KEMPFF PLAYS MOZART – Volumes I & II: All of Kempff’s post-war recordings of Mozart on two 2CD sets. The first comprises five piano concertos, while the second brings together three piano concertos, two sonatas and two Fantasias. The naturalness, expressive freedom, freshness and spontaneity of the music-making will always be treasured.
‘Great performances, like great music, transcend history. Wilhelm Kempff, in his Mozart recital for DG in 1962 achieves miracles of beauty by means which are now frowned upon in certain circles but which are an object lesson in great piano-playing and great music-making: in phrasing at every level, in melodic inflection, finesse of rubato, pianistic colour as an agent of structure, in pedalling.’ Piano
‘The timbral bite and delicious registral differentiation characterising Lubin’s instruments was replicated on a modern grand piano when Wilhelm Kempff sat down to record a ravishing Mozart recital for DG in 1962 . . . Trills, turns and roulades caress the ear to the point where issues of “correct” style are irrelevant, while few pianists match the rhythmic kick of Kempff’s rolled chords in the Rondo alla turca. It’s also refreshing to hear the Fantasias (in D minor and C minor) sound more like unpressured improvisations than tortured soliloquies.’ Gramophone
1Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major KV 271
2Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat major KV 450
3Fantasia in D minor KV 397
4Fantasia in C minor KV 475