By William Alexander Eddie
A 'conservative radical' is William Alexander Eddie's description of the French virtuoso composer-pianist Charles Valentin Alkan (1813-1888). Judaic tradition, the French baroque and German classicism have been the most impacts on Alkan's musical kind, with extra radical musical traits present in some of the "Esquisses op63". This accomplished survey takes as its concentration a stylistic research of Alkan's compositions from the apprentice works to the later 'massed kind' etudes; the latter are of substantial size and pianistic trouble. there's additionally attention of Alkan's achievements as pianist and instructor, and the sections on functionality perform in Alkan could be of curiosity to pianists this present day. an entire research of Alkan's reception background can be integrated and important appendices offer a advisor to extra archival study. an inventory of works and uncomplicated discography entire this new learn of an enormous French composer.
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Additional resources for Charles Valentin Alkan
Variation four shows a control of structure and brilliance in a Mendelssohn-type ‘hunting’ manner. Op 16/4 is that on Ah, segnata e la mia morte [sorte] (1834) from Anna Bolena by Donizetti. This opens with an effective dramatic arrangement of the ritornello, but the theme marked con disperazione (with despair) is very primitively organized with a very simple piano texture. Variation one returns to the pianistic brilliance highly reminiscent of Weber. 7a Donizetti/Alkan Ah segnata, op 16/4, bars 1–9 Apprentice Works 37 Ex.
19 This concerto immediately gives a hint of the darker, more macabre, more compressed and massed style of the later more mature Alkan. The strongest inﬂuence in the opening is undoubtedly that of the operatic world of Weber. 34 Ex. 5 Charles Valentin Alkan – His Life and His Music Concerto da camera op 10/2, ﬁrst movement, bars 1–5 Also, Mendelssohn supplies the inﬂuence for the principal subject and ﬁligree piano writing,20 and the ﬁguration itself just escapes from the formulaic by means of subtle metrical shifts.
The obituary in the RGM 15 April 1888 is typical: Charles-Valentin Alkan (Alkan the elder) was an artist truly worthy of that name who in the purity of his inspiration and modesty of his lifestyle is reminiscent of the late lamented Stephen Heller who has just died aged seventy four. Alkan’s musical talent was quite extraordinary. A highly distinguished student of Dourlen and Zimmerman at the Conservatoire he took ﬁrst prize in solfège at seven, ﬁrst prize in piano at ten and ﬁrst prize in harmony at twelve.