George Alexander OSBORNE (1806-1893)
This new CD from RTÉ lyric fm rediscovers a fascinating array of unknown repertoire from the neglected Limerick-born composer, George Alexander Osborne. The result is a definitive collection of delightful piano works and chamber music, given superb renditions by Una Hunt piano, Justin Pearson cello, and Triantán Piano Trio.
The disc opens with Osborne's seductive Shower of Pearls, a favourite number of its time and one that earned him a lot of money. This is followed by the dramatic and dreamy Ireland, a fantasia on the popular airs The Last Rose of Summer and The Girl I Left Behind Me. Other Victorian piano favourites are joined by the seductive Cello Sonata and the quirky and bewitching Piano Trio.
Born in Limerick in 1806, Osborne was the son of the cathedral and city organist. During a visit to Brussels in 1824 he decided to make music his career and subsequently went to Paris where he was a friend of Chopin, Berlioz and Liszt, among others. He moved to London during the 1840s, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Osborne lived a long and full life and remained active up until shortly before his death in 1893