Steven Osborne!

Osborne plays Beethoven!

Some pianists simply do not perform a particular work by Beethoven. An example is pianist Martha Argerich, who does not play the Beethoven Piano Concerto #4. This work is such a masterpiece, and the performer may have memories of other pianists who performed this masterpiece in a way they admired, that they simply play other compositions.

Some *composers* (Brahms, for example) were fully aware of the “shadow of Beethoven” that they waited a long time before publishing one of their own pieces. Brahms waited 10 years before he was adequately satisfied to release his first symphony for performance!

British pianist Steven Osborne has been performing and recording all sorts of music. One can get recordings of Osborne playing Rachmaninov, Debussy, Britten, Liszt, as well as lesser – known composers. Now, however, he’s ready to show us his capability to perform the Master: On this CD he plays for us the Beethoven Piano Sonatas – Nos. 8, 14, 21, & 25.

I really cannot improve on  what the British site, The Guardian, says about this recording:

“…Osborne plays the Moonlight, Pathétique and Waldstein sonatas here, together with the little G major work, Op 79, and even in such well traversed musical territory he regularly finds something new and interesting to say… The way he keeps the first two movements of the Moonlight sonata on the tightest of reins, for instance, before allowing it to explode in the tumultuous finale, or how he gradually turns up the intensity of the finale of the Waldstein from the gentlest of beginnings, are both perfectly stage-managed, the product of a musical mind that knows exactly what it wants interpretatively, and how to achieve it.”

I will add one thing: Osborne has a magnificent touch at the keyboard. Sensitive, controlled, and highly musical!

Here is Steven Osborne playing the Prelude in B minor by Rachmaninov (Opus 32, no. 10)

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