Alkan: Sonate "Les quatre ages"

Alkan: Sonate "Les quatre ages"
Composer Charles Henri Valentin Alkan
Artist Alan Weiss piano
Format 2 CD
Cat. number 93568
EAN code 5028421935683
Release April 2006

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    About this release

    The piano music of Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888) is fortunately gaining more and more recognition by today's general public. This eccentric pianist-composer lived the most part of his life in total reclusion, embittered by his lack of public success. He was a phenomenal pianist, the only pianist in whose presence the celebrated Franz Liszt was nervous to play!

    Alkan’s piano works are of colossal substance and difficulty, earning him the nickname of “The Berlioz of the Piano”. Even today only a handful of pianists can do justice to the fierce demands of his music. But it wouldn’t be fair to let the technical difficulties distract the listener from his truly original, personal style, full of wit, energy and deep feelings.

    Alkan composed large scale works, such as a Concerto for Piano Solo, a Symphony for piano solo, the monumental “Studies in all major and minor keys” and several books of miniatures. American pianist Alan Weiss (a pupil of Leon Fleisher) chose a substantial selection from Alkan’s piano works, centered around two major pieces: the Sonates Les Quatre Ages and the Symphonie for Piano Solo: a technical and musical tour de force, showing Alkan’s true genius ánd the immense talent of Alan Weiss.

    Track list

    Disk 1

    1. Nocturne No. 1 Op. 22
    2. Esquisses, Op. 63 No. 2, Le Staccatissimo
    3. Esquisses, Op. 63 No. 3, Le Legatissimo
    4. Esquisses, Op. 63 No. 21, Morituri Te Salutant
    5. Esquisses, Op. 63 No. 10, Increpatio
    6. Esquisses, Op. 63 No. 11, Les Soupirs
    7. Esquisses, Op. 63 No. 46, Le Premier Billet Doux
    8. Esquisses, Op. 63 No. 47, Scherzetto
    9. Le Festin D’ésope, Op. 39 No. 12, From “Douze Études Dans Les Tons Mineurs”
    10. Le Temps Qui N’est Plus, Prélude Op. 31 No. 12
    11. Fa, Op. 38b No. 2, From “2nd Book Of “chants”
    12. Grande Sonate, “Les Quatre Âges”, Op. 33: 20 Ans, Scherzo (tres Vite, Décidément); Trio (Timidement-Amoureusement)
    13. Grande Sonate, “Les Quatre Âges”, Op. 33: 30 Ans, Quasi-Faust (Assez Vite, Sataniquement)
    14. Grande Sonate, “Les Quatre Âges”, Op. 33: 40 Ans, Un Heureux Ménage (Lentement, Avec Tendresse Et Quiétitude)
    15. Grande Sonate, “Les Quatre Âges”, Op. 33: 50 Ans, Prométhée Enchainé (Extremement Lent)
    16. Toccatina, Op. 75

    Disk 2

    1. From “Les Mois”, Op. 74: No. 6, Promenade Sur L’eau
    2. From “Les Mois”, Op. 74: No. 10, Gros Temps
    3. Petite Fantaisie, Op. 41 No. 2
    4. Petit Conte
    5. Le Tambour Bat Aux Champs, Op. 50 No. 2
    6. From “Trentes Chants” Suite No. 1 Op. 38: : No. 1, Assez Vivement
    7. From “Trentes Chants” Suite No. 1 Op. 38: : No. 5, Agitatissimo
    8. From “Trentes Chants” Suite No. 1 Op. 38: : No. 6, Barcarolle
    9. Symphonie, For Piano Solo, Op. 39 Nos. 4-7: Allegro
    10. Symphonie, For Piano Solo, Op. 39 Nos. 4-7: Marche Funèbre, Andantino
    11. Symphonie, For Piano Solo, Op. 39 Nos. 4-7: Menuet
    12. Symphonie, For Piano Solo, Op. 39 Nos. 4-7: Finale, Presto