Friday, October 23, 2009
His Strauss is unsurpassed
Many readers have written in praise of Rudolf Kempe after reading my post Great recordings without the spin. Among them is Alex Ross who writes 'His R. Strauss, too, is unsurpassed, perhaps unequaled'. To continue the Kempe thread I am featuring two of his many recordings in my collection. Sleeve's featuring photographs of him are rare. Above is an early CD re-issue of his peerless disc of the Strauss concertos; it does feature an artist photo but is marred by EMI's crassly insensitive typography and logo. Below is my 1973 LP of the Alpine Symphony with its subtle graphics but typical for the period library photo; my 'first edition' disc is, incidentally, encoded in SQ Quadraphonic sound meaning that a multi-channel release (SACD?) would be possible. Unmissable music making as Kempe's blazing interpretation of Strauss' unquiet thoughts melts the hoar frost of musical routine.
Tucked away in the Kempe/Strauss compilations is his recording of the composer's Violin Concerto played by Ulf Hoelscher. The Violin Concerto is often dismissed as juvenilia. But it is worth hearing, and with its appealing melodic line I do not understand why it is not better known. Both discs featured above were, needless to say, bought by me. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk