Rudolf Kempe

Biography

Born: June 14, 1910; Niederpoyritz, Saxony   Died: May 12, 1976; Zurich, Switzerland  
One of the great unsung conductors of the middle twentieth century, Rudolf Kempe enjoyed a strong reputation in England but never quite achieved the international acclaim that he might have had with more aggressive management, promotion, and recording. Not well enough known to be a celebrity but too widely respected to count as a cult figure, Kempe is perhaps best remembered as a connoisseur's conductor, one valued for his strong creative Read more temperament rather than for any personal mystique.

He studied oboe as a child, performed with the Dortmund Opera, and, in 1929, barely out of his teens, he became first oboist of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. His conducting debut came in 1936, at the Leipzig Opera; this performance of Lortzing's Der Wildschütz was so successful that the Leipzig Opera hired him as a répétiteur. Kempe served in the German army during World War II, but much of his duty was out of the line of fire; in 1942 he was assigned to a music post at the Chemnitz Opera. After the war, untainted by Nazi activities, he returned to Chemnitz as director of the opera (1945-1948), and then moved on to the Weimar National Theater (1948-1949). From 1949 to 1953 he served as general music director of the Staatskapelle Dresden, East Germany's finest orchestra. He then moved to the identical position at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, 1952-1954, succeeding the young and upwardly mobile Georg Solti. During this period he was also making guest appearances outside of Germany, mainly in opera: in Vienna (1951), at London's Covent Garden (1953), and at New York's Metropolitan Opera (1954), to mention only the highlights. Although he conducted Wagner extensively, especially at Covent Garden, Kempe did not make his Bayreuth debut until 1960. As an opera conductor he was greatly concerned with balance and texture, and singers particularly appreciated his efforts on their behalf.

Kempe made a great impression in England, and in 1960 Sir Thomas Beecham named him associate conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic. Kempe became the orchestra's principal conductor upon Beecham's death the following year, and, after the orchestra was reorganized, served as its artistic director from 1963 to 1975. He was also the chief conductor of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra from 1965 to 1972, and of the Munich Philharmonic from 1967 until his death in 1976. During the last year of his life he also entered into a close association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Interpretively, Kempe was something of a German Beecham. He was at his best -- lively, incisive, warm, expressive, but never even remotely self-indulgent -- in the Austro-Germanic and Czech repertory. Opera lovers prize his versions of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger, and Ariadne auf Naxos. His greatest recorded legacy, accomplished during the last four or five years of his life, was the multi-volume EMI set of the orchestral works and concertos of Richard Strauss, performed with the highly idiomatic Dresden Staatskapelle. These recordings were only intermittently available outside of Europe in the LP days, but in the 1990s EMI issued them on nine compact discs. Read less

There are 144 Rudolf Kempe recordings available.

