Rudolf Kempe (1910-1976) was one of the leading conductors of his generation. A consumate craftsman in the German Kapellmeister tradition, he embodied the prototype of the modern conductor: his interpretations were of an unpretentious simplicity and sobriety combined with a subtle sense of drama and expression. Kempe’s models were the great conductors, under whom he had played in the years 1929 to 1936 as an oboist with the Gewandhaus Orchestra: Furtwängler, Klemperer, Erich Kleiber, Fritz Busch, Bruno Walter and Richard Strauss. However, his repertoire was more extensive than his studio recordings would lead us to suppose. Above all, his advocacy for contemporary music is barely represented. The absence in his published discography of the music of Bela Bartok is particularly conspicuous - a gap happily closed in the present concert recording.
"...this is a disc for Kempe enthusiasts and for those who enjoy studying a conductor’s evolving artistry over the years."
Robert Markow - Fanfare - September/October 2013