Search catalogue


Freddy Kempf plays Rachmaninov, Bach/Busoni, Ravel & Stravinsky

Composer Johann Sebastian Bach
Sergey Rachmaninov
Maurice Ravel
Igor Stravinsky
Performer Freddy Kempf
Catalogue Number BIS-1810 SACD
EAN 7318599918105
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Feb 2011
Total time 63'45

All four works on this disc rely on existing compositions, with titles that more or less specifically refer to this fact. In the case of Rachmaninov’s Corelli Variations, it is the famous theme used by Corelli in his violin sonata La Follia which undergoes a radical pianistic treatment taking it through all the sonic and atmospheric possibilities offered by the instrument.

With his celebrated transcription of Bach’s Chaconne, Ferruccio Busoni had a very different aim, wanting to shed new light on the work without actually changing it. As he himself wrote, Bach taught him ‘to recognize the truth that good, great and universal music remains the same, regardless of whatever means through which it resounds.’ A virtuoso pianist, Busoni nonetheless had recourse to great skills in writing idiomatically for the instrument, and turned his transcription into a truly pianistic work.

Ravel’s collection of waltzes was composed as a nod to Schubert, who in 1823 had written two collections of waltzes, the Valses nobles and Valses sentimentales. In no way is it possible to call the work a pastiche, however – in it Ravel shows the range of his musical palette, in a manner that caused Debussy to call his ear ‘the most refined that has ever existed’.

Finally, Stravinsky’s Three movements from Petrushka is the composer’s arrangement of music from his own ballet, commissioned by Arthur Rubinstein. The origin of the music to Petrushka was in fact a sketched work for piano and orchestra, and the later arrangement was therefore to an extent a return to the original concept. The result is a virtuoso piece, in which an almost percussive approach to the instrument is combined with lightning-quick changes in atmosphere and sound.

Freddy Kempf has previously recorded no less than ten highly acclaimed solo discs for BIS, of which the latest also contained a series of legendary piano works, namely Mussorgsky’s Pictures, Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit and Balakirev’s Islamey – according to Gramophone’s reviewer ‘a formidable programme formidably played… This is “live” virtuosity with a vengeance, with absolutely no hint of a safety net.’
Choose format
  Sergei Rachmaninov
  Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op.42 18'15
01 Theme. Andante 0'53
02 Var. 1. Poco più mosso 0'39
03 Var. 2. L’istesso tempo 0'38
04 Var. 3. Tempo di Menuetto 0'46
05 Var. 4. Andante 0'55
06 Var. 5. Allegro (ma non tanto) 0'20
07 Var. 6. L’istesso tempo 0'21
08 Var. 7. Vivace 0'24
09 Var. 8. Adagio misterioso 1'30
10 Var. 9. Un poco più mosso 1'12
11 Var. 10. Allegro scherzando 0'35
12 Var. 11. Allegro vivace 0'21
13 Var. 12. L’istesso tempo 0'34
14 Var. 13. Agitato 0'39
15 Intermezzo. A tempo rubato 1'11
16 Var. 14. Andante (come prima) 0'54
17 Var. 15. L’istesso tempo 1'26
18 Var. 16. Allegro vivace 0'27
19 Var. 17. Meno mosso 1'02
20 Var. 18. Allegro con brio 0'35
21 Var. 19. Più mosso. Agitato 0'30
22 Var. 20. Più mosso 0'56
23 Coda. Andante 1'27
  Johann Sebastian Bach
  Chaconne from Partita No.2 for violin, BWV1004 (arranged by F. Busoni)
24 Chaconne from BWV1004 (arr. Busoni) 13'57
  Maurice Ravel
  Valses Nobles et Sentimentales 14'45
25 1. Modéré – très franc 1'20
26 2. Assez lent 2'23
27 3. Modéré 1'18
28 4. Assez animé 1'09
29 5. Presque lent 1'19
30 6. Vif 0'40
31 7. Moins vif 2'46
32 8. Epilogue. Lent 3'50
  Igor Stravinsky
  Trois mouvements de Pétrouchka 15'08
33 1. Danse russe (Russian Dance) 2'29
34 2. Chez Pétrouchka (At Petroushka’s) 4'44
35 3. La semaine grasse (The Shrove-Tide Fair) 7'55
  Album total 63'45
PianoKempf, Freddy
ComposerBach, Johann Sebastian
Rachmaninov, Sergei
Ravel, Maurice
Stravinsky, Igor

© BIS Records AB | | Phone +46 (0)8 544 102-30 BIS online store - Terms and Conditions