Super HD-Vinyl 192/24 (DGG) Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Emperor’ (Wilhelm Kempff)

Kempff had perhaps the best innate understanding of Beethoven’s lyrical architechtonics; plus he had the wonderful techinque to execute his realizations. Kempff had splendid taste and vibrant exhilaration.

# Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
# Performer: Wilhelm Kempff
# Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
# Conductor: Ferdinand Leitner
# Vinyl (1963)

# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac (tracks)
# Label: Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN: B000026DFH
# Size: 1.29 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

Kempff’s playing is transcendent and goes beyond what mere interpretation is. It delves into the essence of the music and provides the emotional and spiritual nuances and energy that is at the heart of all great music. That such music is possible, and that it can be executed in such a manner is amazing in itself.

To quote Schnabel: “This music is better than it can ever be played”. True, but it’s never been played better than this. I love Alfred Brendel’s quote: “When Kempff is playing well, he is simply better than the rest of us.”

Kempff has long been admired for the qualities of his playing which unfailingly produce performances of great clarity and freshness and somehow are able to communicate as if directly from the composer without the intermediary of an interpreter. While this lack of an interpreter defies logic in any situation where a third party plays music created by someone else, it nevertheless remains a valid impression. Indeed Kempff himself is said to have commented that, in terms of playing individual or complete sets of the Beethoven concertos that ‘each performance gives me the feeling that it is a unique event, a ceremonial act. This well-nigh miraculous quality which the works possess, of appearing always as fresh and splendid as at a first hearing, can only be due to the presence in them of hidden powers.’

Track Listing

  Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 73 ‘Emperor’
A1   Allegro  20:14  
B1   Adagio un poco mosso  7:35  
B2   Rondo-Allegro  10:37  

 Analyzed folder: /192kLvB_PC5_KemLei/192k LvB – Piano Concerto No. 5 – Kempff-Leitner
 DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
 DR13        -0.41 dB     -18.30 dB     A LvB – Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 ‘Emperor’  1, Allegro.wav
 DR14        -4.63 dB     -24.59 dB     B1 LvB – Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 ‘Emperor’  2, Adagio un poco mosso.wav
 DR12        -0.72 dB     -17.26 dB     B2 LvB – Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 73 ‘Emperor’  3, Rondo-Allegro.wav
 Number of files:    3
 Official DR value:    DR13


Ripping Infos

  • RCM: Okki Nokki
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
  • Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
  • ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
  • Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
  • Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
  • Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
  • Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
  • Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Light de-Clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising

If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.

  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

If you like what i do, please consider that a little donation would be very appreciate. I reinvest all donations in maintenance of my rig, for purchasing cleaning solutions and, most important of all, purchasing of new vinyls.
Click on the “Donate”-button. Thank you very much !

Download from FileFactory

4 archives
PW: LaWally

34 thoughts on “Super HD-Vinyl 192/24 (DGG) Ludwig van Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Emperor’ (Wilhelm Kempff)”

  1. Two Emperor’s in the same day! Many thanks Rachmaninov. I think I will play them back to back and follow them will Brendel’s version which I have on CD for a pleasant couple of hours on a rainy Sunday morning.

  2. Incredible! I happen to own the CD which was remixed using DG original-image-bit-processing. Its supposed to add “presence,brilliance and spatial definition”
    Truth be told it sounds rather like a mediocre vinyl rip. Much the opposite of what is advertised on the CD.
    Your rip on the other hand is what it should have sounded like!
    Great job! Thank you! 🙂

      1. I understand you, my Alf. But remind also that a vinyl rip is also digital. As I was saying in another post the only deferences I can see between an amateur,s vinyl rip and a professional digital transfer are :
        1 – mastering done in the analogue domain against digital domain
        2 – use of less digital filters and restaurant ion tools.

        Apart from that, both are nothing but analogue to digital transfers through a ADC machine.

