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Original Masters - Clifford Curzon Vol 3


Release Date: 08/09/2005 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 000490902   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Franz LisztWolfgang Amadeus MozartJohannes BrahmsPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,   ... 
Performer:  Clifford CurzonMartin LovettPeter SchidlofNorbert Brainin
Conductor:  Sir Henry WoodBoyd NeelEnrique JordaSir Georg Solti,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Queen's Hall OrchestraAmadeus String Quartet membersNational Symphony, Washington, D. C.,   ... 
Number of Discs: 6 
Recorded in: Mixed 
Length: 6 Hours 48 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A good range of familiar and less-known Clifford Curzon recordings make up Decca's third Original Masters boxed set devoted to the pianist, transferred from the best possible sources. Several shellac rarities previously have been reissued on independent labels, such as Curzon's frisky, impetuous romp through the Schubert/Liszt Wanderer Fantasy from 1937, plus the first and arguably least of his four Mozart A major K. 488 recordings and three Brahms First Concertos. A slightly studied atmosphere colors the two Mozart Piano Quartets recorded in 1952 with members of the Amadeus Quartet, but the central slow movements stand out for Curzon's cultivated legato touch. His 1958 stereo Tchaikovsky First Concerto proves far more idiomatic and Read more engaging than you'd suspect, while Georg Solti's aggressive, compulsively spotlit accompaniment seeps into the Vienna Philharmonic's collective blood stream like a steroid cocktail.

A tired third movement plus weak, ill-tuned strings and lusterless sonics knock a 1955 Rachmaninov Second Concerto with Adrian Boult and the London Philharmonic out of the running, but Curzon's alternately fiery and poetic 1959 Grieg Concerto remains one of the catalog's finest, abetted by Øivin Fjeldstad's sympathetic, insightfully detailed orchestral framework. Curzon also is on top form in the difficult Brahms B-flat Concerto, although it takes Hans Knappertsbusch and the Vienna Philharmonic three movements to warm up before their responsive instincts playfully kick in at the finale.

Two discs are given over to familiar solo material, most of which has gained recent reissue. A tightly organized and tonally refined B minor sonata crowns the pianist's 1963 Liszt recital, and the intimately scaled, scrupulously shaded Beethoven Eroica Variations continues to give pleasure. However, for exquisite timing, disciplined spontaneity, and tonal magic, Curzon's Schubert Moments Musicaux remains a point of reference, with all repeats intact, save for the second one in No. 6. Shall we assume that Decca plans to complete its Curzon survey with a fourth volume?

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Wanderer Fantasy (Schubert) for Piano and Orchestra, S 366 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Henry Wood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Queen's Hall Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1852; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 04/01/1937 
Venue:  London, England 
Length: 19 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
2.
Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor, K 478 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Martin Lovett (Cello), Clifford Curzon (Piano), Peter Schidlof (Viola),
Norbert Brainin (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus String Quartet members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gardens, Londo 
Length: 23 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording.
Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gardens, London, England (09/09/1952 - 09/11/1952) 
3.
Quartet for Piano and Strings no 2 in E flat major, K 493 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano), Martin Lovett (Cello), Peter Schidlof (Viola),
Norbert Brainin (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus String Quartet members
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gardens, Londo 
Length: 23 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording.
Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gardens, London, England (09/09/1952 - 09/11/1952) 
4.
Concerto for Piano no 23 in A major, K 488 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Conductor:  Boyd Neel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/12/1945 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 24 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
5.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in D minor, Op. 15 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Conductor:  Enrique Jorda
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854-1858; Germany 
Date of Recording: 06/05/1946 
Venue:  Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, Engla 
Length: 46 Minutes 33 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording. 
6.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 34 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording.
Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria (10/14/1958 - 10/17/1958)
Composition written: Russia (1874 - 1875). 
7.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 34 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording.
Kingsway Hall, London, England (06/27/1955 - 06/29/1955)
Composition written: Russia (1900 - 1901). 
8.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Conductor:  Oivin Fjeldstad
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1907; Norway 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 29 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording.
Kingsway Hall, London, England (06/22/1959 - 06/23/1959) 
9.
Concerto for Piano no 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1881; Austria 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 48 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a mono recording.
Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria (10/21/1957 - 10/24/1957) 
10.
Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1852-1853; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1963 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 29 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
11.
Liebesträume for Piano, S 541: no 3, O Lieb, so lang by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1850; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1963 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 4 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
12.
Valses oubliées (4) for Piano, S 215: no 1 in F sharp major by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1963 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 12 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
13.
Concert Etudes (2) for Piano, S 145: no 2, Gnomenreigen by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1862-63; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1963 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 3 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
14.
Berceuse for Piano in D flat major, S 174 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1854; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1963 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 9 Minutes 3 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
15.
Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 899/Op. 90: no 3 in G flat major by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1964 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 5 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
16.
Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 899/Op. 90: no 4 in A flat major by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1964 
Venue:  Sofia Hall, Vienna, Austria 
Length: 7 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
17.
Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 935/Op. 142: no 2 in A flat major by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 7 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording.
The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh, England (02/04/1971 - 02/07/1971) 
18.
Moments musicaux (6) for Piano, D 780/Op. 94 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823-1828; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 27 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording.
The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh, England (02/04/1971 - 02/07/1971) 
19.
Variations (15) and Fugue for Piano in E flat major, Op. 35 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Written: 1802 
Venue:  The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh, England 
Length: 24 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording.
The Maltings, Snape, Aldeburgh, England (04/14/1971 - 04/17/1971) 

Sound Samples

Fantasy in C Major "Wanderer" - Arr. Liszt for Piano & Orchestra: 1. Allegro con fuoco
Fantasy in C Major "Wanderer" - Arr. Liszt for Piano & Orchestra: 2. Adagio
Fantasy in C Major "Wanderer" - Arr. Liszt for Piano & Orchestra: 3. Presto
Fantasy in C Major "Wanderer" - Arr. Liszt for Piano & Orchestra: 4. Allegro
Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, K.478: 1. Allegro
Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, K.478: 2. Andante
Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor, K.478: 3. Rondo (Allegro moderato)
Piano Quartet No.2 in E flat, K.493: 1. Allegro
Piano Quartet No.2 in E flat, K.493: 2. Larghetto
Piano Quartet No.2 in E flat, K.493: 3. Allegretto
Piano Concerto No.23 in A, K.488: 1. Allegro
Piano Concerto No.23 in A, K.488: 2. Andante
Piano Concerto No.23 in A, K.488: 3. Allegro assai
Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15: 1. Maestoso - Poco più moderato
Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15: 2. Adagio
Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op.15: 3. Rondo (Allegro non troppo)

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