Beethoven’s creativity as a composer was nurtured at the keyboard. Among his early works, those for solo piano are generally regarded as the most original, pointing the way to new means of expression that he was to develop more consistently after 1800. This helps to explain the difficulty in establishing antecedents for his keyboard style. The most vital features of his piano works are better explained from within the music itself, rather than as the result of outside influences. The impression made by Wilhelm Kempff’s performances of Beethoven is that of an embodiment of Beethoven’s remark that music must strike fire from the spirit of mankind. Kempff brought to the 32 Sonatas a sense of fantasy and improvisation. Improvising at the keyboard was Beethoven’s passion, and it is scarcely an exaggeration to describe his sonatas as fantasies which he worked out and wrote down, fair copies of piano monologues, improvisations ordered in cogent form. Kempff recorded the cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas three times over the course of four decades: on shellac between 1926 and 1945 (a few sonatas short of being complete), on shellac and on mono LPs between 1951 and 1956, and finally in stereo in the 1960s. Six decades on, DG proudly presents this legendary latter set at the highest-possible resolution, at 24-bit.
Primary Format - Music
Music Genre Primary
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