WILHELM KEMPFF: The Complete Polydor Recordings, 1927-1936 = Works by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann [complete listing below] – APR 5638 74:38 [Distr. by Naxos] ****:. Wilhelm Kempff (1895-1991), like Arthur Rubinstein, trained under Karl Heinrich Barth (1847-1922), to become a major exponent of the German piano school of scholarly virtuosos, emphasizing sound and spirit over sheer, technical prowess. Along with Artur Schnabel, Kempff devoted much of his energy to the music of Beethoven; even Schnabel considered Kempff a worthy candidate to complete the recorded cycle of Beethoven sonatas for EMI, should Schnabel be unable to finish the survey. Generally faithful to the music, Kempff avoided becoming a literalist: he retained a strong sense of individualism, occasionally omitting repeats and doubling bass notes. Kempff looked for the poetry in any score he addressed, and so the music of the German Romantics, Schubert and Schumann, benefit greatly from his attentions, and so does Liszt. Kempff does not aim for high voltage but rather a canny moderation that rarely thunders but impressed with logic and deep sincerity of expression. Originally a student of the organ, Kempff felt a natural impulse to sound out the grand sonorities from his keyboard, a combination of simplicity of style with symphonic aspirations.