Jorge Federico Osorio

Debussy Preludes Books I & II; Liszt: 3 Sonetti del Petrarca; Etc.

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Debussy Preludes Books I & II; Liszt: 3 Sonetti del Petrarca; Etc. Review

by Mike D. Brownell

Mexican-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio has chosen for this program a selection of works that could just as easily be paintings as pieces of music. Both of Liszt's selections from Years of Pilgrimage and Debussy's two books of Preludes seek to evoke not only an emotional response from listeners, but also a visual one, although the two composers set about this task in very different manners. What's most important for listeners is how well Osorio is able to achieve these images using only the piano. Almost without exception, Osorio masterfully succeeds. His technique is quite ample and is infused with an abundance of dynamic, rhythmic, and tonal nuance that captivates listeners and takes them on a journey through these highly evocative works. Despite the extensive demands these pieces make on the performer, Osorio's gentle approach and graceful touch allow the music to flow effortlessly, making it possible for listeners to get caught up in the product rather than the process. The one possible downside to this recording is Cedille's recorded sound, which in this particular instance almost seems too clean and precise. For Debussy especially, a slightly more diffuse sound may have been preferable. Nevertheless, this two-disc set is certainly a suitable introduction to these picturesque pieces.

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