This Sunday-morning recital was given on June 16 at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Suffolk, and broadcast two evenings later. Substantially Schubert, of whose music Steven Osborne is a notable advocate, witness his Hyperion recordings, the “plus” element was three miniatures by Judith Weir, including the delicate, gently rhythmic Fragile, and the poignant white-keys Chorale, for Steve, in memory of composer Steven Stucky who died in 2016, which tied appositely with D960, Schubert journeying on life’s farewell lap, very sensitively distilled by Osborne, also just as concerned with structure, hence him repeating the lengthy exposition, stretching the first movement to eighteen minutes, if way short of Richter’s twenty-five, followed by a slow movement of solitude, with hope emerging, then a sparkling Scherzo complemented by a lust-for-life Finale. Earlier Osborne had essayed D959, Schubert’s penultimate Piano Sonata, a volatile account with poetic asides, at its zenith in the slow movement, at once ethereal then starkly contrasted with the midpoint emotional outburst, uncompromising from Osborne, and ‘modern’ with it. The Finale ‘strolled’ with intent to its full-circle conclusion. Following D960 Osborne improvised on a Keith Jarrett number; rather special in its intimate pulling power.

Judith Weir: Fragile; Michael’s Strathspey

Schubert: Piano Sonata in A, D959

Weir: Chorale, for Steve

Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat, D960

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0020303

https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/a.asp?a=A263