International Piano

Maria Curcio was one of the most remarkable, passionate and musically intuitive piano mentors of the last century. Her death on 30 March last year inspired a series of heartfelt testimonials from many of those who benefited from her years of accumulated wisdom (she was born in 1919). Now Anthony Goldstone has gone one stage further with a recital of pieces chosen either to enshrine her spirit and infections personality, or – specifically Mozart’s Rondo in A minor K511 , Beethoven’s Fantasy op.77 and Chopin’s F sharp minor Polonaise – because he studied them with her.

One of Curcio’s maxims was that music should be lived through as a vivid emotional experience. As if in response, Goldstone infused each piece in this wide-ranging recital with an almost choreographic sense of its expressive (as well as structural) potentialities and continuity. His limpid-toned phrasal sensitivity reaches its apex in the Mozart Rondo, which is voiced with the same deeply felt refinement that characterises the whole programme.

Typically Goldstone uncovers some rarities along the way, including Casella’s op.3 Variations on a Chaconne, which in places anticipates Rachmaninoff’s Corelli Variations, and four of Schnabel’s op.15 Waltzes. The recital culminates in a moving, live 1957 performance of Mozart’s concert aria Ch’io mi scordi di te? , with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf, the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Otto Klemperer and Curcio playing the enchanting piano part like an angel.

Highly recommended.

—Julian Haylock