Piano Espanol (CD review)

Jorge Federico Osorio, piano. Cedille Records CDR 90000 075.

As many of you are aware, for over twenty-five years the once-small, Chicago-based company Cedille Records has been quietly producing some of the best-sounding discs around, mostly of solo and small-ensemble artists. Add this 2004 release to their large and ever-growing collection of recordings you may want to pursue. It's a collection of Spanish piano music played by Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio, and like most of Cedille's productions, ace engineer Bill Maylone recorded it.

Jorge Federico Osorio
Osorio is a most-refined pianist whose best work comes in the more expressively lyrical passages of these numbers. The highlight of the set is Spanish pianist and composer Isaac Albeniz's Suite Espanola, which has some absolutely gorgeous stretches of music in it, beginning with the "Granada" segment that starts things off.

Of course, there is always the definitive interpretation of Albeniz's score by Alicia de Larrocha (Decca) to consider, but not even she is any more passionately graceful than Osorio in this piece. Natually, this is not to suggest that Osorio isn't up to the big, explosive passages, too. He displays fine, gymnastic drive in the famous "Asturias" movement, for instance. It's just that his forte appears to be the articulation of the composition's inner beauty.

The other music on the disc is almost equally distinguished, Manuel de Falla's Piezas Espanolas, Enrique Granados's Danzas Espanolas, and four piano sonatas by Padre Antonio Soler. But for me it was the Albeniz that stood out; that and Cedille's sound for the piano. It's sweet, lush, and well defined, with a rich, golden glow around each note. It's really quite lovely and well complements Osorio's musical style.


To listen to a brief excerpt from this album, click on the forward arrow:

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John J. Puccio

John J. Puccio

About the Author

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job.

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa