Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Kempff's First "Hammerklavier"
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-Flat Major, Op. 106 ("Hammerklavier")
Wilhelm Kempff, piano
Recorded c. 1935-36
Brunswick-Polydor set BP-4, five 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 102.02 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 45.44 MB)
Jean Sibelius, when Kempff visited him in Finland, requested that he play the slow movement of the "Hammerklavier." When Kempff finished, Sibelius said, "You did not play that as a pianist but rather as a human being."
This set was one of only eight that American Brunswick presented as album sets in about 1937, in its new red-label Brunswick-Polydor series. The entire series was withdrawn after the American Record Corporation (at the time, the parent company of both Brunswick and Columbia) was sold to CBS a year later.