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Alkan: Character Pieces & Grotesqueries

Alkan: Character Pieces & Grotesqueries

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Mark Viner’s survey of the complete solo piano music of Alkan continues to turn up discoveries and reveal previously little-known or misunderstood sides of a protean figure in late French romanticism. Viner himself regards Alkan as ‘the most enigmatic figure in the history of music as a whole’.

The sixth volume of his survey focuses not on the grand cycles which have won this series such uniformly glowing reviews, but on sketches and miniatures which demonstrate Alkan’s capacity to charm as well as astound and dazzle his listeners. All these pieces are further illuminated, as before, by his own comprehensive booklet notes. Several of them will be unfamiliar to all except the most dedicated of Alkan connoisseurs.

One of the better known pieces included here, the Toccatina Op. 75, can be counted among Alkan’s finest shorter pieces for the piano, demanding phenomenal dexterity and lightness of touch. At the other end of the expressive scale, Désir is a little fantasy, one of Alkan’s most homely-sounding miniatures, yet still colored by his characteristic use of the ninth.

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Piano Classics
    • UPC/Barcode: 5029365102759
    • Item Number: PCL10275