Schubert Impromptus, Piano Pieces and Variations
Osborne immediately presents himself as a Schubertian of the utmost seriousness and integrity.
Steven Osborne is perhaps the outstanding British pianist of his generation, certainly one of the most versatile and adventurous … these performances rank with the finest.
BBC Music Magazine
Osborne takes a wonderfully clear-sighted, analytical approach which gives the seven late works, as well as the early, often playful variations, great radiance and lyricism.
Played with sympathy and superb musicianship by Osborne … the recording is a model of warmth and lucidity. If you would like a one word summing up: outstanding!
Osborne revels in the youthful virtuosity of the fast variations and the songful melodies of the slower ones. The Impromptus benefit from his remarkable clarity, a sure sense of the music’s arching structures and a refusal to make the shifting moods sound either too neurotic or dreamy. Invigorating Schubert by any standards.
The Sunday Times
Despite the richness of Osborne’s tonal palette, clarity and definition are excellent, which means you can clearly delineate the degree of pedal pressure, variety and strength of touch (not the same as loudness) and no register dominates.
This is intimate music—Schubert at home, playing for his friends—an atmosphere which Osborne conveys wonderfully well with his characteristically pellucid singing tone and unmannered phrasing.