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Rob Cowan
Gramophone, August 2013

Recorded recitals by Wilhelm Kempff are rare enough occurrences to be notable events in themselves, but even if they weren’t, a 1962 mixed recital from the Schwetzingen Festival would warrant special attention. The best is familiar Kempff territory, Beethoven’s wistful , those ‘cool’, crunchy harmonies at the start of the first movement played with a full understanding of their seductive implication, the contrary-motion element in the second movement cleanly focused. The recital opens with three elegantly dispatched Baroque miniatures, Les trois mains and Le rappel des oiseaux by Rameau, Couperin’s Le carillon de Cithère and, most memorably, the G minor Minuet from Handel’s keyboard Suite in B major, HWV434 No 4, where Kempff’s entrancing approach, at once softgrained and three-dimensional, makes for a performance that is both charming and warmly pedalled… The recording is in mono but the sound quality is so consistently good that even ‘monophobes’ will soon adjust. A quite exceptional CD. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone





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