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Mahler: Symphony No. 4; Wagner: Parsifal Prelude; Mendelssohn: Ruy Blas Overture / Rudolf Kempe (rec. 1957-67)

Album Summary

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 4 in G major
>Wagner, Richard : Parsifal
>Mendelssohn, Felix : Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95
Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The highly distinguished conductor Rudolf Kempe (1910-1976) started as an oboist with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. During the Second World War, he was chief conductor of the Chemnitz Opera until 1946. He then worked at Weimar for the 1948-9 season, before joining the Dresden Opera and becoming chief conductor. From 1952 to 1954, he was chief conductor of the Bavarian State Opera, which he conducted at Covent Garden in 1953 to great acclaim. Mahler's Symphony No.4 is a new addition to the Kempe discography. The recording, which was discovered in the Music Preserved archive in York, is a real rarity. Similarly, Mendelssohn's Ruy Blas Overture is a new addition to the conductor's discography. It is heard here in a fiery performance captured live from the Royal Festival Hall in 1967 with the LSO. Kempe's account of the Prelude to Act I of Wagner's Parsifal, recorded in 1965, confirms his status as one of the greatest Wagnerian conductors of the 20th century. His Covent Garden performances of Parsifal in 1959 were landmarks for the company.

American Record Guide, May/June 2014
These recordings of Mahler, Mendelssohn, and Wagner date from 1957, 1967, and 1965. The sound is very clear and more than acceptable. The Mahler and Mendelssohn are new to Kempe's discography. The other pieces are fine. Wagner was a specialty of Kempe, and his Parsifal is beautifully played - well controlled and balanced. And the Mendelssohn makes an agreeable filler. This is a fine tribute to one of the mid-century's best conductors. It is particularly desirable because the sonics are well above average for monaural from this period.



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Works Details

>Mahler, Gustav : Symphony no 4 in G major
  • Conductor: Rudolf Kempe
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 52 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1899-1900

>Wagner, Richard : Parsifal :: Prelude to Act 1
  • Conductor: Rudolf Kempe
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 14 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1878-1882

>Mendelssohn, Felix : Ruy Blas Overture, Op. 95
  • Conductor: Rudolf Kempe
  • Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 7 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 03/08/1839