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Ponce Piano Music

Jorge Federico Osorio, Piano

Canciones Mexicanas
Estudios De Concierto
4 Pieces From ‘Trozos Romanticos'
8 Mazurcas
Suite Cubana
Deux Etudes Pour Piano (A Artur Rubinstein)

Cedille CDR 90000 086 (75 mins, recd July 2005)

Manuel M. Ponce (1882-1948) is best known for his guitar writing (he was highly rated by Segovia and many of his short pieces are in the standard repertoire, in addition to his concerto). His own principal instrument was the piano. He travelled to Europe as a young man, working with no less a figure than Edwin Fischer, and throughout his life composed a significant body of piano music, predominantly in the idiom of mid- to late 19 th century Romanticism.

The music on this disc is drawn from compositions completed throughout Ponce 's career and highlights the two strands of passages requiring great virtuosity and of melodies derived from folk music, melodies often of simple beauty. Both elements are ideally captured by the pianist and this helps to make this disc a most attractive introduction to the composer's work; work that deserves to find a place in the recital repertoire alongside that of his models.


Debussy & Liszt

Debussy Preludes Books I & II;
Liszt: 3 Sonetti del Petrarca; Les jeux d'eau & Vallee d'Obermann Jorge Federico Osorio piano

Cedille Records CDR 90000 098

Cedille is one of the most reliable of smaller trans-Atlantic labels, and this double CD (two-for-the-prioce-of-one) is up for bargain recording of the year - actually recorded 2006/2007, but I come to it belatedly.

I don't go in for direct comparisons, and there are many fine versions of the Debussy preludes, but this is fully in contention, and is helped by fine recording in Chicago, where Osorio teaches at the Roosevelt University. Fine pianism can be savoured in the simpler and 'easyist' pieces which are familiar to amateurs, and his undemonstrative virtuosity is well to the fore when required.

The unfussy presentation is immaculate, and the full and fully informative notes by Andrea Lamoureux (Music Director of Chicago's classical-music radio station) are printed in strong black on white for easy reading; she and osorio have together encouraged me to take more seriously the Liszt items, generally an unfavourite composer of mine.

Peter Grahame Woolf

Salon Mexicano

Gorge Federico Osorio (piano)

Cedille: CDR90000132

A nice new selection of mainly rather melancholic Mexican salon music by several composers who are scarcely remembered and deserve this elegant, sympathetic revival.

A worthwhile exploration of charming music and another recommendable addition to Jorge Federico Osorio's catalogue




















© Peter Grahame Woolf