Beethoven was Wilhelm Furtwängler’s guiding musical force. In his interpretations of the symphonies, the conductor generates irresistible dramatic momentum – and a constant sense of imaginative freshness – through the interrelationship of form, harmony, texture, rhythm and tempo. These recordings, all made in the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the Musikverein in Vienna and at concerts in London, Bayreuth and Stockholm, were newly remastered in 2010, bringing their sound more alive than ever before.
Here on five CDs are Wilhelm Kempff’s complete Decca and DG concerto recordings dating from the 1950s. Most mercurial of musical geniuses, Kempff’s playing created an instantly recognisable aura and ambience, making comparison with other great pianists of the 20th century an exercise in irrelevance. For Alfred Brendel, Kempff was ‘like an Aeolian harp, ever ready to respond to whatever interesting wind blew his way’ and although there was clearly a ground plan behind his interpretations they were marked by an improvisatory charm and pulse that gave a rare individuality to virtually all his performances. Outwardly benign (some considered him cosy, or gemütlich) his playing brimmed over with a colour and nuance worn with an enviable ease and lightness. Unlike so many of his colleagues (Schnabel and Myra Hess, for example) Kempff adored recording and was more than happy to present this or that jewel-like facet of a score for his listener’s endless fascination and delight.
This three-CD set showcases Beethoven's most famous Violin Sonatas in multiple performances by some of the 20th century's greatest violin/piano duos. A virtual master class in Golden Age interpretation, this collection features three performances of the "Spring" Sonata and four of the "Kreutzer" Sonata, ranging from Georg Kulenkampff and Wilhelm Kempff's "Kreutzer" in 1935 to Nathan Milstein and Arthur Balsam's "Spring" in 1950. The set also includes the celebrated 1940 "Kreutzer" performance at the Library of Congress by Joseph Szigeti and Bela Bartók. To recapture the magic of these performances for a new century, rare, pristine 78s were transferred and 24-bit digitally remastered using the state-of-the-art CAP 440 technique.
10 CD box set celebrating the work of the German Beethoven-pianist of international renown, Wilhelm Backhaus. It contains all of his concert recordings, the most popular sonatas and waltz-variations.
The complete works of Beethoven on 85 CDs plus a supplement particularly outstanding recordings of the past on 15 CDs!
Including the 32 legendary piano sonatas, played by the eccentric talent of the century Friedrich Gulda
Before anything else is said, it has to be admitted that the 1963 recording with Mstislav Rostropovich and Sviatoslav Richter is beyond all argument the greatest set of Beethoven's cello sonatas ever recorded. Nevertheless, for the single best recording of Beethoven's cello sonata, it should be this 1965 recording by Pierre Fournier and Wilhelm Kempff. Because while Rostropovich and Richter are the greater virtuosos, their virtuosity is also inevitably the prism through which Beethoven's music radiates and his music is colored by their virtuosity.
The thirty-five CDs that make up the present boxed set are designed to acquaint listeners with one of the most important pianists of the 20th century or, if they are already familiar with his work, to allow them to rediscover it anew. Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991) was the final representative of the great tradition of German pianists that also included Artur Schnabel (1882-1951) and Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969). Of the three, Kempff had by far the longest career - he gave his last public concert in 1982.
This six-CD collection of 101 favorite tracks is the perfect introduction to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, considered by many to be the greatest of all classical composers.
The comprehensive collection covers every aspect of this popular composer s music from the power and might of his groundbreaking Choral Symphony to the Viennese charm of his Minuets.
The majority of the concerts given by Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic between 1947 and 1954 were recorded by the RIAS Berlin; all of these recordings are documented in this boxed set. The original tapes from the RIAS archives have been made available for the first time for this edition so these CDs also offer unsurpassed technical quality. Furthermore, some of the recordings are presented for the very first time, such as the Fortner Violin Concerto with Gerhard Taschner.