Marius Dawn
June 2017

Perhaps Ravel's Pyrenean birthplace, a few minutes' drive from the Spanish border, was the cue for this unusual coupling. In any case Steven Osborne shows considerable affinity for Nights I the Garden of Spain, with much subtle interplay between piano and orchestra. The G major Concerto is taken at cracking speeds throughout; my sympathies are with the bassoons in the finale. Notwithstanding a lack of tenderness to the slow movement, Osborne melts beautifully into the coda's trills and figurations. The Concerto for the Left Hand is done with élan and rhythmic zest, and Osborne flies through the massive challenges of the grand coda. The BBC Scottish SO is a sensitive partner; Ludovic Morlot occasionally drives the players hard but they rarely struggle, with the strings especially producing a mellow supportive tone.