According to Kepler's second law: A planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times (A simple definition). This means that if the orbit is somewhat eccentric, the planet will move faster when on the closest approach to it's parent star, and slowest when at aphelion. So why does this happen, is the curvature of space-time greater closer to the star?
Velocity is a form of kinetic energy, while height within a gravity well is a form of potential energy. For an orbiting body, conservation of energy will keep the total energy constant.
So as a planet moves away from the parent star, it loses velocity and gains potential energy. As it moves closer, it trades the potential energy back for velocity. The point of lowest potential has the highest velocity and the point of highest potential has the lowest velocity.