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
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
Freddy Kempf (Piano)
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1913/1931; Russia
Notes: Version: 1913
Composition written: Russia (1913).
Composition revised: Russia (1931).
Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler
Freddy Kempf (Piano)
Notes: Arranger: Sergei Rachmaninov.
Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39: II. Lento assai in A minor
Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39: III. Allegro molto in F sharp minor
Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39: IV. Allegro assai in B minor
Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39: V. Appassionato in E flat minor
Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39: VI. Allegro in A minor
Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39: VII. Lento in C minor
Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39: VIII. Allegro moderato in D minor
Etudes-tableaux, Op. 39: IX. Allegro moderato. Tempo di marcia in D major
Liebesleid (arr. S. Rachmaninov): Liebesleid (trans. S. Rachmaninov)
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