Assessing Alkan #1347
…a bicentennial review of some intriguing compositions by the reclusive and legendary 19th century virtuoso Charles-Valentin Alkan.
ALKAN: Priere, Op.64, no. 13 in G –John Wells (1862 Willis/St. Matthews-in-the-City, Auckland, NZ) Ribbonwood 1001
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
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!