Martha Argerich, Peter Frankl, Radu Lupu, and Mitsuko Uchida all studied with Maria Curcio, as did Anthony Goldstone, who has created this gem of a tribute album featuring Goldstone's own exquisite playing as well as a performance by Maria Curcio herself, the voice of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, numerous great and varied pieces and the first ever recording of the lovely Waltzes composed by Artur Schnabel.
Maria Curcio was born in Naples in 1919 and died in March 2009. She was best known as an eminent teacher, after health crises ended an active performing career around the time of the end of the Second World War, and she had a fine list of pupils to her name. One of them was Barry Douglas, whoRead more contributes an interesting two paragraphs concerning his studies with her. And another was Anthony Goldstone whose ‘International Piano’ journal article about her, and his studies with her, is reproduced in the booklet, and who performs on this tribute disc.
The works are all connected to Curcio; two contain her first name in the title, and of the others, these were works with which she had affinities, and composers with whom she had a strong connection. Casella and Schnabel were among her mentors, and so Goldstone duly performs music by them. The programming is effective, in any case, irrespective of its source of inspiration.
Goldstone starts with two Lisztian concoctions, the first, an obvious starting point - expressively and indeed linguistically - being Ave Maria, and the second La Danza. The first is affectionately spun, heartfelt, limpid and appealing, whilst the second is played with reassuring élan. Goldstone measures and calibrates the B section of Villa-Lobos’s Choro No.5 with precision, ensuring that the outer writing retains intensity; the dance and the melancholy are adeptly held in balance. Casella’s early Variations on a Chaconne is a gripping if somewhat conventional piece, echoing Handel and La Folia, and reminding us of one of the Bach-Busonis in miniature. Nevertheless the characterisation is strong, faster and slower variations are well handled, and the music is stirring. As the variations proceed things are progressively more interesting harmonically.
Three years after Casella’s Variations, Schnabel wrote his Waltzes, delightfully unserious, of which the last of the four is both the most extensive and the most quirky. Its extreme halts gently guy the genre. The three most extensive pieces then follow; a highly expressive Mozart A minor Rondo majoring in exceptional layers of melancholy; then Beethoven Op.77 Fantasie, with its elegant nobility; and finally a mature reading of Chopin’s Polonaise in F sharp minor. These allow a gentle winding down via Reger’s Mariä Wiegenlied and Schumann’s Widmung.
To finish there is a bonus track, which features Curcio herself, playing marvellously, with Schwarzkopf and Klemperer live in Amsterdam in 1957, essaying Mozart’s concert aria Ch’io mi scordi di te? The soprano was later, in 1968, to record it with Alfred Brendel, the London Symphony Orchestra and George Szell. It ends the recital disc on a poignant yet uplifting note.
- Jonathan Woolf,
MusicWeb International Read less
Ch'io mi scordi di te...Non temer, amato bene, K 505by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Performer:
Maria Curcio (Piano),
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (Soprano)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Classical Written: 1786; Vienna, Austria
12 Lieder von Schubert, S558/R243: No. 12. Ave Maria
Rossini - Soirees musicales, S424/R236: IX. La danza (Tarantella)
Choros No. 5, "Alma brasileira"
Variations sur une chaconne, Op. 3
Walzer (Waltzes), Op. 15, No. 3: I. Sehr lebhaft
Walzer (Waltzes), Op. 15, No. 3: II. Nicht zu rasch
Walzer (Waltzes), Op. 15, No. 3: III. Nicht rasch
Walzer (Waltzes), Op. 15, No. 3: IV. Mit grosstem Schwang, sehr flottes walzertempo
Rondo in A minor, K. 511
Fantasia in G minor, Op. 77
Polonaise No. 5 in F sharp minor, Op. 44
Schlichte Weisen, Op. 76 (version for solo piano): Schlichte Weisen, Op. 76: No. 52. Maria Wiegenlied (version for solo piano)
Schumann - Liebeslied, S566/R253, "Widmung"
Ch'io mi scordi di te ... Non temer, amato bene, K. 505
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
TimelessFebruary 6, 2012By Denise Wiens See All My Reviews"Truly captures the love that Maria had for music and her steadfast beliefs in what she rendered to create beautiful music and brilliant pianists. Truly a piece of her in this..."Report Abuse