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Biography

Born: June 14, 1910; Niederpoyritz, Saxony   Died: May 12, 1976; Zurich, Switzerland  
One of the great unsung conductors of the middle twentieth century, Rudolf Kempe enjoyed a strong reputation in England but never quite achieved the international acclaim that he might have had with more aggressive management, promotion, and recording. Not well enough known to be a celebrity but too widely respected to count as a cult figure, Kempe is perhaps best remembered as a connoisseur's conductor, one valued for his strong creative Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Einleitung -
Von den Hinterweltlern -
Von der grossen Sehnsucht -
Von den Freuden-und Leidenschaften -
Das Grablied -
Von der Wissenschaft -
Der Genesende -
Das Tanzlied -
Nachtwandlerlied
Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 36 (1989 Digital Remaster): I. Adagio - Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 36 (1989 Digital Remaster): II. Larghetto
Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 36 (1989 Digital Remaster): III. Scherzo (Allegro)
Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 36 (1989 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro molto
Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60 (1989 Digital Remaster): I. Adagio - Allegro vivace
Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60 (1989 Digital Remaster): II. Adagio
Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60 (1989 Digital Remaster): III. Allegro vivace - Trio (Un poco meno allegro)
Symphony No. 4 in B flat Op. 60 (1989 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro ma non troppo
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92 (1989 Digital Remaster): I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92 (1989 Digital Remaster): II. Allegretto
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92 (1989 Digital Remaster): III. Presto - Assai meno presto
Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92 (1989 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 8 Op. 93 (1989 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro vivace e con brio
Symphony No. 8 Op. 93 (1989 Digital Remaster): II. Allegretto scherzando
Symphony No. 8 Op. 93 (1989 Digital Remaster): III. Tempo di menuetto
Symphony No. 8 Op. 93 (1989 Digital Remaster): IV. Allegro vivace
Bruch: Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.26 - 1. Vorspiel (Allegro moderato)
Bruch: Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.26 - 2. Adagio
Bruch: Violin Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.26 - 3. Finale (Allegro energico)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Introduction : Mäßiges Zeitmaß (Don Quixote sinks into madness)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Mäßig (Don Quixote)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Maggiore (Sancho Panza)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation I: Gemächlich (The adventure of the windmills)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation II: Kriegerisch (The battle with the sheep)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation III: Mäßiges Zeitmaß (Discourses between Knight & Squire)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation IV: Etwas breiter (The adventure with the pilgrims)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation V: Sehr langsam (Don Quixote's vigil during the summer night)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation VI: Schnell (The meeting with Dulcinea)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation VII: Ein wenig ruhiger als vorher (Don Quixote's ride through the air)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation VIII: Gamächlich (The voyage on the enchanted boat)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation IX: Schnell und stürmisch (The combat on the two magicians)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Variation X: Viel breiter (The defeat of Don Quixote)
Don Quixote - Fantastic variations, Op.35 (1987 Remastered Version): Epilogue: Sehr ruhig (Don Quixote's death)
Overture
Act I: Victoria! Victoria! Der Meister soll leben - Peasant March (Chorus)
Act I: Interlude
Act I: Schau der Herr mich an als Konig! (Max, Kilian, Chorus)
Act I: Dialogue: Was gibt hier? (Kuno, Kilian, Max, Kaspar, Peasants, Tapstresses)
Act I: Oh, diese Sonne, furchtbar steigt sie mir empor! (Max, Kuno, Kaspar, Chorus)
Act I: Dialogue: Ein recht braver Mann, der Herr Forste! (Kilian, Max, Peasants)
Act I: Waltz: Peasants Dance
Act I: Recitative: Nein! Langer trag' ich nicht die Qualen - Aria: Durch die Walder, durch die Auen (Max)
Act I: Dialogue: Gut, dass ich dich hier finde (Kaspar, Max, Tapstresses)
Act I: Song: Hier im ird'schen Jammertal (Kaspar, Max)
Act I: Dialogue: Du musst doch mitsingen! (Kaspar, Max)
Act I: Finale: Schweig! Scheweig - damit dich niemand warnt (Kaspar)
Act II: Duet: Schelm! Halt fest! - Ich will dich's lehren (Aennchen, Agathe)
Act II: Dialogue: So, nun wird der Altvater (Aennchen, Agathe)
Act II: Arietta: Kommt ein schlanker Bursh gegangen (Aennchen)
Act II: Dialogue: Und der Bursch nicht minder schon! (Aennchen, Agathe)
Act II: Aria: Wie nahte mir der Schlummer - Leise, leise, fromme Weise (Agathe)
Act II: Dialogue: Bist du endlich da, lieber Max! (Agathe, Max, Aennchen)
Act II: Trio: Wie? Was? Entsetzen! - Dort in der Schreckensschlucht? (Agathe, Aennchen, Max)
Act II: Finale: Milch des Mondes fiel aufs Kraut (Chorus) - Samiel! Samiel! Erschein (Kaspar, Samiel) - Trefflich bedient! Hier erst das Blei (Kaspar, Max, Samiel, Echo, Chorus)
Act III: Entr'acte
Act III: Cavatina: Und ob die Wolke sie verhulle (Agathe, Aennchen)
Act III: Dialogue: Ei, du hast Dich dazugehalten (Aennchen, Agathe)
Act III: Aria: Einst Traumte meiner sel'gen Base (Aennchen)
Act III: Wir winden dir den Jungfernkranz (First Brdesmaid, Second Bridesmaid, Third Bridesmaid)
Act III: Was gleicht wohl auf Erden (Huntsmen's Chorus)
Act III: Dialogue: Genug der Freuden des Mahls, werte Freunde und Jagdgenossen
Act III: Finale: Schaut, o schaut (Agathe, Aennchen, Max, Kuno, Kaspar, Ottokar, Chorus)
Act III: Recitative and Aria: Wer legt auf ihn so strengen Bann (Hermit)
Radio interview with Karl von Appen, scenic artist with the Dresden Staatsoper
Act II: Duet: Schelm, halt fest! (Aennchen, Agathe)
Act II: Arietta: Kommt ein schlanker Bursh gegangen (Aennchen, Agathe)
Act II: Aria: Wie nahte mir der Schlummer (Agathe, Aennchen)
Act III: Aria: Einst Traumte meiner sel'gen Base (Aennchen)
I. Maestoso
II. Adagio
III. Rondo: Allegro non troppo
