In the 1950s these recordings would have given a very up-to-date impression, I imagine; the playing is extremely clean there's never a hint of sentimental violin slides or over-use of the sustaining pedal. But nearly half a century later, perhaps we're more conscious of the old-world virtues Schneiderhan's beautiful legato bowing and gentle vibrato, Kempff's full, unforced tone, and a flexible approach from both artists, with finely graded ritardandos and subtle variations of tempo.
This important set contains the sixteen Beethoven sonatas that Wilhelm Kempff recorded for Grammophon in Germany between 1940 and 1943. Several are reissued here for the first time since their original release on 78rpm discs and none are currently available elsewhere. The sound is excellent for the period and all reveal the young Kempff at his best, in performances that compliment his later thoughts. The release is the companion of two previous APR releases of early Kempff Beethoven recordings the late sonatas (APR6018) and piano concertos 1, 3, 4 & 5 (APR6019), both of which received excellent reviews and were amongst APRs best sellers.
Conductor Wilhelm Furtwangler already enjoyed a worldwide legendary standing during his lifetime - he was considered the German conductor and performances were greeted with rapturous applause. Today, more than 50 years after his death, Wilhelm Furtwangler is still an icon and his work has become an integral part ofthe music scene.
These recordings were made in wartorn Berlin by one of the past century's greatest conductors, Wilhelm Furtwangler, who was one of very few international caliber artists who remained in Germany during WWII. Combine Furtwangler's passionate conducting with the sad context of war and you've got an utmost interesting and pertinent package.
These live performances were recorded for broadcast during WWII in Germany, and while the sound is not up to modern standards it is surprisingly good for its time. The microphones in the concert hall were wired to a small, windowless control room, where they were primatively "mixed" and the signal sent via telegraph wire to the radio transmitter studio, where it was recorded on early Magnetophone tape recorders. The tapes were captured by the Soviets after the liberation of Berlin and transported to Moscow, where they languished for many years. Some performances were released by the Soviets, but the tapes were eventually returned to Germany and reprocessed in the 1980's.