Paul van Kempen. Polydor 78s, pt. 1

Before I started this blog, one of my big projects (posted over at RMCR) was transfering about 5 cds worth of 78 era recordings by Dutch conductor Paul van Kempen (1893-1955), who’s Lp recordings have been available on cd for at various times, but few of the 78 era recordings have been issued on CD (Tahra has filled in some of these gaps, but their 78 transfer work is rather poor, I’m sorry to report). I will list those older downloads here, for convenience, in a day or two, but meanwhile here is the first of possibly five MORE cds worth, all from recent dubbings made from copies owned by my friend Mike Gartz, who must have the largest collection of van Kempen 78s anywhere! I’ve decided to go in chronological order of recording dates. And I believe after I’m done there will be only a small handful of his 78s missing from this collection.

I decided to break the chronological sequence and put the Mozart, van Kempen’s first recording, at the end. It just didn’t seem like the way to start this collection! The two Tchaikovsky items are full of energy, and in the case of the Serenade, in order to fit the work on three 10″ discs, a few pretty large cuts. I’m not sure I’ve heard a more manic version of the fast section of the first movement! The Marche slave has infectious energy, and then some! If you’re going to do this piece, you might as well play it to the hilt! Those who know van Kempen’s Lp era Tchaikovsky know that, perhaps more than any other composer, his experience as a violinist in Mengelberg’s Concertgebouw Orchestra seems to have influenced his style (note the trumpet articulation in the “Marche”….very Mengelbergian). The sound of the 1938/39 recordings is generally quite fine, but oddly, the Coriolan Overture seems to have been recorded in a more confined acoustical space.

Note: the dates here are from the discography found in one of Tahra’s van Kempen Cd issues, and the dates listed are not the actual recording date (those records don’t survive), but the date “in which the matrices arrived at the Hanover factory, usually a few days after the recording itself”. The orhestra for the Tchaikovsky Serenade is very unusual. The group is described in Tahra’s notes (a bit differently from the image at the top of this post) as the “peripatetic opera of the Reich” (Wanderoper) under the artistic direction of the hereditary Prince Reuss!!

Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48
German Opera Orchestra (Deutsche Musik-Bühne)

Polydor 25365/67 (matr. 5765/70 bd VIII)

January 4, 1934

Tchaikovsky: Marche slave
Polydor 15190 (matr. 842/43 fi gs I)

April 4, 1938

Bizet: Carmen: Entr’actes to Acts 2-4
Polydor 15191 (matr. 844/45 fi gs I)

April 4, 1938

Verdi: I Vespri siciliani, Overture
Polydor 15506 (matr. 1010/11 gs IX)

January 21, 1939

Beethoven: Coriolan Overture
Polydor 15244 (matr. 1014/15 gs IX
January 23 & 25, 1939

Weber: Jubel Overture
Polydor 57150 (matr. 1128/29 gs IX)

May 31, 1939

Nicolai: Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor, Overture
Polydor 15302 (matr. 1169/70 gs IX)

June 15, 1939

Mozart: Sonatas for Organ and Orchestra:
in Eb Major, K. 67. Andantino

in C Major, K. 336. Allegro

G. Bunk, Organ

Orchestra of the Dortmund State Music School

Polydor 95290 (matr. 1759/60 bm)

Recorded 1929

Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra (unless otherwise noted)


Here is a large addendum to my original post: a list of the previous van Kempen posts that I made before creating this blog:

Vol. 1:

Schubert: Symphony No. 9 in C “Great”
Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam
DGG 69197/203 (matr. 2379/90 GE9)
1943 recording

Rossini: William Tell Overture

Berlin Philharmonic
DGG Variable Micrograde 72115 (matr. 03810/11 LKS)
c. 1951 recording

Note: both parts of the Flac download must be extracted separately.

Vol. 2:

Brahms: Hungarian Dances Nos. 1,3,5,6, 17-21
Berlin Philharmonic
DGG LPE 17 068 (10″ LP)
Recorded September 4 &7, 1952 (note, copy has a number of loud “ticks” on s. 2)

Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 57102/3 (matr. 1124/7 GS 9)
Recorded 1939

Schumann: Symphony No. 4 in d
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 67586/9 (matr. 1020-2 1/2, 855-8 GE9)
Recorded 1940

Verdi: Nabucco 2 Choruses
Hilversum Radio Philharmonic & Chorus
Philips N 11175 G (78 rpm)

Vol. 3:

Liszt: Tasso (Symphonic Poem No. 2)
Berlin State Opera Orchestra
Polydor 67630/2

Liszt: Les Preludes (Symphonic Poem No. 3)
Berlin Philharmonic
Polydor 67174/5 (recorded 1937)(there is also a 1942 version. I’m trying to verify that this WAS the 1937 version that I dubbed)

Liszt: Mazeppa (Symphonic Poem No. 6)
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 68121/2 (recorded 1942)

Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 67546/8 (recorded 1940)


Vol. 4:

Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in Eb Major, Op. 82
Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam
Polydor 68082/5S
recorded 1943

Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 11383/4

Weber: Euryanthe Overture
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 15232

Kreutzer: Das Nachtlager in Granada Overture
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 57163

Donizetti: Don Pasquale Overture
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 57130

Donizetti: La Fille du Regiment Overture
Dresden Philharmonic
Polydor 15301

Vol. 5:

Mozart Idomeneo Overture (rec. 1942)
Mozart Le Nozze Figaro Overture (rec. 1939)
Dresden Philharmonic. Polydor 57188

Rossini William Tell Overture (rec. 1940)
Dresden Philharmonic. Polydor 67581/2

Suppe Die Schone Galathea Overture
Dresden Philharmonic. Polydor 57126

Wagner Tannhauser Overture
Wagner Flying Dutchman Overture
La Scala Orchestra. Decca K 1683/5 (set LA 172)

Weber Oberon Overture
Hilversum Radio Philharmonic. Philips N 11142 G

J. Strauss Fledermaus Mein Herr Marquis
Suppe Die Schone Galathea Ja, Wenn die Musik Nicht War
Erna Spoorenberg, soprano.
Hilversum Radio Philharmonic. Philips N 1117-3G

Gounod Faust Avant de quitter
Offenbach Tales of Hoffmann Scintille diamant

Theo Bayle, baritone

Hilversum Radio Philharmonic. Philips 1117-9 G

I will add the dates from the Tahra discography soon. Unless noted, these are all mp3 files. At some point I may add more Flac versions.


This entry was posted in Orchestral, Van Kempen. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Paul van Kempen. Polydor 78s, pt. 1

  1. fattoxxon says:

    Neal – inspired by van kempen’s Beethoven I thought I should try some more – but vols 1, 3, 4 seem to be NLA at Rapidshare? 😦

  2. fattoxxon says:

    (sorry – and vol.5)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s