The Originals - up to 40% off

Wilhelm Kempff

Kempff toured very widely in Europe and much of the rest of the world. Between 1936 and 1979 he performed ten times in Japan and a small Japanese island was named Kempu-san in his honor. Kempff made his first London appearance in 1951 and in New York in 1964. He gave his last public performance in Paris in 1981 and died in Positano, Italy at the age of 95.

Wilhelm Kempff recorded over a period of some sixty years. He is celebrated today for his recordings of Schumann, Brahms, Schubert, Mozart, Bach, Liszt, Chopin and particularly, of Beethoven.

He was among the first to record the complete sonatas of Franz Schubert, long before these works became popular. He also recorded two renowned sets of the complete Beethoven sonatas (and one early, almost complete set on shellac 1926-1945), one in mono (1951-1956) and the other in stereo (1964-1965).

One anecdote may illustrate Kempff's ability as an interpreter of Beethoven. During a stay in Finland, his friend the composer Jean Sibelius asked him to play the Hammerklavier of Beethoven and, after Kempff finished, Sibelius told him, "You did not play that as a pianist but rather as a human being."

Kempff also played chamber music with Yehudi Menuhin and Pierre Fournier, among others. Particularly famous are the recordings of the complete Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano with Menuhin.

See below for records in this promotion by Wilhelm Kempff, or click here to see all records by this artist.

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Liszt: Piano Works

Liszt: Piano Works


Liszt:

Sposalizio (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 1)

Il penseroso (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 2)

Canzonetta del Salvator Rosa (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 3)

Sonetto 47 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 4)

Sonetto 104 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 5)

Sonetto 123 del Petrarca (Années de pèlerinage II, S. 161 No. 6)

Gondoliera, S. 162 No. 1 (from Venezia e Napoli)

Legendes (2) for piano, S. 175


“The Beethoven/Schubert connection in Liszt's music is beautifully brought out by the octagenarian Kempff in these thoughtful, deeply lyrical, unmissable interpretations.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2011 *****

“One has only to begin with the hauntingly beautiful "Sposalizio" or the delightful "Gondoleria" to rediscover the lyrical magic and poetry of Kempff's playing...Indeed, this is masterly playing, quite unforgettable, and the recording, balanced by Klaus Scheibe, produces a totally realistic sound image - not in the least dated.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

GGramophone Magazine

Re-issue of the Month - May 2011

Originals - up to 40% off

DG Originals - 4779374

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Mozart: Piano Concertos: No. 23 K488, No. 24 K491, No. 8 K246

Mozart: Piano Concertos: No. 23 K488, No. 24 K491, No. 8 K246


Originals - up to 40% off

DG Originals - E4577592

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Beethoven - Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5

Beethoven - Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5


Beethoven:

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

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


Originals - up to 40% off

DG Originals - 4474022

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Beethoven - Piano Sonatas

Beethoven - Piano Sonatas


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 'Pathétique'

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

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

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


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DG Originals - E4474042

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Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K331 'Alla Turca', etc.

Mozart:

Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K331 'Alla Turca'

Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K310

Fantasia in D minor, K397

Fantasia in C minor, K475


"Kempff's disarming simplicity of style hides great art. This is a wonderful record, in a class of its own and not to be missed on any account. The performance of the mature Fantasy, K.475, is surely one of the most beautiful pieces of Mozart-playing on record." Penguin Guide*** (1977)

“My only negative reaction to this marvellous disc is its brevity. If there is such a thing as ideal Mozart playing, Wilhelm Kempff achieves it: lucid, passionate, firm in structure and spacious.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2006 *****

Originals - up to 40% off

DG Originals - 4775907

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