Author Topic: Charles Valentin Alkan  (Read 20188 times)

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Offline San Antone

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #60 on: July 26, 2015, 09:06:20 AM »
Some from that Maltempo disc on his YT account:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/4cpEONl5oJU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/4cpEONl5oJU</a>

Really good!  My next project will be Alkan after Liszt.

Online Brian

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #61 on: January 19, 2016, 06:52:48 PM »
Vincenzo Maltempo expands his already impressive Alkan discography.


Due for release on 16 February 2015.
Ha! I just searched for this thread to ask if anybody has heard this disc yet.

I am intrigued by the title: "A collection of eccentric piano works"

And the tracklist bears this out:
Trois Petites Fantaisies Op. 41
• Assez gravement
• Andantino
• Presto
Minuetto alla tedesca Op. 46
Marche Funebre Op. 26
Marche Triomphale Op. 27
From “Petits preludes sur les 8 gammes du plain- chant”
• No. 6, Poco lento
Capriccio alla soldatesca Op. 50
Le tambour bat aux champs Op. 50bis
“Chanson de la folle au bord de la mer” (From the 25 Preludes Op. 31 No. 8 )
Laus Deo (From the Esquisses Op. 63 No. 49)

Offline North Star

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #62 on: January 19, 2016, 09:56:29 PM »
Only the official excerpts

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/4cpEONl5oJU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/4cpEONl5oJU</a>
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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #63 on: January 19, 2016, 11:47:28 PM »
Ha! I just searched for this thread to ask if anybody has heard this disc yet.

I am intrigued by the title: "A collection of eccentric piano works"

And the tracklist bears this out:
Trois Petites Fantaisies Op. 41
• Assez gravement
• Andantino
• Presto
Minuetto alla tedesca Op. 46
Marche Funebre Op. 26
Marche Triomphale Op. 27
From “Petits preludes sur les 8 gammes du plain- chant”
• No. 6, Poco lento
Capriccio alla soldatesca Op. 50
Le tambour bat aux champs Op. 50bis
“Chanson de la folle au bord de la mer” (From the 25 Preludes Op. 31 No. 8 )
Laus Deo (From the Esquisses Op. 63 No. 49)

I have and it's quite good. Since it's Maltempo, it's expertly performed (it helps that the music is gorgeous). However, I don't like the sound of the Érard he's using in this recording, so I haven't bought it (yet). Since it's available for streaming (I'm listening to the Capriccio alla soldatesca as I type this) you can sample extensively before committing. If you want to compare, the Chanson de la folle au bord de la mer Prélude is also superbly performed by Jack Gibbons in his indispensable twofer of the mammoth Op.39.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #64 on: January 20, 2016, 12:22:35 AM »
A superb new Alkan release from Japan. Yui Morishita (who is prologued in the booklet by Jack Gibbons) plays the Sonatine and the op.39/4-7 Symphonie (giving superlative renditions in both works), a number of smaller pieces (Capriccio alla soldatesca, Le tambour bat aux champs, Nocturne op.22/1) and as a finale offers a world-premiere recording of the ridiculously hyper-virtuosic op.34 Scherzo focoso (which is suspected to be a rejected first movement for the Grande Sonate - in the way that the Andante favori was rejected from the Waldstein Sonata). Morishita reveals phenomenal technique and panache, so he nonchalantly rises through the technical hurdles Alkan throws in his way to focus on what matters: and on this level, he performs with gusto, enthusiasm, warmth and the elusive sardonic quality that Alkan imbues his music with. Not to be missed.


Offline North Star

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #65 on: January 20, 2016, 12:26:50 AM »
Morishita playing Scherzo Focoso
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/4DqdOqP75Q0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/4DqdOqP75Q0</a>
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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Offline Wanderer

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2017, 08:07:45 AM »
Cross-posting from the New Releases thread:


Not a new release as such, but put together in a complete box, this Brilliant release seems an attractive offer.
Anyone enlighten me on the artistic quality and sound?

The op.35 Études by Mark Viner and the Concerti da camera by Bellucci are new recordings. I can say that Viner's op.35 is really excellent. These are pieces whose felicities go well beyond the technical (a precursor set to the gargantuan ambitions of the op.39 Études), some of them successfully reaching for stirring depths of psychological perception, a fact that is not lost on Viner who gives interpretations of considerable insight - and technical mastery. I was much less impressed by the renditions of the concerti, the fault lying mostly with the orchestra and the limp conducting; Bellucci is mostly good, although he does have an annoying toy-piano sonority at times. For an exciting view into these fun, effervescent and quintessentially romantic works, Hamelin on Hyperion still reigns supreme.

As for the rest of the interpretations, Deljavan and Maltempo are excellent with their respective projects, which are quite recent compared to the other recordings on the set. Maltempo's rendition of the op.39 Études, in particular, is really superb; he's insightful, exciting and obviously able to meet the fiendish technical demands.

The others (Laurent Martin et al.) are mostly good, with the notable exception of the Trio Alkan, whose renditions of the chamber works are not to my liking.

