Magazine article Gramophone

Kempff Plays Brahms

Magazine article Gramophone

Kempff Plays Brahms

Article excerpt

Eloquence has also placed us in its debt by reissuing the complete run of solo Brahms recordings that Wilhelm Kempff made for Decca in the early 1950s, adding a fluent set of Handel Variations, a rather tightlipped stereo account of the great F minor Sonata, Op 5, and a crisply despatched Scherzo in E flat minor, all three recorded for DG in 1957. Most of the Decca material, including all the 'late' pieces, the Ballades, Op 10, Rhapsodies, Op 79, and the Piano Pieces, Op 76, is included in the first of two all-Brahms double-packs (480 6639). But it's Vol 2--which also includes Kempff's broad and cleanly voiced 1957 DG account of the First Piano Concerto under Franz Konwitschny--which is most interesting, principally because it includes earlier (1950) versions of the Rhapsodies, Op 79, and Intermezzos, Op 117, that have never made it to CD before. It's not difficult to see why, given Lionel Salter's scathing review in these pages (7/51), which is usefully quoted by Jeremy Nicholas as part of an informed note for the current release. …

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