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Rachmaninov: 24 Preludes / Osborne


Release Date: 05/12/2009 
Label:  Hyperion   Catalog #: 67700   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



The complete Preludes in a recording that can compete with the greats

Steven Osborne says that he finds Rachmaninov physically difficult (his hands not being ideally shaped for this composer) and has to work all the harder at him. If that’s true, then the extra work has yielded exceptionally fine results. This is a glorious traversal of the Preludes, at once living fully in Rachmaninov’s sound world and pulling out tiny, telling details.

-- Gramophone [6/2009]

It's easy to fathom why this disc garnered high praise from the British press, along with my ClassicstodayFrance.com colleague Christophe Huss. Steven Osborne meets the
Read more considerable pianistic demands of Rachmaninov's Preludes with effortless aplomb and elegant, world-class mastery. In addition, Hyperion's superior engineering absorbs the music's wide dynamic range, striking an ideal balance between ambient resonance and pinpointed detail.

Granted, some listeners may find Osborne's luminous tone and yielding cadences too soft-grained in impact next to more angular and forceful performances of certain pieces: think of Richter's animation and transparency in the Op. 23 No. 4, Gavrilov's swashbuckling Op. 23 No. 2, or Horowitz's sexy phrasing of Op. 25 No. 5's harmonically gorgeous coda. Yet Osborne's intelligence and authority grow more persuasive over repeated listening.

How marvelously he structures the G-sharp minor Op. 32 No. 12's obstinate accompaniment around the long cantabile lines, and similarly so in the C minor Op. 23 No. 7. Impressive power, drive, and suppleness define an A minor Op. 32 No. 8 that arguably rivals Ashkenazy's nimble paradigm. The B minor Op. 32 No. 10's desolate chords are weighty yet full of inner lilt. And the ubiquitous C-sharp minor Op. 3 No. 2 convincingly fuses forward sweep and firm, orchestral sonorities. While I wouldn't sacrifice Weissenberg, Fiorentino, or Ashkenazy among my favorite complete Rachmaninov Prelude cycles, collectors seeking the best combination of sound and interpretation will gain long-lasting satisfaction from Osborne's formidable achievement.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Morceaux de fantaisies (5), Op. 3: no 2, Prélude in C sharp minor by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
2.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 1 in F sharp minor, Largo by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
3.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 2 in B flat major, Maestoso by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
4.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 3 in D minor, Tempo di minuetto by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
5.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 4 in D major, Andante cantabile by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 24 Secs. 
6.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 5 in G minor, Alla marcia by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
7.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 6 in E flat major, Andante by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
8.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 7 in C minor, Allegro by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 
9.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 8 in A flat major, Allegro vivace by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 42 Secs. 
10.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 9 in E flat minor, Presto by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 0 Secs. 
11.
Preludes (10) for Piano, Op. 23: no 10 in G flat major, Largo by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1903; Russia 
Length: 3 Minutes 57 Secs. 
12.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 1 in C major, Allegro vivace by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 6 Secs. 
13.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 2 in B flat minor, Allegretto by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
14.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 3 in E major, Allegro vivace by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
15.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 4 in E minor, Allegro con brio by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
16.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 5 in G major, Moderato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
17.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 6 in F minor, Allegro appassionato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 22 Secs. 
18.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 7 in F major, Moderato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
19.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 8 in A minor, Vivo by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 39 Secs. 
20.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 9 in A major, Allegro moderato by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 57 Secs. 
21.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 10 in B minor, Lento by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 50 Secs. 
22.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 11 in B major, Allegretto by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
23.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 12 in G sharp minor, Allegro by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
24.
Preludes (13) for Piano, Op. 32: no 13 in D flat major, Grave by Sergei Rachmaninov
Performer:  Steven Osborne (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1910; Russia 
Length: 4 Minutes 50 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Morceaux de fantaisies, op 3: No 2: Prélude in C sharp minor
Preludes for Piano, op 23: No 3 in D minor, Tempo di minuetto
Preludes for Piano, op 23: No 8 in A flat, Allegro vivace

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