KEMPEN conducts Sibelius and Grieg

This new release brings together all but one of van Kempen’s recordings of Scandinavian works (he also recorded Grieg’s Symphonic Dances) and includes one particular rarity: his Sibelius Seventh Symphony. Clocking in at a little over 16 minutes, it remains one of the fastest – and most exciting – accounts of the work ever committed to disc.

Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites were recorded with van Kempen’s own Dresden Philharmonic, with whom he made many memorable recordings for Grammophon/Polydor from the late 1930s through the early ‘40s.

The Sibelius Fifth was one of three recordings van Kempen made with the Concertgebouw Orchestra at a time when Grammophon was spotlighting guest conductors, including Karajan and van Beinum, appearing with Mengelberg’s ensemble for the first time on disc.