P1076. CLIFFORD CURZON: Schubert Recital; w.Boult Cond. London Phil.: Concerto #27 in B-flat, K.595 (Mozart). (England) Testament SBT 1486, Live Performances 1961, Royal Albert Hall, London; Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Final copy! - 749677148621
"The performance of the Impromptus, D.899, heard here, confirms Curzon's place as one of the great Schubert players of his generation. Indeed, the audience was so impressed that they couldn't help applauding between each Impromptu. Not only does Curzon manage to play with a range of emotion, from limpid tenderness to controlled aggression, but his attention to the sound he produces from the piano never fails to impress. This was one of Curzon's most salient attributes; for him the sound he made at the keyboard was paramount and it is his combination of cerebral interpretation, no doubt acquired in part from two years study with Artur Schnabel, coupled with his acute attention to sound, that made Curzon such a unique pianist.
Listening to the first Impromptu one can hear that it is not just the beauty of sound that Curzon is concerned with, but the balance between the hands, parts and voices, and the way the harmony of the left hand supports Schubert's glorious melodies. Indeed, it is good to have Curzon in a live performance of this work as, although he recorded a short studio recital of works by Liszt and Schubert for the BBC in December 1961, he omitted the first and most substantial Impromptu playing only the last three.
One of the highlights of the 1961 Edinburgh Festival was Curzon's performance of Mozart's last Piano Concerto, K.595 in B flat. He later travelled to London to perform the work again at the Proms and it is this performance that is heard on this CD.
Curzon is supported by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Sir Adrian Boult, who had not appeared at the Proms since 1958. The orchestral playing is at once smooth and elegant with string and wind playing beautifully shaped and phrased by the conductor, matching Curzon's style to perfection."
- Z. D. Akron