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Wilhelm Kempff

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Carnaval, Op. 9 : Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9 - No. 12 Chopin Wilhelm Kempff, Robert Schumann 01:21
Orfeo ed Euridice (Orphée et Eurydice) - Arranged By Wilhelm Kempff : Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (Orphée et Eurydice) - Arranged By Wilhelm Kempff: La Plainte d'Orphée (Ballet) Wilhelm Kempff, Christoph Willibald Gluck 03:02
Papillons, Op. 2 : Schumann: Papillons, Op. 2 - Introduzione. Moderato - No. 1 - 12 Wilhelm Kempff, Robert Schumann 13:09
Suite in E Minor, RCT 2 : Rameau: Suite in E Minor, RCT 2 - 5. Le rappel des oiseaux (Arr. Kempff for Piano) Wilhelm Kempff 03:24
Intermezzi, Op. 117 : Brahms: Intermezzi, Op. 117 - No. 1 in E-Flat Major Wilhelm Kempff 04:37
Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 "The Tempest" : Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, Op. 31 No. 2 "The Tempest" - III. Allegretto Wilhelm Kempff, Ludwig van Beethoven 07:03
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488 : Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488 - II. Adagio Wilhelm Kempff, Bamberger Symphoniker, Ferdinand Leitner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 05:57
Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488 : Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488 - III. Allegro assai Wilhelm Kempff, Bamberger Symphoniker, Ferdinand Leitner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 07:54
Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata Wilhelm Kempff, Ludwig van Beethoven 03:27
Prelude & Fugue in C Major (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, No. 1), BWV 846 : J.S. Bach: Prelude & Fugue in C Major (Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, No. 1), BWV 846 - Prelude Wilhelm Kempff 01:29

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Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 : Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 - I. Allegro con brio (Cadenza by Wilhelm Kempff)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 : Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 - II. Largo
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 : Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15 - III. Rondo. Allegro scherzando (Cadenza by Wilhelm Kempff)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19 : Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 19 - I. Allegro con brio (Cadenza by Wilhelm Kempff)

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Biography

With his precise, melodic style and the subtle ways he held back notes to create suspense, Wilhelm Kempff was one of the first concert pianists to record complete works by the great German composers and became a hugely popular and influential giant of the classical music world.

Born in Potsdam, Germany Kempff's childhood was defined by music and religion, with his father, grandfather and later his brother all working as organists and musical directors at protestant churches. After picking up the basics from his family, he started studying music and composition at the age of nine at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin and had private lessons with the great Italian composer Ferruccio Busoni who taught him in detail the transcriptions of Bach.

In his twenties he headed out on tours of Europe, South America and Japan (where he had an island named in his honour) and he became musical director at the Wurttemberg Conservatory in Stuttgart and after the Second World War he returned to Paris, making his debut in London in 1951. With his first acoustic recordings as a soloist in 1920, it was his masterful renditions of Beethoven and Schubert's complete sonatas that became landmark pieces of the era and helped make his albums for Deutsche Grammophon highly sought after.

He was also admired for his lyrical, rhythmic take on Bach cantatas and his interpretation of romantic composers like Schubert and Schumann and he later worked with chamber orchestras led by Yehudi Menuhin, Pierre Fournier and Paul Grummer. Setting up a home and music school in Positano, Southern Italy, he passed on his ideas about the importance of spirituality and technique to new generations and continued performing until 1981 before he began suffering with Parkinson's Disease. He died at home in Positano in 1991 aged 95 from a stroke, but his music courses were continued by proteges Gerhard Oppitz and John O'Conor.