Charles–Valentin Alkan
Charles–Valentin Alkan

Assessing Alkan #1347

…a bicentennial review of some intriguing compositions by the reclusive and legendary 19th century virtuoso Charles-Valentin Alkan.

Hour 1

ALKAN: Priere, Op.64, no. 13 in GJohn Wells (1862 Willis/St. Matthews-in-the-City, Auckland, NZ) Ribbonwood 1001

ALKAN: Priere, Op. 64, no. 9 in EKevin Bowyer (1877 Willis/Salisbury Cathedral, UK) Nimbus 5089

ALKAN: Grand Préludes, Op. 66 (No. 1 in F; No. 6 in c; No. 8 in f) –Kevin Bowyer (1969 Walker/Blackburn Cathedral, UK) Toccata Classics 0030

ALKAN: Etude for Pedal Solo No. 8 in dKevin Bowyer (1969 Walker/Blackburn Cathedral, UK) Toccata Classics 0031

ALKAN: Grand Prélude, Op. 66 (No. 5 in E-flat)Olivier Latry (1853 Erard pedal-piano) Cité de la Musique 5278

ALKAN: Grand Prélude, Op. 66, no. 5; Benedictus, Op. 54Kevin Bowyer (1969 Walker/Blackburn Cathedral, UK) Toccata Classics 0030

Filler – ALKAN: Pedal Etude No. 9 (see above)

Hour 2

ALKAN: Priere, Op. 64, no. 2 in APierre Pincemaille (1840 Cavaillé-Coll/Basilica St. Denis, Paris) Solstice 116

ALKAN: Prieres, Op. 64 (Nos. 4 & 10 in B-flat; No. 12 in F) -- Kevin Bowyer (1877 Willis/Salisbury Cathedral, UK) Nimbus 5089

ALKAN: Petits Préludes sur les huit gammes du plain-chant (Nos. 1-7-2-4)Nicholas King (1974 Bishop/St. Peter’s Church, Saint Alban’s) Symposium 1059

ALKAN: Grand Prelude, Op. 66, no. 10 in b-flatOlivier Latry (1853 Erard pedal-piano) Cité de la Musique 5278

ALKAN: Marche Funebre, Op. 39, no. 5Mark Springer, trombone; Charles Echols (2001 Marrin/St. Augustine Church, Saint Cloud, MN) Springer 2008

ALKAN: Impromptu, Op. 69 (Ein feste Burg) --Kevin Bowyer (1877 Willis/Salisbury Cathedral, UK) Nimbus 5089

ALKAN: Priere, Op. 64, no. 11 in EChristopher Herrick (1924 Harrison/Temple Church, London, UK) Hyperion 67060

ALKANGrand Prelude, Op. 66, no. 10Kevin Bowyer

As a Paris Conservatoire classmate and friend of Cesar Franck, a neighbor to Frederic Chopin, and a real concert hall rival to Franz Liszt, the brilliant yet ill-fated Charles-Valentin Alkan (11/30/1813–3/29/1888) deserves much more than a footnote in the history of romantic music. Many of his very attractive and often astonishing compositions…piano solos large and small, chamber music, concerted pieces for keyboard and orchestra…are available on CD. His biography (Alkan: The Man/The Music), written by Ronald Smith, makes for a very interesting read, and nearly all of the scores featured in this program are accessible online, free!! 


For more music from Charles–Valentin Alkan, be sure to check out PIPEDREAMS Program No. 0437!