Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 1-32 - Kempff

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas 1-32 - Kempff

Deutsche Grammophon  4837429


Classical - Instrumental

Beethoven: 32 Piano Sonatas

Wilhelm Kempff (piano)

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2 of 2 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

Analogue recording
Resolutions (1)
  • 2.0 DTS HD MA 24bit/96kHz
Works (32)
Comments (19)

Comment by Dissonance - October 3, 2019 (1 of 19)

Forthcoming BD-A + CDs combinations by Universal:

Beethoven: Complete Works for Cello and Piano
Pierre Fournier (cello), Friedrich Gulda (piano)
(2-CD remastered original recordings + BD-A)
(Due to be released in November 2019)

Beethoven: Complete Symphonies
Wiener Philharmoniker, Andris Nelsons (conductor)
(5 CDs + BD-A containing complete repertoire mastered at 24-bit/96 kHz in stereo)
(Due to be released on 4th October 2019)

Comment by Gordon Lilley - October 17, 2019 (2 of 19)

I had never owned the entire Kempff cycle from the mid 60s, just a few LPs, but I had forgotten how elegant and humane his playing was. I have listened only to the high-resolution Blu-ray Disc and found the sound as fresh and immediate as the day it was recorded. The sound is better than I ever remembered; DG's crisp sound was always perfectly suited to Kempff's pianistic style. The high-resolution remastering was done by MSM Studios, Munich and I could not recommend this beautiful package more enthusiastically. The CDs will remain in the bottom of the box.

Comment by Contrapunctus - October 18, 2019 (3 of 19)

Thank you for the information about the remastering studio (MSM), Gordon Lilley.

It's again the same procedure with new highres-remasterings of old DG recordings:
- Release on BD-A (Blu-Ray), remastering by MSM Munich (Universal)
- Release on SHM-SACD, remastering by Emil Berliner Studios (Universal Japan LLC)

The Beethoven piano sonatas (Kempff) are also comming on SHM-SACD (new EBS-remaster; release: Nov. 20, 2019), Vol. 1 = UCGG-9160; Vol. 2 = UCGG-9163

Comment by Gordon Lilley - October 21, 2019 (4 of 19)

Thanks Contrapunctus... that comparison should be very interesting. This duplication of effort is a pity, there are so many recordings crying out for release in HR. Is there any chance of getting Fischer-Dieskau Schubert lieder on DG?

Comment by Contrapunctus - October 22, 2019 (5 of 19)

Gordon, you're absolutely right with your comment about superfluous double remastering work of one an the same recording. - I don't know if we'll see some HR-remastered Schubert/Fischer-Dieskau Lieder in the near future, but sometimes a dream becomes true... (On top of my DG-remastering wish-list are Helmut Walcha's stereo recordings of J.S.Bach's organ works.)

Comment by Jacek Minorczyk - October 23, 2019 (6 of 19)

BTW, DSD Mastering for the Vintage classic SACD collection series released by Japanese Tower Records is also made by Emil Berliner Studios ....

Comment by RCC - October 24, 2019 (7 of 19)

This Blu-ray remastering of Kempff's Beethoven cycle is an unexpected and gratifying gift, as I'm sure, even more so, will be the Universal Japan SACD sets. Kempff's Beethoven is unforced and natural, lyrical and poetic, if lacking the virtuosity and heaven-storming quality of Pollini or Gilels. DGG sound has always been less than audiophile. That said, my complaint about this Beethoven set is the omission of Kempff's recordings of the variations Op. 34, 35 & WoO 80, and the recordings Kempff made of Andante Favori, Rage Over a Lost Penny, etc. They appear in his big complete DGG recordings box, and would have made this Beethoven set more complete, as the Schubert sonatas collection was completed by the Impromptus, Three pieces, etc.

Comment by Gordon Lilley - October 25, 2019 (8 of 19)

from looking on the universal Japan site it looks like there are 3 volumes coming in November, not 2. Am I mistaken?

Comment by Contrapunctus - October 25, 2019 (9 of 19)

Gordon, Universal Japan is going to release 3 new SACD sets featuring Kempff. 2 volumes with the piano sonatas, the other (third) set with the piano concertos (BPO/Leitner). In December the series goes on with another 3 sets, again with Kempff: works for cello and piano (+Fournier); violin sonatas (+Menuhin); piano trios/clarinet trio (+Szeryng/Fournier/Leister).

