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The Schubert Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon

    Wilhelm Kempff The Schubert Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon CD      When Schubert sounds his magic harp, do we not feel as though we are floating on a sea of sound, freed from everything material?  WILHELM KEMPFF With a virtuosity that was very real, yet never drew attention to itself, Kempffs Schubert was at its heart penetrating and inspired and the depth of his performances could convey the intimacy of a chamber ensemble or project the works as great symphonies for keyboard. It was Kempffs perception that it was the function of a pianists virtuosity to serve, not to exploit; always the music had to be paramount.  Like many great artists he was notably erratic, but any impulsiveness or spontaneity was always driven by artistic will and the search for new discoveries.  Such was his inspiration, his recordings over his 60 year career most of it for DG are a treasure house of discovery; his Schubert recordings being among the finest examples, and not least remaining reference recordings of the repertoire. At his best, he played more beautifully than any of us. ALFRED BRENDEL 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 Huge, implacable, intense and deliberately uningratiating, these are towering performances which emphasize that Schuberts range was no less great than Beethovens and Kempffs no less than anyones.   BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

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