        There is also a question of culture. You, who are a gentleman of knowledge with a analogue background know how to use digital tools with caution and gently. You know what real music sounds like and you don’t try to obtain a perfect clean and lifeless product. But if someone of same culture would use original master tape with a high end ADC and clever skills, no doubt he would get great sound in the end. Unfortunately, very few companies do it nowadays. Thank you to play this role for us !

        1. I know, mon ami….but I seldom had in hands a CD that drove me crazy, screaming WOW !!! This happens very often to me with (only) vinyls…of course, there are great CDs and poor vinyls. What I would never trust 100% are those so-called remasterd works – on vinyl or CD, no matter – that are in more than 99% not on the level of an original pressing.

          BTW original pressings….you don’t believe, I just found (and bought) concerto 1 and 3 by LvB/Kempff/Leitner…both red DGG 1st ED. in NM condition…..

          Just few minutes ago I wrote to Joediaprile that it’s difficult to find them in good shape and human price…..and now I found them, both togheter for around 50 EUR + shipping (both from UK)

          INCREDIBLE…I started just today ripping a box with all concertos, no tulip…but mint.

          OK, in the next weeks there will be Beethoven endless 😉

          If only the old donkeys Michelangeli/Giulini would have completed the concertos, recording 2 and 4… 🙁

          1. Totally agree, Alf. It’s strange to notice that very often and in many domains, the best thing to do is only to try to respect the work of our elders. It’s indeed very rare that a remastering would compete an original master. That what I meant when I argued that a vinyl rip often sounds good because it doesn’t have to master or remaster anything for the mastering was already done in the analogue domain when the vinyl was made. I also forgot to mention high resolution transfers that of course do more justice to the original sound than CD resolution does.

            Regarding your new discoveries, I tend to think that the “little bastard inside you” is also a lucky bastard ! 🙂
            happily for all of us !

            1. yeah, indeed a very lucky bastard… 😉 I don’t know why, I always thought to find a red DGG 1st Ed. would cost me an eye. Indeed the concerti 2+4 and 5 were (with shipping) about 130 EUR and it was OK, I thought to have been very lucky. But this evening was to me like having Xmas 😀

  3. ONKLE: spot on about the importance of a “analogue background”

    RACH: You came through… WHOAAAA… as requested now we have a 24 192 Kempff P.C.#5!!!

    Awesome. Hmmm… we just have to wait for the rest of this essential series….

    Excited to the brim in LA, CA

  4. The more a man knows about a subject of pleasure such as good music and sound production, the more he can appreciate it technically and bask in its depths. But that doesn’t mean the child cannot have just as much fun in the shallow end of the same pool.
    I am that child. When it comes to technology I’m technically deficient, but I too have ears and a long personal history of listening and seeing operas especially, and I can tell when we are dealing with precious metal and not tin; and fabulous gems and not beach agates or cut class.

    Rach, without your technological knowledge many of us could not know how to appreciate the differences. Most of us are really appreciative of your skill and expertise. It is like when I go into a store like Tiffany’s and see fabulous jewels crafted by master craftsmen (I can’t buy them, but I can look).

    In Tiffany’s our eyes bug out; in Alf’s shop our ears basque in sounds we’ve never heard before, and we say stuff like “WOW”; and “incredible;” we know its rich and we want more, but never thought we could afford it until you began to share this with us!
    You’ve never let us down. The space and dynamics in this one create an aura where Schnabel’s statement makes sense before our ears: transcendent is a good word here.

    Thanks maestro, I sit here entranced by this 5th Concerto. The middle adagio is fabulous.

    Of course without Beethoven or Kempff we’d all be eating Cheerios instead of the grandeur of French pastry, Onkle.

    My cup and my plate are full.

      1. Onkle: Ask Rach & Whatever to forgive us a moment:
        This is funny because I didn’t know, but FYMYI -FMy & Your Info – here is the perspective of the QChef website:

        The True History of the Croissant
        What is the history of croissants? When were they first baked and where? I’m in Grade $ and I need to have answers now!