(I think, that Universal Japan is going on with Beethoven because of his 250th birthday in 2020. Let's hope that they do also at least one full set of the string quartets, e.g. Quartetto Italiano...)

Comment by Gordon Lilley - November 5, 2019 (10 of 19)

Puzzlingly, the for the new Kleiber "Fledermaus", the booklet states that the Blu-ray and CD remastering was done by Emil Berliner Studios (EBS). The Pure Audio Authoring, MSM Studios, Munich. I find that a little confusing, can anyone explain? Contrapunctus?

Comment by Contrapunctus - November 6, 2019 (11 of 19)

Sorry, Gordon, but I can't give you a reliable and valid answer - only a guess:
I think, that the main remastering was done by MSM, only the "Dolby Atmos" part was created/generated by EBS (probably using the MSM-files as base?). Dolby Atmos was created by and is a trademark of EBS. So the presence of EBS on this Fledermaus could be because of licensing/copyright reason. But again: I don't know it for sure.

Comment by Jacek Minorczyk - November 9, 2019 (12 of 19)

Sonatas are also available in European Qobuz as Hi-Res download in PCM 24/96, for 26.99 Euros

Comment by Chew Chiat Naun - December 3, 2019 (13 of 19)

Can anyone confirm if the Universal Japan SACDs of the piano sonatas are new remasterings? The pages for the other Kempff releases on the Universal Japan site and on various retailer web sites include a statement that each release is a new DSD remaster by Emil Berliner Studies. But this statement is absent from the pages for the Beethoven piano sonata sets. This leads me to wonder if the SACDs are based on the same 24/96 PCM master used for the blu-ray set and the download.

Comment by Contrapunctus - December 4, 2019 (14 of 19)

Volume 1 of the new SACD set is on it's way to me. I'll have a close look to the booklet. I also want to do some comparative listening (SACD vs. BluRay/download) - if there IS a different remastering.

Comment by Contrapunctus - December 5, 2019 (15 of 19)

Volume 1 with 3 SHM-SACDs containing sonatas 1-15 arrived me today.

1.) Remastering: Indeed a new genuine EBS-remastering from Oct. 2019 - according to the booklet.
2.) Comparative listening between BluRay/download = remastered by MSM and SACD = remastered by EBS: tape hiss is especially in quieter tracks an issue. The overall sound of MSM appears to me a bit polished with emphasized trebles whereas the sound of EBS seems more full-bodied with a bit more depth. MSM appears a bit more glaring in louder passages than EBS.

Comment by Chew Chiat Naun - December 5, 2019 (16 of 19)

Thanks, I very much appreciate this report. In the only instance where I've had the chance to compare an MSM blu ray with an EBS SACD - the Amadeus Quartet's Beethoven op. 59/1 and 131 - I found the EBS just a little fuller, more fluid, less grainy. The difference is admittedly quite subtle. But the Kempff recordings are such personal favourites that I'm going to splash out for them. I've just listened again to his earlier mono DG recording of the op. 54 sonata, and yes - his playing is absolutely inimitable.

Comment by Contrapunctus - December 6, 2019 (17 of 19)

Well, Chew Chiat Naun, you're obviously in love with Kempff's Beethoven and so I can really recommend the SACD sets to you. About the tape hiss: because of the treble-pronounced sound on MSM-BluRay/download the tape hiss appears also a bit more emphasized in the upper frequencies, which is a bit annoying (to me). Band noise on the EBS-SACDs is more subtle. This and the overall sound impression makes the SACDs in my opinion to a better (albeit more expensive) choice.

Comment by Contrapunctus - December 10, 2019 (18 of 19)

Universal Japan continues with Beethoven - and DG recordings: in February 2020 the string quartets with Amadeus Quartet will be released on two 3-SACD volumes. New remastered by Emil Berliner Studios. So we'll have again two different new remasterings of one and the same recording, because the quartets are already available on BluRay/download - remastered by MSM Studios Munich.

Comment by balideva - October 1, 2020 (19 of 19)

This is awesome