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Paul Van Kempen

Paul van Kempen - Complete Philips Recordings (10CD)

Limited Edition Newly Remastered 10CD Boxset!
Alongside Willem Mengelberg and Bernard Haitink, Paul van Kempen is one of three Dutch conductors who were regular and esteemed leaders of both the Concertgebouworkest and the Berliner Philharmoniker, live and on record.  Van Kempen was an unabashed Romantic in style, in the mould of Mengelberg but with his own approach, and a sensitivity that made him a perfect foil to Wilhelm Kempff and Wolfgang Schneiderhan on Deutsche Grammophon recordings of Beethoven concertos for which he is best remembered.

This new box set from Eloquence, however, enables us to reassess Van Kempen as a powerfully individual conductor in his own right. It mixes repertoire classics with music off the beaten track, opera, oratorio, light classics and symphonies, including several recordings receiving their first-ever release on CD. In fact, his discography was surprisingly extensive given his relatively brief career.

Born in 1893, he trained as a violinist and became a member of the Concertgebouworkest under Mengelberg at the age of just seventeen. In the 1930s he conducted orchestras across the Netherlands and Germany, and in 1942 he took over from Herbert von Karajan as music director of the opera house in Aachen. While he made several prewar recordings for Telefunken and DG, however, his career in the studio only took off after 1949, when he took charge of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, based in Hilversum.  The earliest recording here was made in July 1947 – 78rpms of two Wagner overtures with the La Scala Orchestra of Milan.