Clifford Curzon

Biography

Born: May 18, 1907; London, England   Died: September 1, 1982; London, England  
Clifford Curzon was among the finest English pianists of the twentieth century, known for his clear, ego-less performances of the German Classical and Romantic masterpieces. A quiet intellectual who nevertheless possessed a formidable technique, Curzon played everything from Mozart to Liszt with equal authority. His fans often cite this ability to emphasize the personality of each composer, rather than his own, as his most distinctive quality. Read more Curzon recorded for the Decca label for over 30 years, leaving behind a modestly sized, but musically impressive catalog. His recordings of Mozart and Schubert are considered his best.

Curzon achieved success early, with a scholarship to London's Royal Academy of Music in 1919. His impressive student career earned him every prize available to a pianist at the Academy, and he made his professional debut in 1923 -- playing Bach's Triple Concerto with conductor Henry Wood at a Promenade Concert in Queen's Hall. In 1926, when still just 19 years old, he was invited to join the RAM faculty; he remained on the faculty there until 1932, when he became a full-time performing pianist. During his time teaching at the RAM, Curzon spent several extended periods abroad studying with great pianists: first with Artur Schnabel in Berlin, and then with Wanda Landowska and Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In 1936, Curzon made a recital tour of Europe with violist Lionel Tertis, and in 1939, he made his U.S. debut at New York's Town Hall. By 1941, he was making records for Decca, beginning a relationship that would last almost to the end of his life.

Curzon was an exacting perfectionist, often refusing to allow the release of recordings he felt were imperfect. This included recordings of Mozart concertos with the likes of George Szell, István Kertész, and Benjamin Britten conducting. For this and other reasons, he earned a reputation for being difficult, and at times highly temperamental -- an irony, considering his generally retiring nature, and the restrained elegance of his playing. Curzon was knighted in 1977. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 62 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Istvan Kertesz: The London Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002033602 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Berry,  Christa Ludwig,  Pilar Lorengar,  Erzsébet Komlossy  ... 
    Conductor:  István Kertész
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Brighton Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 2.
    100 Hits: Classical Greats
    Label: 100 Hits   Catalog: 1017490 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Myra Hess,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Myra Hess  ... 
    Conductor:  Geraint Jones,  Karl Münchinger,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici,  Members of the Vienna Octet (Members)
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  • 3.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
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  • 5.
    Britten The Performer - Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922102 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Adrian Thompson,  John Tobin,  Jenny Hill,  Robert Tear  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir,  Wandsworth School Choir  ... 
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  • 6.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 11929 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Pablo Casals,  Rudolf Serkin  ... 
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  • 7.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22355 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon,  Jesus Maria Sanroma
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  • 8.
    Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27; Schubert: Impromptus, D. 899; Moment Musicaux No. 3 / Curzon, Boult, London Philharmonic
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1486 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Clifford Curzon Edition - Complete Recordings [23 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728400 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon,  Irmgard Seefried,  Horst Günther,  Julius Patzak  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  George Szell,  Benjamin Britten,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Kathleen Ferrier - The Complete Decca Recordings [14 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001654200 Release Date: 03/20/2012   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Xaver Gruber  ... 
    Performer:  Zoe Vlachopoulos,  Ann Ayars,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Stiedry,  Reginald Jacques,  Boyd Neel,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  Southern Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bach Choir  ... 
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  • 11.
    The Decca Sound - Highlights [5-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001620002 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Béla Bartók,  Benjamin Britten,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Renata Tebaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Franco Capuana,  István Kertész,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 12.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Piano Masterworks - The World's Favourite Piano Classics - Bach, Debussy, Etc / Argerich, Arrau, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B001206502 Release Date: 12/16/2009   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Friedrich Gulda,  Wilhelm Kempff  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Eliahu Inbal,  Horst Stein,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Best 100 Menuhin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98225 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Stéphane Grappelli,  Vincent Youmans,  George Gershwin,  Jacob Gade  ... 
    Performer:  Stéphane Grappelli,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jan Blok,  John Etheridge  ... 
    Conductor:  Max Harris,  Andrzej Panufnik,  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Menuhin Festival Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 15.
    Ultimate Classical Dreams - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001280302 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Samuel Barber,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Marisa Robles,  Jack Brymer,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  David Zinman,  Frederick Fennell,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Yehudi Menuhin - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64131 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Lili Boulanger,  Ernest Bloch,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Ferguson Webster,  Derek Simpson,  Robert Masters  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  John Pritchard,  George Enescu,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Heritage Masters - Brahms: Piano Concertos / Curzon
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001268202 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    The Classic Sound - Beethoven:
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452302 Release Date: 11/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    The Classic Sound - Brahms, Schubert: Sonatas / Curzon
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448578 Release Date: 10/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
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  • 20.
    The Classic Sound - Schubert: Sonata D 850, Etc / Curzon
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443570 Release Date: 10/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
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  • 21.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1, 2 Intermezzos / Curzon, Szell
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 417641 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Schubert: Moments Musicaux, Sonata In Bb / Clifford Curzon
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 417642 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
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  • 23.
    Dvorák, Franck: Piano Quintets / Curzon, Vienna Phil Quartet
    Label: London/Decca Chamber Mus Series   Catalog: 421153 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  César Franck
    Performer:  Willi Boskovsky,  Otto Strasser,  Rudolf Streng,  Robert Scheiwein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic String Quartet
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  • 24.
    Ultimate Liszt - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001158502 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Claudio Arrau,  Lajos Kozma,  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Kurt Masur,  Antal Doráti,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    Tchaikovsky, Grieg: Piano Concertos / Clifford Curzon
    Label: London/Decca Weekend Classics   Catalog: 417676 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Oivin Fjeldstad,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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