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Mozart: Piano Quartets, Horn Quintet / Curzon, Brain

Release Date: 12/07/2007 
Label:  London/Decca Historic Series Catalog #: 425960   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Clifford CurzonNorbert BraininMartin LovettPeter Schidlof,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus QuartetGriller String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

...[E]very published Curzon record is of high quality, and it is good to have this example of his superlative artistry in the music of Mozart, a composer who was particularly close to his heart. Indeed, Curzon's stylistic perfection in Mozart was formed at a time when this composer was often much less well served than he is now.

Curzon and the Amadeus Quartet were old friends, and in these versions there is clearly a close rapport between all four players, though [Norbert] Brainin's distinctive, slowish, wide vibrato was already very noticeable in September 1952, when the recordings were made, and seems out of style in Mozart. In every other respect these are superlative, beautifully poised performances. The piano tone is
Read more very good, but the strings sound a little edgy, and the acoustic is a little confined.

Dennis Brain was the outstanding horn player of his time, and his services were in such demand that he was often called to accept clashing engagements which involved the most hair-raising dashes from one venue to the next, usually achieved with the greatest of aplomb. His sunny temperament could not have been more dissimilar to that of Curzon, but he was at the same time a serious prodigiously gifted artist, as is shown in this performance of Mozart's Horn Quintet. His inimitably bright, superbly rounded tone, and his fail-safe, fantastically agile technique are very evident as is his highly imaginative creative musicianship. He is well partnered by his string colleagues and the early example of Decca's ''full-frequency range recording'', made in October 1944, reveals a remarkably good quality of sound.

-- Gramophone [4/1990]
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Works on This Recording

Quartet for Piano and Strings no 1 in G minor, K 478 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Clifford Curzon (Piano), Norbert Brainin (Violin), Martin Lovett (Cello),
Peter Schidlof (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1952 
Venue:  Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gdns, London 
Length: 23 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Quartet for Piano and Strings no 2 in E flat major, K 493 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Martin Lovett (Cello), Peter Schidlof (Viola), Norbert Brainin (Violin),
Sydney Griller (Violin), Clifford Curzon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/1952 
Venue:  Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gdns, London 
Length: 25 Minutes 18 Secs. 
Quintet for Horn, Violin, 2 Violas and Cello in E flat major, K 407 (386c) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Max Gilbert (Viola), Philip Burton (Viola), Sydney Griller (Violin),
Dennis Brain (French Horn), Christopher Hampton (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Griller String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/1944 
Venue:  Decca Studios, Broadhurst Gdns, London 
Length: 15 Minutes 8 Secs. 

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