        Are you really in Grade $? We know a lot of people who wish they were in Grade $, but haven’t made it yet….

        You’re going to have to be really persuasive to convince your teacher on this one. She may have heard and believed one of the world’s great food myths, but you are getting the absolute truth from us, and if your teacher gives you an argument over this, ask her to talk to us.

        Many people have heard that the croissant was created in 1686 in Budapest, Hungary by a courageous and watchful baker, at a time when the city was being attacked by the Turks. Working late one night, he heard odd rumbling noises and alerted the city’s military leaders. They found that the Turks were trying to get into the city by tunneling under the city’s walls. The tunnel was destroyed and the baker was a hero, but a humble hero — all he wanted in reward was the sole right to bake a special pastry commemorating the fight. The pastry was shaped like a crescent, the symbol of Islam, and presumably meant that the Hungarians had eaten the Turks for lunch.

        The problem with this story is that it’s all made up. It first showed up in the first version of the great French food reference Larousse Gastronmique, in 1938. Later on, the story switched locations to Vienna, during the Turkish siege there in 1863, but that was also a fabrication.

        The sad thing is, the truth in this case is not nearly as interesting as the myth. No one knows when or where the first croissant was baked, but it was definitely in France and certainly not before 1850. The word was first used in a dictionary in 1863. The first croissant recipe was published in 1891, but it wasn’t the same kind of croissant we are familiar with today. The first recipe that would produce what we consider to be a flaky croissant wasn’t published until 1905, and, again, it was in France.

        And most people — although not necessarily those in grade $ — would say, “I need to have answers now, PLEASE!” Just a thought….


        1. Haha. Very interesting, Bob. All I knew (or thought I knew) before reading this article was that the croissant we are familiar with today was french indeed but has some distant origins in the austrian history. Some also say that it was indeed invented in Paris but by some viennese pastry cooks. All I know for sure is that, even in Paris, it’s God damned difficult to find a decent croissant nowadays. Always too fatty, or too dry, or too heavy, or too flaky, etc. etc.

  5. Splendid performance. To be placed at the pinnacle of the “Emperor” recordings. However, the sound seems slightly less clear and open than the one of Concertos Nos. 2 & 4. In comparison, even if still very good, this one sounds a bit “faded” with slight distortion in the tutti. Probably the record has been played pretty often in 60 years, now. This is at least what my “radars” tell me. Anyway, this is fantastic music and the sound, even if “less perfect” than the CD, is so much more vivid and natural. Thanks !

    1. Let’s wait for the copy I bought yesterday….hope we have more luck !
      But do me a favour….compare with the same concerto from the box – I mean, that one from the box, paradoxewise, is a little bit better…this would of course underline what you wrote about the hugh usage of the vinyl.

      1. I certainly will, Alf. My friend Remi, who is the biggest vinyl connoisseur I know, told me once that DGG red stereo are very fragile and tricky and that it is virtually impossible to know how it’s going to sound before playing it. He gave me this piece of advice to ask the seller to play it briefly (they usually only visually grade their records) in order to check before buying. Anyway, I’m more than a happy man with all you posted these last days, including this record, even if maybe slightly “over used”. Thanks. I let you know my feeling about the comparison soon.

      2. I’ve got a lot of hear fatigue tonight but from a first hearing, I can say that for me the original red stereo pressing, even with the little problems I described, sounds much better than the later reissue from the box. Clearer, more space, details, focus, etc. ect. Sometimes reissues sound as good as originals (and in some very rare cases possibly better), but not this time… 😉

  6. It is not my habit to rank the interpretation of classical music, because each recording is a story for itself, but this – my God, this record brings so much emotion out of me during listening! Thank you Rach for bringing this record here and thank you for the masterful transfer from vinyl into a playable digital file.

  7. Unbelievable stunning sound and of course huge performance !!
    As I listened to it before on CD I couldn’t imagine that this recording could sound so beautiful !

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