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Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Favorite Piano Transcriptions / Wilhelm Kempff


Release Date: 06/12/2007 
Label:  Eloquence   Catalog #: 4576242   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachChristoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Wilhelm Kempff's youthful experience as an organist informs every measure of his Bach transcriptions in their linear clarity and registral sensitivity. We can readily perceive these qualities when comparing Kempff and Busoni's treatments of the same works side by side. The gothic dimensions of Busoni's "Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland" and "Ich ruf zu dir" contrast with Kempff's more translucent keyboard layout. Kempff's 80-year-old fingers weave his Gluck and Handel transcriptions into dulcet, lyrical gold. You may find more vital, dance-oriented piano performances of Bach's G minor English Suite, but few so rarified in nuance and voice leading.

The more intimately
Read more scaled G major French Suite, however, remains one of Kempff's greatest recordings. He moves from movement to movement barely stopping for breath, and gorgeously rounds off the Allemande and Sarabande's edges without ever letting the lines droop. By contrast, the vivid Courante skips along on its merry way, buoyed by illuminating accents. Kempff's left hand work in the Bourée might well be mistaken for a built-in bassoon or cello. The Gigue quietly emerges from the shadow of the Louré, evoking a chest of whistles played by laughing elves. You'll never get tired of replaying this movement over and over again, because you'll hear new Kempffian revelations each time. Hear this miraculous recording for yourself.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1723; ?Weimar, Germany 
2. Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit, BWV 307 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
3. Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in E flat major, BWV 1031: 2nd movement, Siciliano by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1734; Leipzig, Germany 
4. Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 727 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany 
5. Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
6. In dulci jubilo, BWV 751 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
7. Wir danken dir, Gott, BWV 29: no 1, Sinfonia in D major by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1731; Leipzig, Germany 
8. Concerto for Harpsichord in F minor, BWV 1056: 2nd movement, Largo-Arioso by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
9. Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Blessed Spirits by Christoph W. Gluck
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1762/1774; Vienna, Austria 
10. English Suite no 3 in G minor, BWV 808 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1715; Weimar, Germany 
11. French Suite no 5 in G major, BWV 816 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1724; Leipzig, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Kempff is superb! December 23, 2013 By Allan B. (Calgary, AB) See All My Reviews "There is nothing fake or forced about Wilhelm Kempff's Bach. His own transcriptions are great, and he plays with a simple transparent elegance that lets the music shine through." Report Abuse
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