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #67 on: February 03, 2019, 09:22:06 AM »


These discs have represented a REAL find for me. I don't know why I had them stored too much time. Now I can't do anything different but get astounded by the level of fireworks of this music!! In addition, it's truly difficult to me to imagine that some people can play this. Did they make a covenant with Satan?  >:D  ;D

I guess I am with the majority in preferring the études in minor keys, albeit there are some études in major keys like the ones in E flat major and G major I found great. Just hear the super coda from the Étude in B minor: exhilarating!! or the fun-and-malicious Le festin d'Esope. I can't get enough of it!! Actually, I can't get enough of this superb music!!

Offline Florestan

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2019, 04:59:57 AM »
Count me in as a fan, too. These are the recordings that blew me away recently:

"Melody is the essence of music." - Mozart

"Believe nothing you hear, and only one-half that you see." - Edgar Allan Poe

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2019, 09:12:31 AM »
I admit, it has been entirely too long since last I listened to Alkan. I am sure the Hamelin recording is a knock-out.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #70 on: October 10, 2019, 09:13:23 AM »
Really good!  My next project will be Alkan after Liszt.

Cool.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2019, 10:41:42 AM »
I admit, it has been entirely too long since last I listened to Alkan. I am sure the Hamelin recording is a knock-out.

No sooner had I posted that, than I thought, Did I perhaps purchase that disc? (no-brainer that it is) And lo! I have found it!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline aligreto

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #72 on: March 18, 2021, 03:24:08 AM »
An amble along Alkan Avenue:


The following posts are something of an essay within a thread so please bear with me while I assemble my thoughts and state my case regarding a recent visit to the Music of Alkan.

I have an aural intolerance for a lot of solo piano music in general which is known to some here so, with that fair disclosure, it is unusual for me to comment on this genre. I have always, and still do try to remedy this aversion or at least come to terms with the sound of this instrument in a solo setting [having a considerable amount of solo piano music in my collection]. It is particularly when it gets into the realms of its percussive nature that the sound of the solo piano loses me. I just cannot listen to someone endlessly banging away on a piano for very long! Yes, I am a philistine; what can I do?!?!

Alkan is a case in point. I find his music to be sometimes lyrical and melodic and also to be interesting, harmonically. I also sometimes find that it can tend to be over exuberant and percussive in nature and that is where I can find it to be heavy going.
However, no matter what I feel regarding the nature of his music [and that does not matter as it is only my humble opinion and I am not known to be a deliberate contrarian] some things that are undeniable are that he had a distinctive voice of his own, his music was complex and it was also technically demanding. Both Smith and Lewenthal [below] were apparently champions of the revival of Alkan’s music which had become neglected after his death.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #73 on: March 18, 2021, 03:25:19 AM »
Etudes Op. 39 [Smith]



Here we have a 3 LP box set with plenty of virtuosic playing from Smith; but then that is what Op. 39 is, a set of Etudes and Smith certainly delivers the requisite virtuosity to my untrained ear. Along with most of the works in Op. 39 the two big sections, Symphony for Piano Solo and Concerto for Piano Solo are just not to my taste. I am sure that appreciators of virtuoso piano playing would really enjoy this set and find it very exciting. It is just not for me. 

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #74 on: March 18, 2021, 03:26:18 AM »
Trois Etudes de bravoure Op. 16/Trois Grandes Etudes Op. 76 [Smith]



The music in Op. 16 is interesting, conceptually and harmonically. However, I do find the music percussive and this is not, to my ear at least, the pianist being heavy handed.
Of the three movements of Op. 76 my listening preference in this work is for the Etude pour la main gauche seule; it is inherently a fine work.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #75 on: March 18, 2021, 03:27:12 AM »
Ronald Smith Plays Alkan Piano Music



This album is a relevantly pleasant listen for me with my very rudimentary pian ear. There are numerous bite sized pieces that are gentle in tone and which are quite lyrical and melodic. As a result the piano playing is mostly low key as there is no exuberant bravura required. Smith, I find, has the requisite delicacy of touch for this music. It makes for pleasant late night listening but the music also inherently has enough to keep one’s ears from drifting too far away from it.

It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #76 on: March 18, 2021, 03:28:08 AM »
Piano Music of Alkan [Lewenthal]



The music on this LP is also lyrical and melodic by nature. It is also interesting harmonically. However, quite a lot of it is heavier in tone than that on the Smith album. Therefore, by definition of its somewhat percussive nature, my ears find it to be tough going. There is, no doubt, very fine playing on this record. I can certainly appreciate that.


It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Charles Valentin Alkan
« Reply #77 on: March 18, 2021, 03:28:29 AM »
I had not listened to any of these albums in more than a year and prior to that, even less frequently. Following this overview I still have not warmed to the genre but I certainly have gained a greater appreciation for the complexity and harmonic nature of this music and I definitely can understand what others would see in it. Is that enough to motivate me to further explore this composer? The answer would have to be no. That is still a path that is still not for me. As is often said, we cannot like everything that we hear. So be it.


It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.