Rudolf Kempe conducts Brahms's Second Symphony and Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture.
Having performed as an orchestral musician under Beecham, Busch, Kleiber, Klemperer and Strauss, Rudolf Kempe was well positioned when he began his career as master of the baton, moving from the Leipzig orchestras to Dresden, Vienna and Berlin.
Kempe was understated in his conducting style yet achieved wonders from his orchestral musicians. Renowned for his opera performances and the authenticity of his interpretations, he was also much loved by British orchestras, not least due to the fact that out of only four Music Directorship positions accepted by Kempe, two were with London orchestras – the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, heard here in Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture in a concert from the Royal Festival Hall.
Kempe recorded Brahms's Second Symphony three times in the studio, one of which was with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble that has seen such eminent conductors as Clemens Krauss, Hans Knappertsbusch, Sir Georg Solti, Christoph von Dohnányi, Günter Wand and Eugen Jochum grace its podium. The Brahms on this recording is performed with Kempe's trademark subtlety and sensitivity, remaining true to the original work.
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Verbier Festival 2011