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 26-36 of 36 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Delius, Mozart, Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Curzon
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4181 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Mozart;  Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 5 / Szell, Curzon
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 4243 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon,  Martin Morris,  Ernani Angelucci,  George Goslee  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 28.
    Romantic Adagios Ii
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 473596 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Edvard Grieg,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Lynn Harrell,  Jorge Bolet,  Jeffrey Khaner  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Riccardo Chailly,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Yehudi Menuhin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 29.
    Evening Adagios - Over 2 1/2 Hours Of Peaceful Evening Music
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470780 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Kjell Lysell,  Bengt Forsberg,  Mats Lidström,  Ulf Forsberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  István Kertész,  Riccardo Chailly,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Vienna Haydn Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 30.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos No 20, 23, 24, 26 & 27 / Curzon
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 468491 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  István Kertész,  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 31.
    Mozart: Concertos For Piano No 23 And 27 / Curzon, Kubelik
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95466 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos / Curzon, Kubelik, Bavarian Rso
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95459 Release Date: 08/29/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 33.
    Mozart: Piano Concerto No 21 & 24 / Curzon, Kubelik, Et Al
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95453 Release Date: 07/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 34.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1; Franck, Litolff / Curzon, Szell
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 466376 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Charles Litolff,  César Franck,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Piano Masters - Clifford Curzon Vol 2 - Brahms, De Falla
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 41 Release Date: 01/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Enrique Jorda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.
    CD: $17.99
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  • 36.
    Schumann: Fantasie; Schubert: Sonate B-dur / Clifford Curzon
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 401951 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    CD: $19.99
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