Steven Osborne brings his towering musicianship to a programme which combines the last two of Schubert’s magnificent sonatas with three perfectly formed miniatures by Judith Weir.

Judith Weir:
Fragile (4')
Judith Weir:
Michael’s Strathspey (2’)
Sonata in A, D.959 (40’)
Judith Weir:
Chorale, for Steve (3’)
Sonata in B flat, D.960 (40’)

Steven Osborne piano

Main image: Steven Osborne © Benjamin Ealovega

Schubert composed these two sonatas in the last months of his life, suffering from ever-decreasing health while acclaim for his music continued to grow. They are full of allusions to Beethoven, whom he venerated, but in their maturity of form and emotional expression, distilling a life’s experience, they are true masterpieces.

The three short pieces by Osborne’s fellow Scot Judith Weir are miniature treasures. Michael’s Strathspey is based on a traditional Scottish dance and was written for composer Michael Finnissy. Fragile was commissioned as part of William Howard’s Love Song project and creates a resonant soundworld in a few short minutes. Chorale, for Steve joins other 2024 Festival repertoire in being a memorial piece, in this case for the American composer Steven Stucky.

Steven Osborne is one of Britain’s most important musicians, and his recital in Snape Maltings Concert Hall will be an eagerly anticipated Festival Sunday morning event.

This performance is being recorded by BBC Radio 3 for broadcast at 7.30pm on Tuesday 18 June in Radio 3 in Concert, and will be available afterwards on BBC Sounds.