Concertos

Beethoven: Piano Concertos

Pre-War and Wartime 78-rpm recordings 1925–1942


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15

Recorded in September 1925 (Polydor 69815/8)

Berlin State Opera Orchestra

Bagatelle in C Major, Op. 33, No. 5

Recorded in 1920? [Kempff’s 1st recording] (Polydor 62400)

Ecossaises (6) in E flat major, WoO 83

Recorded in 1920? (Polydor 62400)

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

Recorded on 11 June 1942 (Polydor 67946/50)

Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul Van Kempen

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Recorded on 19 March 1940 (Polydor 67674/8)

German Opera House Orchestra, Berlin, Paul Van Kempen

Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 'Emperor'

Recorded on 6 January 1936 (Polydor 67082/6)

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Raabe

Rondo a capriccio in G major, Op. 129 ‘Rage over a lost penny'

Recorded on 24 September 1937 (Polydor 62802)


Wilhelm Kempff had such a long life, and recorded so prolifically in the LP era, that we tend to forget that he began his recording career in 1920 in the acoustic period, and recorded much of Beethoven’s piano output, including four of the five concertos, on 78s.

This set is a companion to the recently issued set of late sonatas (APR6018) and includes what was the first ever recording of Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto – a late acoustic recording from 1925 which shows the young Kempff was much more sprightly in this work than he later became. In spite of the primitive recording, the energy of the outer movements and the poetry of the slow movement are not compromised. Concertos 3 to 5, in better sound and featuring the greatest German orchestras of the period, reflect ‘state of the art’ Beethoven interpretation at this time and are a worthy alternative, if less well known, to the Schnabel cycle.

The set is filled out with the first ever CD issue of Kempff’s first recording, of a Beethoven Bagatelle and Eccossaises, and a wonderfully extrovert performance of the ‘Rage over a lost penny’ Rondo.

APR - APR6019

(CD - 2 discs)

$16.75

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Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Hungarian Dances

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Hungarian Dances


Brahms:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83

Adrian Aeschbacher (piano)

Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor

Hungarian Dance No. 3 in F major

Hungarian Dance No. 5

Hungarian Dance No. 6 in D flat major

Hungarian Dance No. 17 in F sharp minor

Hungarian Dance No. 18 in D major

Hungarian Dance No. 19 in B minor

Hungarian Dance No. 20 in E minor

Hungarian Dance No. 21 in E minor


DG - 4796014

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Reger: Hiller-Variations

Reger: Hiller-Variations


Berlioz:

Benvenuto Cellini Overture

Brahms:

Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Reger:

Variations and Fugue on a theme of Johann Adam Hiller Op. 100

Rossini:

Guillaume Tell Overture


DG - 4796015

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Wilhelm Kempff, Vol. 6

Wilhelm Kempff, Vol. 6


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul van Kempen

Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 'Appassionata'


Documents - Wilhelm Kempff - 297637

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Wilhelm Kempff, Vol. 4 (1953, 1956)

Wilhelm Kempff, Vol. 4 (1953, 1956)


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul van Kempen

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ‘Moonlight'


Documents - Wilhelm Kempff - 297635

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Wilhelm Kempff, Vol. 5 (1951, 1953)

Wilhelm Kempff, Vol. 5 (1951, 1953)


Beethoven:

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Paul van Kempen

Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 'Waldstein'


Documents - Wilhelm Kempff - 297636

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