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Liszt: Harmonies Poétiques et Religieuses / Steven Osborne

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : Harmonies poetiques et religieuses (10), for piano, S. 173 (LW A158)
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Osborne's approach is English to the core: polished, straightfoward, and clear. His focus is on exactness and precision, rhythmic pacing and clarity of sound." - Bolen, ARG

CLASSICAL CDs OF THE YEAR 2004 (The Daily Telegraph)

'This is a fine recital, with a recording to match' (BBC Music Magazine)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Steven Osborne follows his superlative Hyperion recording of Messiaen's Vingt Regards surl'Enfant-Jésus with Liszt's Harmonies poétiques etreligieuses, surely a precursor of Messiaen's masterpiece.

Attuned to the mystic heart at the centre of Liszt's Catholicism, Osborne once more shows the sort of stylistic ease and tonal magic that come to very few young pianists. Sacred and profane love blend with a wholly Lisztian alchemy.

In 'Invocation', the magnificent gateway to the cycle, Osborne offers up its quasi-orchestral rhetoric with immense power but without bombast.

The 'Bénédiction' is daringly understated in pages that can all too easily topple into lavish, tear-laden emotionalism. 'Pensées des morts' is a triumph of alternating anguish and exultation. If all conventional pomp and circumstance are erased by the brisk tempo in the opening of 'Funérailles', Osborne's performance is still a marvel of concentrated musicianship and indiv- iduality. In the Andante lagrimoso he conjures an uncanny stillness in music whose painful climbing looks ahead to the dark, attenuated utterances of Fauré's final years, while the final 'Cantique d'Amour' resolves all past torment in a paean of praise for the union of two traditionally opposed ideas of love.

Few more radiant or deeply considered Liszt recordings have ever been made. Hyperion's sound is immaculate.


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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : Harmonies poétiques et réligieuses (10), for piano, S. 173 (LW A158)
  • Performer: Steven Osborne (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/28/2002-12/30/2002)
  • Running Time: 82 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1848-1853