Steven Osborne (piano)
One of Liszt’s most personal and confessional piano cycles, the Harmonies poétiques et religieuses (composed between 1846 and 1851) contains two of his best-loved masterpieces – the serenely contemplative ‘Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude’ and the heroic elegy ‘Funérailles’. This outstanding recording makes a much-needed case for the collection as a whole, setting these well-known works in their wider spiritual context. Important works such as ‘Pensée des morts’ (an extraordinarily dark meditation on the oft-visited subject of death) and ‘Cantique d’amour’ (one of Liszt’s most beautifully expressive reveries) are revealed, as are rarely heard transcriptions of Liszt’s own sacred choral works.
Steven Osborne captures the music’s spiritual essence to perfection, further demonstrating his affinity with music of mystical contemplation, a quality so widely acclaimed in his superb recording of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards.