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Rachmaninov: Sonata No 2, Etc; Kreisler / Kempf

Release Date: 04/15/2000 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1042   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei RachmaninovFritz Kreisler
Performer:  Freddy Kempf
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Be it the first 1913 edition or the pruned-down 1931 rewrite, Rachmaninov's Second Sonata, for all its stimulating pianism, is a tough nut to crack for audience and performer alike. It shares the more familiar Third Concerto's mercurial drama, vertigo-inducing runs, and oceanic chordal thrusts, but lacks its melodic appeal. With the more opulent, original text in hand, Freddy Kempf sails through this daunting opus without one nanosecond of struggle. He also likes to tinker around with lyrical passages and pull inner voices out of the lush textural marshes, but never to the brink of parody. Kempf's sensibility parallels Van Cliburn's famous live 1960 recording, but with the benefit of gorgeous, state-of-the-art engineering. If you want to Read more hear this work from the devil's vantagepoint, well, there's always Vladimir Horowitz. In the Op. 39 Etudes-tableaux, I miss the sheer scintillation and stricter timekeeping other pianists have brought to selected pieces. Yet Kempf's gentler overview of the whole adds up to a more individual entity than competing versions from Howard Shelley and Gordon Fergus-Thompson. A delicately wrought Kreisler/Rachmaninov Liebeslied seals this recital with a languid airkiss. In sum, an admirable disc from a pianist who, at 23, is very much his own man.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Freddy Kempf (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913/1931; Russia 
Notes: Version: 1913
Composition written: Russia (1913).
Composition revised: Russia (1931). 
Etudes-tableaux (9) for Piano, Op. 39 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Freddy Kempf (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Performer:  Freddy Kempf (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Sergei Rachmaninov. 

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