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Wilhelm Kempff Edition (Ltd. 80 CD Box) by Wilhelm Kempff - Audio - shop now at Deutsche Grammophon store
Wilhelm Kempff Edition (Ltd. 80 CD Box) by Wilhelm Kempff - Audio - shop now at Deutsche Grammophon store

Wilhelm Kempff Wilhelm Kempff Edition (Ltd. 80 CD Box)

Product Type: Audio
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“At his best, he played more beautifully than any of us.” ALFRED BRENDEL

Wilhelm Kempff recorded almost exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon over the span of his 60-year recording career, and now Deutsche Grammophon celebrates his incredible legacy with a new 80-CD limited edition set, assembled neatly in four chapters and including six discs of rare shellac recordings, never before released on the label.  Gramophone Magazine described Kempff as ‘one of the great musical persuaders and communicators of our time’.


  • Celebrating Wilhelm Kempff’s incredible legacy on Deutsche Grammophon with over 92 hours of stunning performances, curated in four chapters: Concerto Recordings, Chamber Music, Solo Repertoire, Shellac Recordings (6 CDs)
  • 6 CDs with rare shellac recordings – first release on Deutsche Grammophon
  • 160pp booklet featuring:
    • New informative liner notes by Gregor Wilmes
    • Original photos
  • Includes recordings with Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Yehudi Menuhin, Pierre Fournier, Henryk Szeryng, Pablo Casals, Ferdinand Leitner, Bernhard Klee, Rafael Kubelík, Paul van Kempen, Karl Münchinger, Josef Krips, Anatole Fistoulari, and more


“Kempff's performances of all the great named sonatas [...] are triumphs of communicative music-making.” GRAMOPHONE


ABOUT THE APR RECORDINGS:  Over his 60-year recording career, Wilhelm Kempff never relented in his quest for perfection. Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata, for example, was committed to disc at least nine times! Keeping up with and documenting all this activity was never easy for his record companies,  and many original sources - including nearly all those from the shellac era - no longer exist in Deutsche Grammophon’s master archive.  So to provide as comprehensive an overview of Kempff’s recording career as possible, DG have licensed a legendary nearly-complete Beethoven cycle from the shellac era (1925-43) from APR (transfer engineer: Mark Obert-Thorn) as a  comparison with Kempff’s later complete mono and stereo LP cycles also included in the box.  The edition concludes with Kempff’s very first shellac disc for Deutsche Grammophon, of Beethoven’s C major Bagatelle op.33/5, where he can faintly be heard exclaiming “Donnerwetter”(“Dammit”) when his finger strikes two notes instead of one.   

 “Wilhelm Kempff is one of the great musical persuaders of our time [...] there is that sense of spontaneity, of a live interpretation caught on the wing, one that almost certainly would be modified on another occasion, performances that could never stay static [...] Kempff consistently gives you the illusion that he and you are discovering the music afresh together, that even a recorded performance is a fresh exploration, and that is what I mean by calling him a musical persuader.” – GRAMOPHONE

“No other pianist has communicated Schubert with a greater sense of his final transcendence of earthly pain and travail [...] you are simultaneously made aware of a pianist who brought an Apollonian grace to even the fiercest Dionysian pages of Beethoven and who, arguably, found his truest voice in Schubert. Kempff's tonal sheen and translucence, his magical elixir, remain unique in the history of piano playing.”  GRAMOPHONE


The Concerto Recordings: (14CDs)

Beethoven: Piano Concertos; Mozart: Piano Concertos; Schumann: Piano Concerto, Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1; Liszt: Piano Concerto


Chamber Music: (14 CDs)

Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano and Violin with Wolfgang Schneiderhan and with Yehudi Menuhin

Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano and Violoncello with Pierre Fournier

Beethoven: Trios with Pierre Fournier and Henryk Szeryng

Plus recordings with Pablo Casals, Georg Kulenkampff, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau


Solo Repertoire: (46 CDs)

Works by: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Händel, Liszt, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann including complete Schubert Sonatas and two complete Beethoven Sonata cycles


Shellac Recordings (6 CDs):

Beethoven: Sonatas – Recorded 1920, 1925, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1943