Reclusive and eccentric, the French pianist–composer Charles-Valentin Alkan was also undoubtedly one of the greatest pianists who ever lived, and a composer who, like his friend and fellow-virtuoso Liszt, pushed the boundaries of what his instrument, and human pianism, could achieve.
Again like Liszt, he composed music that was not merely flashy and difficult to play – it tapped a deep comprehension of music history and theory, a flair for the lyrical and the dramatic and of course a vast imagination.
Organist Kevin Bowyer demonstrates that Alkan was as much an organ prodigy as anything else, with performances of the Prières and Little Plainchant Préludes, as well as music for Alkan’s beloved pedal-piano transcribed for the organ.
A welcome and much-needed tribute to the most neglected Genius of the 19th century: Charles-Valentin Alkan.
Charles-Valentin Alkan was one of the most important pianists and piano-composers of the 19th century, although he lived the largest part of his life in obscurity and seclusion.
Played (among others) by today’s best Alkan interpreters: Giovanni Bellucci, Mark Viner and above all Vincenzo Maltempo, who received several glowing 5-star reviews for his performances: “exhilarating, a revelation!
Heugel's genesis dates from January 1st, 1839, when Jacques Léopold Heugel (1815-1883) became a partner of the Paris music publisher Jean Antoine Meissonnier (1783-1857), whose business was located at 2 bis Rue Vivienne.
The name was changed to Heugel following Meissonier's retirement on April 20th, 1842.
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