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Rudolf Kempe


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Symphony No.4

Parsifal - Prelude

Ruy Blas Overture

Joan Alexander
BBC Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra

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Kempe’s studio recording of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony came about due to the ill-health of Bruno Walter in May 1957. Originating from the Music Preserved Archive in York, this exceptionally rare release is a new addition to the Kempe discography. His fiery performance of Mendelssohn's Ruy Blas Overture caught live from the Royal Festival Hall in 1967 with the LSO is another new addition. Wagner's Parsifal prelude, recorded by Kempe in 1965, reinforces the fact that he was one of the greatest Wagnerian conductors of the 20th century. His Covent Garden performances of Parsifal in 1959 were landmarks for the company.

Released 4th November 2013.

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Mahler Symphony No.4 Bedächtig, nicht eilen

Aurelie B

[...] highly recommended

José Luis Bermúdez

Full review at

Classical Net, April 2014

    Aurelie B

    [...] One of the finest recordings of the Fourth Symphony I know [...]. The first thing that strikes you about Kempe’s reading is the beauty of the orchestral playing. I have not heard the BBC Symphony perform better before or since. [...] Kempe’s performance of the Mahler certainly is one of the great renditions. Kempe’s performance of the Mahler certainly is one of the great renditions. It is a vital document of this often underrated conductor.
    Dave Saemann

    Fanfare, April 2014


      ICA’s double release is at its most compelling in the 1957 Mahler Fourth, a reading of the utmost delicacy and sensitivity… a performance that is characteristic of a notable conductor in prime professional condition… so an enthusiastic thumbs up for Mahler, Brahms and Mendelssohn.


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