It is with great sadness that I have to report that one of Britain’s finest pianists, Anthony Goldstone, passed away peacefully on 2nd January.
This fine pianist built a formidable career both as a solo artist and, with his wife Caroline Clemmow, as part of one of this country’s finest piano duos. My wife, Deborah and I were privileged to count Tony and Caroline as friends for over twenty years after meeting Caroline at our local music festival. Our association with Albany Records led to Tony and Caroline making a number of recordings for that company. Both later recorded for Divine Art and Albion Records before culminating with their superb recording on Albion of the two piano versions of Vaughan Williams’ Tallis Fantasia and Fifth Symphony, a remarkably apt work for what turned out to be their swansong together.
The New York Times described him as ‘a man whose nature was designed with pianos in mind’ and Die Presse of Vienna as ‘a musician with a sense of the grand manner, long lines unfolding without interruption, strongly hewn rhythms, warmth, a touch displaying the qualities of colour and cantabile, in addition to possessing a sure technique and real strength… astonishingly profound spiritual penetration.’
Anthony Goldstone was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music (later the Royal Northern College of Music) where his piano professor was Derrick Wyndham. The RMCM was to later honour him with a Fellowship. He went on to study in London with Maria Curcio, one of Schnabel’s greatest pupils, making him a sixth-generation pupil of Beethoven.
International prizes in Munich and Vienna followed as well as a Gulbenkian Fellowship which launched a busy schedule of recitals and concertos taking him across Europe and to North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia. There were prestigious festival invitations and many broadcasts as well as numerous London appearances including Promenade Concerts, notably the Last Night, after which Benjamin Britten wrote to him saying, ‘Thank you most sincerely for that brilliant performance of my Diversions. I wish I could have been at the Royal Albert Hall to join in the cheers.’
Tony Goldstone has always regarded the classics and romantics as being at the heart of his repertoire recording an acclaimed series of CDs devoted to the major solo works of Schubert. His series of recordings for Divine Art have ranged from Beethoven and Mozart to 20th century British composers all with new completions and rarities, as well as transcriptions from ballet and opera. His interest in rarities led to a series of recordings of works by Rebikov, Lyapunov, Arensky and Glière.
Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow formed their piano duo in 1984 making numerous recordings, broadcasts and concert appearances, receiving wide praise from public and critics alike. Their acclaimed seven-CD cycle of the complete original four-hand music of Schubert, including works not found in the collected edition, is probably a world first. Tony Goldstone’s completions and realisations of several works by Schubert and Mozart were greeted with enthusiasm by musicologists and listeners alike.
Tony’s death has deprived my wife and me of a great friend and the music world of an exceptional musician.
Bruce Reader The Classical Reviewer