Wilhelm Kempff: The Complete Wartime Beethoven Piano Sonata Recordings | APR APR7403

Wilhelm Kempff: The Complete Wartime Beethoven Piano Sonata Recordings


Currently out of stock at the UK suppliers. Available to order, but is likely to take longer than usual to despatch

Label: APR

Cat No: APR7403

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 4

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 29th September 2017

Gramophone Editor's Choice



This important set contains the sixteen Beethoven sonatas that Wilhelm Kempff recorded for Grammophon in Germany between 1940 and 1943. Several are reissued here for the first time since their original release on 78rpm discs and none are currently available elsewhere. The sound is excellent for the period and all reveal the young Kempff at his best, in performances that compliment his later thoughts.

The release is the companion of two previous APR releases of early Kempff Beethoven recordings – the late sonatas (APR6018) and piano concertos 1, 3, 4 & 5 (APR6019), both of which received excellent reviews and were amongst APR’s best sellers.


CD 1
Piano Sonata No.2 in A major, op.2 no.2 (29 February 1940)
Piano Sonata No.9 in E major, op.14 no.1 (13 & 15 March 1940)
Piano Sonata No.10 in E major, op.14 no.2 (15 March 1940)
Piano Sonata No.11 in B flat major, op.22 (15 March 1940)

CD 2
Piano Sonata No.4 in E flat major, op.7 (13 March 1940)
Piano Sonata No.5 in C minor, op.10 no.1 (13 March 1940)
Piano Sonata No.6 in F major, op.10 no.2 (13 March 1940)
Piano Sonata No.7 in D major, op.10 no.3 (13 March 1940)

CD 3
Piano Sonata No.8 in C minor 'Pathétique', op.13 (13 March 1940)
Piano Sonata No.12 in A flat major, op.26 (21 March 1940)
Piano Sonata No.14 in C sharp minor 'Moonlight', op.27 no.2 (8 May 1941)
Piano Sonata No.21 in C major 'Waldstein', op.53 (11 & 16 June 1943)

CD 4
Piano Sonata No.13 in E flat major, op.27 no.1 (8 May 1941)
Piano Sonata No.15 in D major 'Pastoral', op.28 (8 May 1941)
Piano Sonata No.18 in E flat major, op.31 no.3 (21 June 1943)
Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor 'Appassionata', op.57 (7 & 21 June 1943)


In contrast to the large-scale structure and dynamic brio characterising Artur Schnabel’s influential Beethoven interpretations, Kempff generally approached Beethoven from a more intimate, less cosmic, cameo-like vantage point, elucidating formal niceties through discreet pedal effects, subtle colorations and unexpected yet never exaggerated accents. ... The original recordings are sonically well balanced and give a good measure of Kempff’s sonority.  Jed Distler
Gramophone November 2017

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