Lohengrin: Act I: Einsam in trüben Tagen
Lohengrin: Act I: Nun sei bedankt, mein lieber Schwan!
Lohengrin: Durch Gottes Sieg ist jetzt dein Leben mein (Lohengrin/Chor/König/Elsa/Ortrud/Friedrich)
Lohengrin: Act II: Du wilde Seherin!
Lohengrin: Vorspiel (Orchester)
Lohengrin (2000 Remastered Version): Treulich geführt ziehet dahin (Chor)
Lohengrin: Das süße Lied verhallt: wir sind allein
Lohengrin: In fernem Land (Lohengrin/König/Chor)
Lohengrin: Act III: Mir schwankt der Boden!
Lohengrin: Act III: Mein lieber Schwan!
Don Juan Op. 20 (1992 Remastered Version)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Thema der Siegesgewißheit (Certainty of victory)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Walstatt (The hero's battlefield)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Walstatt [Kriegsfanfaren] (The hero's battlefield [War fanfares])
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Friedenswerke (The hero's works of peace)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung (The hero's withdrawal from the world)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Entsagung (Renunciation)
Der Rosenkavalier, Op.59 (1992 Remastered Version): Waltz Sequences (Acts II & III)
Symphony No. 1 Op. 21 (1995 Remastered Version): I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 1 Op. 21 (1995 Remastered Version): II. Andante cantabile con moto
Symphony No. 1 Op. 21 (1995 Remastered Version): III. Menuetto (Allegro molto e vivace)
Symphony No. 1 Op. 21 (1995 Remastered Version): IV. Adagio - Allegro molto e vivace
Symphony No. 3, 'Eroica' Op. 55: I. Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 3, 'Eroica' Op. 55: II. Marcia funebre (Adagio assai)
Symphony No. 3, 'Eroica' Op. 55: III. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
Symphony No. 3, 'Eroica' Op. 55: IV. Allegro molto - Poco andante - Presto
Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 (1995 Remastered Version): I. Allegro con brio
Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 (1995 Remastered Version): II. Andante con moto
Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 (1995 Remastered Version): III. Allegro -
Symphony No. 5 in C minor Op. 67 (1995 Remastered Version): IV. Allegro - Presto
Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68: I. Allegro ma non troppo (Awakening of cheerful feelings on arriving in the country)
Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68: II. Andante molto moto (Scene by the brook)
Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68: III. Allegro (Merry gathering of the country folk) -
Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68: IV. Allegro (Storm and tempest) -
Symphony No. 6 in F 'Pastoral' Op. 68: V. Allegretto (Shepherds' Song. Happy and thankful feelings after the storm)
Symphony No. 3 in F Op. 90 (1994 Remastered Version): I. Allegro con brio - Un poco sostenuto
Symphony No. 3 in F Op. 90 (1994 Remastered Version): II. Andante
Symphony No. 3 in F Op. 90 (1994 Remastered Version): III. Poco allegretto
Symphony No. 3 in F Op. 90 (1994 Remastered Version): IV. Allegro - Un poco sostenuto
Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op.98 (2002 Remastered Version): I. Allegro non troppo
Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op.98 (2002 Remastered Version): II. Andante moderato
Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op.98 (2002 Remastered Version): III. Allegro giocoso
Symphony No. 4 in E minor Op.98 (2002 Remastered Version): IV. Allegro energico e passionato
Scheherazade (2002 Remastered Version): I. The Sea and Sinbad's Ship
Scheherazade (2002 Remastered Version): II. The Story of the Kalendar Prince
Scheherazade (2002 Remastered Version): III. The Young Prince and the Young Princess
Scheherazade (2002 Remastered Version): IV. The Festival at Baghdad - The Sea - The Ship goes to pieces on a Rock surmounted by a Bronze Warrior
Symphony No. 9 in E monir 'From the New World' Op.95 (2002 Remastered Version): I Adagio - Allegro molto
Symphony No. 9 in E monir 'From the New World' Op.95 (2002 Remastered Version): II Largo
Symphony No. 9 in E monir 'From the New World' Op.95 (2002 Remastered Version): III Scherzo (Molto vivace)
Symphony No. 9 in E monir 'From the New World' Op.95 (2002 Remastered Version): IV Allegro con fuoco
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Introduktion : Mäßiges Zeitmaß
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Thema: Mäßig - The Knight of the Mournful Countenance
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation I: Gemächlich - The adventure of the windmills
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation II: Kriegerisch - The battle with the sheep
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation III: Mäßiges Zeitmaß - Dialogue of Knight and Squire
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation IV: Etwas breiter - The adventure with the procession of penitents
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation V: Sehr langsam - Don Quixote's vigil
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation VI: Schnell - Dulcinea's enchantment
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation VII: Ein wenig ruhiger als vorher - The ride through the air
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation VIII: Gamächlich - The adventure of the enchanted boat
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation IX: Schnell und stürmisch - The battle with the enchanters
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Variation X: Viel breiter - Don Quixote's defeat and journey home
Don Quixote - Fantastic Variations on a Knightly Theme Op. 35 (1958 Remastered Version): Finale: Sehr ruhig - The death of Don Quixote
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Der Held (The Hero)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Widersacher (The hero's adversaries)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Gefährtin (The hero's wife)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Thema der Siegesgewißheit (Certainty of victory)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Walstatt (The hero's battlefield)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Walstatt [Kriegsfanfaren] (The hero's battlefield [War fanfares])
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Friedenswerke (The hero's works of peace)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung (The hero's withdrawal from the world)
Ein Heldenleben Op. 40 (1988 Remastered Version): Entsagung (Renunciation)


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