Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus is one of the most grandly conceived works in the piano literature. It was composed in 1944 in Paris, during terribly troubled times. Although it met with a mixed critical reception, the Vingt Regards are now recognized as one of the most important piano works of the twentieth century.
Steven Osborne is the ideal interpreter of this deeply religious, joyfully ecstatic music. He has played the complete Vingt Regards many times in concert, and after one performance at London's Wigmore Hall, The Independent wrote: "No pianist, surely, can have done it more justice … Osborne had a wonderful sense of sweep and colour [and] had his listeners rapt for no less than two hours and 10 minutes without an interval. Even unbelievers might have felt like falling to their knees".
Combining virtuoso aplomb with a deep spiritual understanding, we believe that this recording captures the atmosphere of this great music more than any other. Osborne's Messiaen is an overwhelming and intensely fulfilling musical experience—one not to be missed.