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“The French Album”
Gabriel Fauré: Pavane in F-Sharp minor, opus 50
Claude Debussy: Préludes, Book I, L.117: “Les Collines d’ Anacapri”, n° 5 – “Ce qu’a vu le vent d’Ouest”, n° 7 – Voiles, n° 2 – “La Cathédrale engloutie”, n° 10; Préludes, Book II, L.123: “La Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune”, n° 7 – “Feuilles mortes”, n° 12 – “La Puerta del vino”, n° 3; Suite bergamasque, L.75: “Clair de lune”, n° 3; Estampes, L.100: “La Soirée dans Grenade”, n° 2
Jean-Philippe Rameau: Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin, Suite in G major/G minor, RCT 6: “Les Tricotets”, n° 1 – “Menuets I and II”, n° 3 – “L’Egyptienne”, n° 8
Maurice Ravel: Miroirs, M.43: “Alborada del gracioso”, n° 4 – “Pavane pour une infant défunte”, M.19

Jorge Federico Osorio (piano)
Recording: Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago (January 14-15, 2020) – 75’10
Cedille CDR 90000 197 (Distributed by Naxos of America) – Booklet in English

“For me, art, and especially music, exist to elevate us as far as possible above everyday existence.” Gabriel Fauré

“We should always remember that sensitiveness and emotion constitute the real content of a work of art.” Maurice Ravel

Gabriel Fauré’s and Maurice Ravel’s philosophies are not dissimilar since Ravel was a pupil of Fauré’s; hence, the reason for Jorge Federico Osorio choosing to coiffe his CD with coherent, non-chaotic pavanes from both composers. But the Mexican-born, Paris-trained pianist has more to say inside “The French Album” as he gives distillation and purity to the music. Furthermore, Jorge Federico Osorio’s stylization strongly points to two of his teachers, Monique Haas and Bernard Flavigny.

To the point of Claude Debussy, breaking from the mold was what the composer intended. Monique Haas brilliantly followed his example by distancing herself from duty-bound sentimentality. Similarly, one can hear Jose Federico Osorio’s unfussiness drifting through Clair de lune with ambient resolution: clean and limpid. So holds true during the legendary Breton cathedral, Ys, as it rises from the pentatonic sea. During the hidden gem, Feuilles mortes, the pianist shows fallen folioles for what they are.

La Puerta del vino’s bold astringency is like tart wine. M. Osorio conservatively pushes the pedal to emphasize forte commentary…the punctuation intrigues. A logical segue, La Soirée dans Grenade, is unveiled without overstatement, yet the layering of Debussy’s music keeps the listener engaged.

“I used to hear my mother play pieces by Ravel, Debussy and the minuets by Rameau”...”I just love this music”, as quoted by the pianist. Specifically, Jorge Federico Osorio’s ebullience over the enjoyment of Jean-Philippe Rameau can be heard from beginning to end. Mme Haas comes to mind. Whereas the musical depictions aren’t “over-frilly”, it, instead, turns to the grandeur of notes and a straightforward approach. M. Osorio’s depiction of Rameau’s three clavecin extractions is highly mathematical, no non-sense and approachable. And while Chabrier’s Habanera can exude the worst in “over-hype”, Jorge Federico Osorio shies away from such dramatization with a delivery of candid innocence.

Bernard Flavigny’s incisive spell upon M. Osorio’s Alborada del gracioso brings with it a mildly seductive appeal. While Ravellian mavens may think “orchestral” as the epitomized version, the presupposition is negated when Jorge Federico Osorio steps up to the plate. In this, a cordial, festive Osorio decorates the piece with fabulously distinct, straight-edged repeated notes and powerful staccatos.

Reflections, just the same, come and go; however, with Jorge Federico Osorio, serving of the keyboard makes anything possible: imagination abounds, poignancy prevails, drama towards the French music unfolds with civility and graceful ceremony. Elegance is the lesson in protocol.

Jorge Federico Osorio Website

Christie Grimstad




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