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Mozart: Concerto for Two Pian

B. Britten C. Curzon (Piano) Audio CD
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

The posthumous reputation of Clifford Curzon rests on regrettably few studio recordings, testimony to an absolute perfectionism when it came to committing his thoughts for the future. So the present disc is a valuable addition to his legacy. Few of Curzon's contemporaries approached his understanding of Mozart as did Benjamin Britten, and although this Aldeburgh Festival account of the Two-Piano Sonata starts brusquely, the dovetailing of responses in the andante and finale are what live music making is all about. Admittedly the Two-Piano Concerto fares less well. Curzon and Barenboim sound slightly tentative in their interplay, as though more time were needed to really make the conception gel, although an unseasonably bronchial Royal Albert Hall audience can't have helped. What makes this disc indispensable is the artless account of Mozart's final Piano Concerto. Curzon attempts on the work in the studio always left him dissatisfied: hearing this humane and wise account, inspiration truly caught on the wing, you can appreciate why. Barenboim and the ECO accompany discreetly yet thoughtfully: quite simply, you won't hear better. --Richard Whitehouse

Product Description

Double concerto, K365 - Concerto pour piano n° 27, K595 - Sonate pour deux pianos, K448 / Clifford Curzon & Daniel Barenboïm, pianos - Clifford Curzon & Benjamin Britten, pianos - English Chamber Orchestra, dir. Daniel Barenboim

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Mozart May 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I'd always heard that Curzon was a fine Mozartian, however on all the occasions that I've heard his recordings, I'd been disappointed. Unfortunately, this live recording does nothing to change my initial impression. The Barenboim-Curzon partnership is a poor one, and there appears to be no clear common conception with regards to performing Mozart. This is a case where opposites fail to attract. The B-flat concerto is no less uninspiring. The tempo is too slow to bring out Mozart's charm and playfulness, but is also too slow to convey depth or poetic fantasy. This is stuffy Mozart, which gives academic interpretations a poor reputation.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't do justice to the performers or composer Dec 14 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This CD was a terrible disappointment. When I bought it, I was not aware that it was recorded at a live concert. Apparently the engineering was very poor because the sound of the pianos is not well balanced and the pianos are not well tuned. In addition, someone in the audience is coughing throughout the concert. I am sorry I wasted my money on what should have been a beautiful recording.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Curzon and Barenboim Shine Dec 14 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Clifford Curzon was an unequaled interpreter of Mozart, but sadly he made very few recordings. On this magnificent CD are remastered live recordings from several decades ago, on which Curzon plays with, as well as accompanied by, a young Daniel Barenboim. I own several dozen recordings of Mozart piano concertos, and this is my absolute favorite.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great #27, mostly inspired #10, scintillating k448 sonata with April 21 2013
By Kirk List - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
a ragged finale. Of the the three performances, the 27th concerto is the most effective technically and musically. Its Larghetto is played as one. It is both serene and sad. As usual
Curzon lavishes great weight on every note while dragging nothing.The Finale is as ambivalent as I think Mozart intended, both dark and sunny, optimistic and regretful. The balance that Curzon and Barenboim achieve is enviable.
In the double concerto, Curzon's only version of it, the soloists are energetic and mostly articulate, but a noticable fluff/memory lapse occurs just before the entry of the second theme of the first movement. Best here is the second movement. The k448 Sonata for two pianos
is mostly delightful. Curzon and Britten had then played together for almost twnty years. The finale almost runs away from them in their exuberance. Not preferable to a few studio performances but worth hearing. I do prefer the #27 to the Decca Curzon-Britten version and would rank it with his partnerships with Szell/Decca, Kubelil/Audite and Kertesz/Decca.
Peers in #10: Brendel/Cooper/Marriner/Philips, Haebler/Hoffmann/Galliera/Philips, The Serkins/Schneider/Sony, Haskil/Anda/Galliera/EMI, Foldes/Seemann/Lehmann/DG
peers in the sonata k448: Haebler/Hoffman/Philips, Frager/Ashkenazy/Decca, The Pekinels/Teldec, Cooper/Queffelec/Ottavo
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely music-making all around, but K. 595 does amble along a bit too slowly May 8 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
the one-star reviews could be chalked up to a drastic change of style in Mozart playing -- the broad tempos taken in Mozart's last piano concerto, K. 595, allow for elegant phrasing and reflective pauses on Curzon's part, but younger listeners may squirm simply because the piece seems to drag. Although the two-piano concerto appeared on the same Proms program in 1979, barenboim seems to inspire livelier participation all around. I think almost any listener, old or young, could spot how delightfully paired the older and younger pianist are. The BBC's stereo sound is unusually good, too. At the time, Barenboim was making a splash by recording Mozart's concertos with the smaller forces of the English chamber Orch., and commentators considered his approach fresh and light -- how quickly times would change; the period-performance movement made any touches of romanticism in this music sound fusty. If you find them eloquent instead, you will enjoy these two performances.

the generous (78 min.) program is filled out with a mono recording from Aldeburgh in 1960, where one icon of British music-making met another. Britten and Curzon join in a lively if somewhat sloppy reading of Mozart's two-piano sonata K. 448. clearly both are enjoying themselves. the mood is summery, the reading all smiles, the sound a bit trying in its boxiness. I was reminded of the splendid four-hand concerts that Britten, an excellent pianist, gave with his great friend Sviatoslav Richter. It takes a good deal of courage to share a piano bench with that particular partner!

Despite my praise and general enjoyment, I have to withhold a star considering the overly broad tempos in K. 595, which even Curzon's stylishness can't quite overcome.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Curzon and Barenboim Shine Dec 14 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Clifford Curzon was an unequaled interpreter of Mozart, but sadly he made very few recordings. On this magnificent CD are remastered live recordings from several decades ago, on which Curzon plays with, as well as accompanied by, a young Daniel Barenboim. I own several dozen recordings of Mozart piano concertos, and this is my absolute favorite.
7 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Mozart May 16 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'd always heard that Curzon was a fine Mozartian, however on all the occasions that I've heard his recordings, I'd been disappointed. Unfortunately, this live recording does nothing to change my initial impression. The Barenboim-Curzon partnership is a poor one, and there appears to be no clear common conception with regards to performing Mozart. This is a case where opposites fail to attract. The B-flat concerto is no less uninspiring. The tempo is too slow to bring out Mozart's charm and playfulness, but is also too slow to convey depth or poetic fantasy. This is stuffy Mozart, which gives academic interpretations a poor reputation.
3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't do justice to the performers or composer Dec 14 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This CD was a terrible disappointment. When I bought it, I was not aware that it was recorded at a live concert. Apparently the engineering was very poor because the sound of the pianos is not well balanced and the pianos are not well tuned. In addition, someone in the audience is coughing throughout the concert. I am sorry I wasted my money on what should have been a beautiful recording.
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