Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas Nos. 3, 8 & 9 Freddy Kempf

Cover Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas Nos. 3, 8 & 9

Album info



Label: BIS

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Instrumental

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953):
  • 1Piano Sonata No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 28 "From the Old Notebooks"07:39
  • Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major, Op. 84:
  • 2Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major, Op. 84: I. Andante dolce11:35
  • 3Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major, Op. 84: II. Andante sognando04:32
  • 4Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-Flat Major, Op. 84: III. Vivace09:53
  • Piano Sonata No. 9 in C Major, Op. 103:
  • 5Piano Sonata No. 9 in C Major, Op. 103: I. Allegretto06:48
  • 6Piano Sonata No. 9 in C Major, Op. 103: II. Allegro strepitoso02:50
  • 7Piano Sonata No. 9 in C Major, Op. 103: III. Andante tranquillo06:25
  • 8Piano Sonata No. 9 in C Major, Op. 103: IV. Allegro con brio, ma non troppo presto04:49
  • Total Runtime54:31

Info for Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas Nos. 3, 8 & 9

Sergei Prokofiev virtually grew up at the keyboard –he composed for the piano from early childhood, and the instrument was his workshop and laboratory. Well before the end of his student days he had absorbed the virtuoso techniques of Rachmaninov and Scriabin, and to these he added his own brilliant, sharp-edged virtuosity, marked by a keen contrast between dramatic, hard-driven passages and more intimate and gentle lyrical moments. His nine sonatas therefore hold a very special place in his output and represent his language at its most personal, free of any external dramatic, verbal or visual associations: they contain the essential Prokofiev.

Freddy Kempf has previously recorded four of the sonatas, released on BIS-1260 and -1820 to critical acclaim: ‘Kempf is joyfully exuberant, flashing through every savage challenge with the assurance and instinct of a born virtuoso’ (Gramophone). With this release, he adds another three sonatas to his discography, starting with Sonata No. 3 in A minor which Prokofiev premièred in Petrograd in April 1918. Three weeks later he left Russia and only returned in 1936, after seventeen years spent in the USA, Germany and France. Premièred in 1944, Sonata No. 8 is the third and last of the so-called ‘War Sonatas’ – possibly less virtuosic than its predecessors, it has a wide emotional range, with unexpected depths. His final, ninth sonata Prokofiev wrote for Sviatoslav Richter, saying: ‘Don’t think it’s intended to create an effect.’ Often almost improvisatory, it was the last work he completed before the infamous 1948 decrees that disciplined many Soviet composers, and the first performance did not take place until 1951.

Freddy Kempf, piano

Freddy Kempf
is one of today’s most successful pianists performing to sell-out audiences all over the world. Exceptionally gifted with an unusually broad repertoire, Freddy has built a unique reputation as an explosive and physical performer who is not afraid to take risks as well as a serious, sensitive and profoundly musical artist.

Freddy has collaborated with conductors such as Dutoit, Petrenko, Davis, Sinaisky, Chailly, Tortelier, Sawallisch, Buribayev and Simonov, and has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious musical institutions including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, La Scala Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Dresden Philharmonic.

Most recent concerti highlights include appearances with Taiwan National Symphony, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic, in addition to an extensive twelve date tour with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra across the UK for which he received critical acclaim: Kempf is a pianist in a million… the incredible definition of Rachmaninov's inner filigree which emerges all the clearer for a refusal to use the sustaining pedal to blur the sound… his colossal but perfect weight simply stuns. (The Arts Desk)

Building upon successful past play/direct appearances across the globe, Freddy begins the 2017/18 season by opening the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s season with a seven date tour across the country. He also plays Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 at the opening concert of the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bucharest. Further concerti highlights include Bartok Piano Concerto No 3 with the NOSPR in Katowice and Grieg Piano Concerto with the CBSO.

A committed recitalist, Freddy has appeared on many of the world’s most important stages including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Milan Conservatory, Sala Verdi, London’s Cadogan Hall and Royal Festival Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, Sydney’s City Hall and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. This season’s recital highlights include a debut at the Fribourg International Piano Series in Switzerland, a return to the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and recitals across the UK.

A prolific recording artist, Freddy records exclusively for BIS Records. His latest Tchaikovsky CD released in Autumn 2015 was received to great acclaim. In 2013, Freddy released a Schumann recital disc which was warmly received by the critics and, in 2010, his recording of Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton was nominated for the prestigious Gramophone Concerto Award, with the associated magazine describing the collaborative duo as “a masterful Prokofievian pair”. This highly successful collaboration was followed by a recording of Gershwin’s works for piano and orchestra, released in 2012 and described in the press as “beautiful, stylish, light, and elegant… magnificent”. Meanwhile, Freddy’s solo recital disc of Rachmaninov, Bach/Busoni, Ravel and Stravinsky, released in 2011, was praised by BBC Music Magazine for its wonderful delicate playing and fine sense of style.

Born in London in 1977, Freddy made his concerto debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 8 and further came to national prominence in 1992 when he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. In 1998, his award of third, rather than first, prize in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow provoked protests from the audience and an outcry in the Russian press, which proclaimed him “the hero of the competition”.

Booklet for Prokofiev: Piano Sonatas Nos. 3, 8 & 9

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