BBC Legends - Rudolf Kempe, Edith Peinemann: Michael Tippett, Alban Berg, Leos Janacek (2007)

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BBC Legends - Rudolf Kempe, Edith Peinemann: Michael Tippett, Alban Berg, Leos Janacek (2007)

Michael Tippett - Concerto for Double String Orchestra; Alban Berg - Violin Concerto; Leoš Janáček - Sinfonietta (2007)
Edith Peinemann, violin; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Rudolf Kempe, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 423 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 214 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: BBC Music | # BBCL 4215-2 | Time: 01:18:02

"With Kempe at the helm we can be assured of elevated and noble performances. The BBC Legends issue captures him in two concerts given four months apart. The February 1976 concert was given at the Royal Festival Hall and gives us not unexpected fare - Berg - and decidedly unusual repertoire for Kempe in the form of Tippett's Concerto for Double String Orchestra. This positively crackles with rhythmic energy and dynamism, the strings responding with admirable precision and unanimity of attack. The result is a performance of real standing and a precious surviving example of Kempe's small repertoire of British works."

"Memory can sometimes play tricks. I thought it had at the beginning of Tippett's Concerto for Double String Orchestra; the playing seemed just a little less certain than I recall, and the sound is rather dry and distant. The reproduction improves (and the ears adjust) - although the acoustic space seems rather artificial given this is the Royal Festival Hall - and then the performance seems every bit as wonderful as recalled. It was something that I recorded from BBC Radio 3 when broadcast live (on a portable cassette player) and listened to many times - until the tape snapped! This much-hoped-for issue on BBC Legends is, indeed, a treasure.

Rudolf Kempe conducts Tippett's work as the masterpiece it is. He seems utterly convinced by Tippett's invention, craftsmanship and contrapuntal command. Under Kempe the outer movements are vital and detailed, ardent and pulsating, driven but meticulous; Tippett's rhythmic precision and his generously singing lines are superbly melded by Kempe and the BBCSO strings (and the division and interaction between the two orchestras is vividly relayed by the stereo recording). The slow movement, based on a Scottish folksong, has an arching eloquence, Kempe justifying his very slow tempo to moving effect. The finale, quite measured in speed, enjoys rhythmic point and burgeoning euphony, the coda ecstatically broad and intensely delivered.

This release of three great works from the twentieth-century - which were composed not that far apart from each other (the Janáček in 1926, the Berg in 1935 and the Tippett in 1939) - is an absolute triumph. Edith Peinemann (born in 1937 and, Tully Potter tells us in his booklet note, still playing and teaching) brings poise and passion to the solo part, and unvarnished timbres, to Alban Berg's concerto written in "memory of an angel" (the daughter of Walter Gropius and Alma Mahler), a soulful and searching account that appreciates Berg's extraordinary blending of meticulous musical thought and deep emotion. Kempe secures a vivid if not faultless orchestral response, which is both charged and respectful of Berg's almost-obsessive concern for construction and Peinemann's commitment is concentrated and her musicianship observant; all in all, this is a rather special account of Berg's last completed work.

Kempe rounded-off the concert with Brahms's Fourth Symphony (long available on BBC Legends). The disc is completed with Janáček's Sinfonietta, which is not to be confused with a previous Kempe issue on BBC Legends of this work; that was from the Royal Albert Hall Proms while this current version was given in Fairfield Halls, Croydon (as I recall, this was a Sunday evening concert broadcast live on BBC2). Not as pungent or as brazen as some in this music, Kempe nevertheless brings out the interrelationships of the music and its joy and nobility - not unlike Rafael Kubelík, although the latter (on his Deutsche Grammophon recording) is the more ‘urgent' interpreter. Although Kempe can be a little subdued at times, and without Kubelík's relish, his is a discriminating ear, and has an ability to trace rather than bludgeon. The recorded sound, not from a BBC master-tape, is a little blowsy in terms of instrumental positioning, yet Kempe's use of antiphonal violins suggests a reversal of channels (the Tippett and Berg are fine in this respect); but, musically, this is a refreshing view of Janáček's concise blockbuster and an admirable close to a superb release.

Review by Colin Anderson,


Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998)
Concerto for Double String Orchestra
01. I. Allegro con brio (06:08)
02. II. Adagio cantabile (10:31)
03. III. Allegro molto (08:31)

Alban BERG (1885-1935)
Konzert für Violine und Orchester "Dem Andenken eines Engels"
04. I. Andante - Allegretto (11:43)
05. II. Allegro - Adagio (16:55)

Leoš JANÂČEK (1854-1928)
06. I. Allegretto (02:31)
07. II. Andante (06:03)
08. III. Moderato (05:23)
09. IV. Allegretto (02:38)
10. V. Andante con moto (07:34)

Tippett and Berg recorded on 18 February 1976 in the Royal Festival Hall, London;
Janáček recorded on 12 October 1975 in Fairfield Halls, Croydon

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 1 from 15. November 2010

EAC extraction logfile from 18. April 2014, 0:18

Rudolf Kempe / Tippett, Berg & Janacek

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==== Log checksum C071F26B84B4CCE4A162B95B72250CB612E7B5E2961B510EC86BB206B25B1256 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2015-09-03 21:00:24

Analyzed: Rudolf Kempe / Tippett, Berg & Janacek

DR Peak RMS Duration Track

DR12 -2.16 dB -19.37 dB 6:08 01-Tippett - Concerto for Double String Orchestra - I. Allegro con brio
DR15 -0.80 dB -23.81 dB 10:32 02-Tippett - Concerto for Double String Orchestra - II. Adagio cantabile
DR12 -3.62 dB -20.11 dB 8:31 03-Tippett - Concerto for Double String Orchestra - III. Allegro molto
DR15 -2.09 dB -24.43 dB 11:44 04-Berg - Violin Concerto - I. Andante - Allegretto
DR17 -0.49 dB -24.58 dB 16:56 05-Berg - Violin Concerto - II. Allegro - Adagio
DR12 -0.73 dB -16.56 dB 2:31 06-Janacek - Sinfonietta - I. Allegretto
DR15 -2.06 dB -23.19 dB 6:03 07-Janacek - Sinfonietta - II. Andante
DR15 -0.69 dB -22.06 dB 5:23 08-Janacek - Sinfonietta - III. Moderato
DR15 -1.60 dB -22.44 dB 2:38 09-Janacek - Sinfonietta - IV. Allegretto
DR12 0.00 dB -17.72 dB 7:35 10-Janacek - Sinfonietta - V. Andante con moto

Number of tracks: 10
Official DR value: DR14

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 676 kbps
Codec: FLAC

BBC Legends - Rudolf Kempe, Edith Peinemann: Michael Tippett, Alban Berg, Leos Janacek (2007)

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