Osorio’s Exciting Chávez Piano Concerto

Review by: David Hurwitz


Artistic Quality: 9

Sound Quality: 9

Make no mistake, Carlos Chávez’s Piano Concerto is a major work. Symphonic in length and very generous in content, it poses quite a challenge to the soloist, with hyperactive allegros surrounding an intimate and evocatively scored central Molto lento. Jorge Federico Osorio has no peer in this repertoire, at least on disc. He plays the work with unflagging energy and, where called for, sensitivity, and he’s very capably accompanied by Carlos Prieto and the Mexican National Symphony Orchestra. This is an important addition to the Chávez discography, and it’s very well engineered.

The couplings make an attractive series of encores. Both Chávez’s Meditación and Moncayo’s Muros Verdes are lovely, lyrical interludes, but Samuel Zyman’s Variations on an Original Theme is a major work more than a quarter-hour long. It’s not easy listening. The music is thorny and at times highly dissonant, but there’s also no question that the work has great integrity, a wide expressive range, and an impressive level of disciplined craftsmanship, nor is it particularly difficult to follow. Osorio, as in the concerto, plays all three solo works very well indeed, and as you’re not likely to find this repertoire so convincingly done anywhere else, this disc earns an enthusiastic recommendation.

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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: This One

Carlos Chávez: Piano Concerto; Meditación
José Pablo Moncayo: Muros Verdes
Samuel Zyman: Variations on an Original Theme

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