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Freddy Kempf Julian Thake
Sun Apr 1 2001 22:03
Anyone know his recordings? I don't, but I'd heard great things about them before hearing him play the "Emperor" a couple of days ago. What a disappointment - he pulled parts of the piece about like plasticine and never played below mezzo-forte. Ugh.
 
re: Freddy Kempf mcdade
Mon Apr 2 2001 15:16
Great potential but starting believing his own press before he had done the hard work of thinking through his interpretations - bit of a circus act now I'm afraid. I hope he takes a pause to rethink as he obviously has talent.
 
re: Freddy Kempf J Hill
Sat Apr 7 2001 14:43
I'm not sure this is the same fellow but my wife and I heard a "Freddy" at the Tchaikovsky competition in 1997 or 1998. He won, it turns out, 2nd or 3rd place. There was a Russian (can't remeber the man's name) who played the same night. They both played the Tchaikovsky concerto and the same Rachmaninov (3rd?). Anyway, the contrast was astounding. The Russian was technically perfect (or almost) but dry and barren as can be -- and for me the only thing worse than this kind of "academic" Rachmaninov is the sort of "bleeding heart", "gushing" interpretation that always makes me want to puke. Freddy's reading was neither -- he DID MAKE MISTAKES, it's true but he made the piece interesting! Rachmaninov is one of those composers whose music is quite easy to make tacky and sentimental. It's highly EMOTIONAL but not necessarily sentimental. The mistake of the vast majority of Rachmaninov interpreters is to "play the emotion", to "get swept away with it". Well, there's no need to do that, the emotion is already there. And while the music is not INTELLECTUAL, the music suggests any number of musical thoughts -- like an actor's inner monologue -- that the performer needs to work through during execution, without which the music will sound insipid at best. Freddy, though, THOUGHT THROUGH THE PIECE. Every turn in the music had an inner justification. Is this the same musician being discussed here? Does anyone know? If his sucess has gone to his head, I'll be very disappointed. But I'd be interested to read the criteria for making that judgement... I can forgive a little sloppiness if someone is actually thinking through the music while playing it.
 
re: Freddy Kempf Julian Thake
Sat Apr 7 2001 21:19
Just looked at last week's programme and that was indeed him. Apparently the Russian public derided the decision not to give him first prize and he's very popular in Russia to this day, rather like John Ogdon before him.

Well, I'm sorry but his "Emperor" was simply appalling the other night. He was so concerned to give a Performance with a capital "P" that he even slipped up in that simple single line of eight notes leading to the orchestra's second chord. From then to the finish his playing was a ham-handed aural assault such as I hope never to hear again. Oh, he mostly got round the notes well enough and I wish I could play the piano one thousandth as well, but if I could I'd play softly now and then! Take a look also at the reviews of his latest recording - late Beethoven (not necessarily advisable in itself at the age of 24) of, it would seem, a fairly prosaic variety, surely a cardinal sin in that music.

Freddy Kempf clearly gave you and others a great deal of pleasure, and one day I hope to hear why. But it does seem he's trying to rush his fences at the moment.

 
re: Freddy Kempf mcdade
Wed Apr 11 2001 09:35
Like a lot of younger musicians Kempf seems to me to lack the influence of some sort of mentor. He is phenomenally talented - and even at his worst always worth hearing - but he could be much more.
I heartily applaud your derision of "intellectual" Rachmanninov - he should be about passion and never mind the technical flaws in the structure of his music - nothing worse than a Rach performance that sounds like you are being lectured to!
 


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