Final Thoughts - The Last Piano Works of Schubert & Brahms
- CDR 90000 171
The longer Cedille Selects track excerpts are designed to provide a representative overview of the album
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Jorge Federico Osorio, “an imaginative interpreter with a powerful technique (The New York Times), deftly pairs Brahms’s final solo piano works with those by Schubert for an inventive program of richly satisfying works that capture the essence of each composer’s towering individuality.
Osorio records Brahms’s Three Intermezzos, Op. 117, and Six Piano Pieces, Op. 118, for the first time. He revisits Brahms’s Seven Fantasies, Op. 116, and Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119, which he last recorded nearly two decades ago, to great acclaim: “Quite marvelous,” said BBC Music Magazine. “It’s clear that Jorge Federico Osorio is an important Brahmsian,” proclaimed the Chicago Tribune. On his new album, Osorio’s penchant for color accentuates the individual character of these concentrated miniatures.
On this, his first Schubert recording, Osorio, whom the Los Angeles Times called “one of the more elegant and accomplished pianists on the planet,” presents the composer’s final two Piano Sonatas, D. 959 and D. 960, epic in scale and brimming with melodic invention. Osorio’s insights into the music’s architecture yield eloquent performances of these spacious, ambitious masterworks. Osorio’s Cedille Records albums of Mexican and Spanish music have introduced the pianist to new audiences worldwide. Now they can hear his artistry in more of the core German repertoire that has been central to his concert life for decades.
Osorio has performed Brahms’s Piano Quintet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Mexican-born, European-trained virtuoso has served as artistic director of Mexico’s Brahms Chamber Music Festival. He has received the Medalla Bellas Artes, the highest honor granted by Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Gina Bachauer Award.
Bruno Repp American Record Guide
". . . deeply impressive. Osorio's playing of these familiar masterpieces seems ideal to me in every respect . . . Osorio speaks the language of these composers perfectly. And his command extends to every expressive detail, so that the music emerges pristine while the artist is transparent . . . This is a recording to treasure."
Gary Lemco Audiophile Audition
"Osorio coaxes quietly seductive intimacy from his Steinway, never forcing the affective power of the procession . . . This set will likely become a major reference point for these works in modern guise."
John von Rhein Chicago Tribune
"His latest recording is one of his best yet . . . The simple eloquence Osorio has brought to his local concert performances comes to the fore in these Schubert recordings . . . Virgil Thomson once remarked of a pianist's "walking around in" Schubert's expansive forms; Osorio does so with farsighted musical integrity."
Jed Distler Classics Today
"Jorge Federico Osorio's mastery beckons your attention . . . Even in a catalog crowded with excellent recordings of these works, Osorio's cultured artistry offers much to savor over repeated hearings."
Paul Orgel Fanfare
"Jorge Federico Osorio’s unmannered, vital playing gets right to the heart of the music."
Gerald Fenech Music & Vision
"Celebrated Mexican virtuoso Jorge Federico Osorio's performances combine a clarity of texture with an articulate sense of rhythmic brilliance, giving these pieces a freshness and spontaneity that are wholly arresting. An absolutely wonderful issue in exemplary sound and generous playing time."
Gerald Fenech Music & Vision
"Celebrated Mexican virtuoso Jorge Federico Osorio's performances combine a clarity of texture with an articulate sense of rhythmic brilliance, giving these pieces a freshness and spontaneity that are wholly arresting."
Dominy Clements MusicWeb International
". . . a firm recommendation is in order. The recorded sound is excellent for this release, and as a programme concept this works very well indeed."
Bob Neill Positive Feedback
"All I can say is that in [Osorio's] hands, Brahms has more poetry and power than I've ever heard from him . . . This is a truly wonderful album, musically and sonically . . . Do not miss it."
Alex Baran The Whole Note
"Final Thoughts is an ambitious project for its focus on the last musical utterances of two revered composers. Osorio speaks with honesty and conviction about what he finds in them."