About us / Contact

The Classical Music Network


Europe : Paris, Londn, Zurich, Geneva, Strasbourg, Bruxelles, Gent
America : New York, San Francisco, Montreal                       WORLD

Your email :



“Conciertos Románticos”
Ricardo Castro: Piano Concerto in A minor, opus 22 – Piano Pieces, opus 36: 1. “Berceuse” – Canto de amor – Piano Pieces, opus 38: 2. “Plainte”
Manuel María Ponce: Piano Concerto n° 1 “Romántico” – Arrulladora Mexicana – Gavota – Romanza de amor – Intermezzo n° 1

Jorge Federico Osorio (piano), Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, Carlos Miguel Prieto (conductor)
Recording: Sala Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico City, Mexico (August 1 and 8, 2022) and Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, Illinois (November 11, 2022) – 74’31
Cedille CDR 90000 221 (Distributed by Naxos of America) – Booklet in English and Spanish

With two Mexican composers having a say inside “Conciertos Románticos”, each of the composers’ leading pieces is highlighted by the ebullient reaches of piano concertos. Immediately following are intimate solo pieces which give a rounding for each composer with a softer, more intimate discovery of romantic flavor.

Jorge Federico Osorio’s new album, “Conciertos Románticos”, beautifully dovetails with his 2020 album, “The French Album” since the Paris‑trained pianist lives vicariously inside worlds of the 19th/20th century Mexican composers, Ricardo Castro and Manuel María Ponce. This is a magical matchmaker! Both composers, though Mexican by birth, spent time in Paris with writings sautéed by the Romantic movement. “Elegant gracility” sums up the overall aesthetics of this music.

Opening with an equivocally moody distance and mysterious foundation (ref: “Allegro moderato”), Castro’s Piano Concerto in A minor fluidly glimpses upon Edvard Grieg’s majestic runs and fortitude. Soon the clarinet blossoms into an intelligent conversation with Jorge Federico Osorio. Ricardo Castro’s illustrious grandeur gives his Piano Concerto a round or two of thoughtful convention. The more contemplative passage (2’10) sprinkles mildly with Grieg’s “Adagio” from the Concerto in A minor. “Slow to burn” with grave friction, the “Andante” pauses with stately extensions and allows cadenzas to hold back excessiveness, though the embraces are painfully loving.

Senor Osorio’s reading of Castro is sensitive yet persuasive, teeming with a velvety flow: it yearns for a “hopeful tomorrow”, cautiously and anxiously awaiting the opening of an optimistic day. [Think Rachmaninoff]. Senor Osorio releases a dignified and poignant musical surfactant that helps broaden the dramatic strength of total composition. “Delicate and touching” well-characterizes the technique that Jorge Federico Osorio manifests in his fully-exposed and embracing musical demeanor. A graceful ending.

In an entrée by horns, the final third of the Concerto adds lighter fare by unveiling of the “Polonaise”...certainly a Westernized European élan brimming with majestic touches like those buried inside Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s war chest. Within the closing remarks, Senor Osorio floats lightly on high and tingles the airwaves with fancy, elegant formality. Conclusive and tinkling remarks (a strong reminder of Sleeping Beauty) beautifully build in a mellifluous, chatty ivory delight. Senor Osorio’s flights of fancy are forever flouncy and fluffy. The closing Castro remarks summarize the composition’s past reminisces into a whirling, punchy conclusion. Spectacular!

Yet a contrast ensues inside the soft, yet dramatic whispers of the “Berceuse” that are contemplative, though enthusiastically yearning for optimistic resolve. On the same level of sobriety, Senor Osorio channels the energy to his fingers and, ultimately, to his heart as he delves into the serious topic of “love”, deeply buried inside his rendition of the Canto de amor. Here, Ricardo Castro tempers his piece with love‑sick awakenings, filled with superlative cascading runs masterfully free‑flowing and patiently building through the powerfully illustrative expressions by Jorge Federico Osorio. In the last few years of Ricardo Castro’s life, his swansong miniature, “Plainte”, sang like a brightly‑hued lark ripening with age, as if to be turning back the neck to reflect upon past idylls. M. Osorio’s eloquence is fashioned by a sedately pined resolve.

In comparison to Ricardo Castro, Manuel María Ponce’s music has stronger equations, imbued by thicker lines and woody density. Furthermore, Ponce’s Piano Concerto n° 1 emerges upon the airwaves with greater heft. It’s as if to say Ponce’s pieces breathe a seriously spicy hot‑blooded determination. All three movements inside the Concerto invoke deeper drama, and reign supreme in the context of the storyline: but Jorge Federico Osorio channels Ponce’s emotional assortments of thoughts with grainy, melodramatic detail. Each of the other independent songs (Arrulladora Mexicana, Gavota, Romanza de amor and Intermezzo) are stated with firmity and poignant direction.

“Conciertos Románticos” is penetrating and clear...we hear Jorge Federico Osorio at his “personal best”, embracing the passionate fervencies of the Romantic movement and the heartfelt discoveries of two Mexican composers.


Christie Grimstad




Copyright ©ConcertoNet.com