Rachmaninov Etudes Tableaux

Rachmaninov ET image.png

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)


‘Steven Osborne’s thrilling new recording leaves no doubt of the Études’ unique position in Rachmaninov’s oeuvre. As brilliant as Osborne’s execution is throughout, it is his freshness of conception that, for me, is most striking. Naturally, every agogic, dynamic and tempo indication is scrupulously observed. On that firm foundation Osborne layers his inerrant rhythmic sense, chaste rubato, his seemingly infinite dynamic palette and, above all, his beautifully sculpted singing line … Rachmaninov fans won’t want to miss this; nor will connoisseurs of intelligent, meaningful piano-playing’ (Gramophone)

‘Steven Osborne has already shown his feeling for Rachmaninov’s music in recordings of the Preludes and the Second Sonata, so it is no surprise to hear him give such idiomatic accounts of the Études-tableaux. The sheer polish of his technique is remarkable, approaching the patrician nonchalance of Rachmaninov himself—indeed, appearing at times to exceed him’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Each little gem sounds like the composer at the piano, testing a theme for possibilities, giving it alternate measures of lightness and weight, and then setting it aside to tinker with another passing thought. There is neither ego nor assertion in this account. It is exploratory, improvisatory, analytical, self-critical … [Osborne is] my kind of pianist’ (Ludwig Van, Canada)

‘Steven Osborne’s recording of the Rachmaninov Preludes was widely welcomed, and this new disc of the complete Études-tableaux has also already attracted high admiration. I can only add to the chorus of praise … no other version could claim to be unequivocally superior throughout to this very fine and well-recorded account’ (MusicWeb International)

‘These moving and deeply considered accounts of Rachmaninov’s elusive Études-Tableaux are outstanding in every way. The disc constitutes an unmissable companion to Osborne’s two previous Hyperion discs of this composer … one ends up scratching one’s head trying to figure out how any pianist can seemingly observe each marking on the score with such care on the one hand and sound almost as though they’re playing ‘on the hoof’ on the other. This is an exceptional disc even by Steven Osborne’s impeccable standards. Do not miss it’ (MusicWeb International)

‘Osborne is completely unfazed by any of the formidable technical demands he is confronted with, so he can play very quickly without any sense of strain or loss of rhythmic and textural clarity … this is as good as it gets and should be heard’ (Audiophile)

‘With Osborne you know you're in safe pianistic hands—the ride is a good one … with a pedigree Steinway, responsive acoustic, and quality production team on board, here is a reference recording for our time, of noble artistry’ (Classical Source)

Buy from Amazon UK | US


Etudes Tableaux op.33
no.1 in F minor: Allegro non troppo
no.2 in C major: Allegro
no.3 in C minor: Grave (op posth.)
no.5 in D minor: Moderato (op posth.)
no.6 in E flat minor: Non allegro - presto
no.7 in E flat major: Allegro con fuoco
no.8 in C sharp minor: Grave

Etudes Tableaux op.39
no.1 in F minor: Allegro agitato
no.2 in A minor: Lento assai
no.3 in F sharp minor: Allegro molto
no.4 in B minor: Allegro assai
no.5 in Eb minor: Appassionato
no.6 in A minor: Allegro
no.7 in C minor: Lento lugubre
no.8 in D minor: Allegro moderato
no.9 in D major: Allegro moderato (Tempo di marcia)