Video: Video Finds: Music — Wilhelm Kempff |
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Video Finds: Music — Wilhelm Kempff

Speaking as one master of the piano about another, Alfred Brendel said about Wilhelm Kempff that he could play things that were beyond him. It reminds you of what Artur Schnabel said of Beethoven’s sonatas: music better than can be played. Take the two statements together and we can perhaps begin to appreciate what Kempff did for the third movement of the Beethoven’s “Moonlight” sonata. Experts say that his rendition is full of mistakes but those of us who can’t hear them are likely to be carried away by the forward surge. Not that Kempff was playing with unusual speed: unlike Schnabel, who liked things either very quick of quite slow, Kempff was a man for the middle tempo. But Kempff was playing with an unusually convincing, almost jazz-tinged sense of rhythm. When I was young a boxed set of records was a formidable thing, but a boxed set of Kempff was one of the very first things I bought, bankrupting myself for a month.

Click HERE to see Kempff play the 3rd movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata.