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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Reassessing Alkan

…a review of some intriguing compositions by the reclusive and legendary 19th century virtuoso Charles-Valentin Alkan.

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Audio Complete Show 1 hr 58 Min

Audio 1721 Hour 1 59:00 Min

Audio 1721 Hour 2 59:00 Min

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Music played in the program

Hour 1

ALKAN: Priere, Op.64, no. 13 in G –John Wells (1862 Willis/St. Matthews-in-the-City, Auckland, NZ) Ribbonwood 1001)

ALKAN: Priere, Op. 64, no. 9 in E –Kevin Bowyer (1877 Willis/Salisbury Cathedral, UK) Nimbus 5089

ALKAN: Grand Préludes, Op. 66 (No. 1 in F; No. 2 in d; No. 6 in c; No. 8 in f) –Kevin Bowyer (1969 Walker/Blackburn Cathedral, UK) Toccata Classics 0030

ALKAN: Etude No. 8 in d for Pedal Solo –Kevin Bowyer (1969 Walker/Blackburn Cathedral, UK) Toccata Classics 0031

ALKAN: Grand Prélude, Op. 66 (No. 5 in E-flat) –Olivier Latry (1853 Erard pedal-piano) Cité de la Musique 5278

ALKAN: Grand Prélude, Op. 66, no. 5; Benedictus, Op. 54 –Kevin Bowyer (1969 Walker/Blackburn Cathedral, UK) Toccata Classics 0030

Filler – Etude No. 9 for Pedal Solo (see above)

Hour 2

ALKAN: Priere, Op. 64, no. 2 in A –Pierre Pincemaille (1840 Cavaillé-Coll/Basilica St. Denis, Paris) Solstice 116

ALKAN: Prieres, Op. 64 (Nos. 4 & 10 in B-flat; No. 12 in F) -- Kevin Bowyer (1877 Willis/Salisbury Cathedral, UK) Nimbus 5089

ALKAN Petits Préludes sur les huit gammes du plain-chant (Nos. 1-7-2-4) –Nicholas King (1974 Bishop/St. Peter’s Church, Saint Alban’s) Symposium 1059

ALKAN: Grand Prelude, Op. 66, no. 10 in b-flat –Olivier Latry (1853 Erard pedal-piano) Cité de la Musique 5278

ALKAN: Marche Funebre, Op. 39, no. 5 –Mark Springer, trombone; Charles Echols (2001 Marrin/St. Augustine Church, Saint Cloud, MN) Springer 2008

ALKAN: Impromptu, Op. 69 (Ein feste Burg) --Kevin Bowyer (1877 Willis/Salisbury Cathedral, UK) Nimbus 5089

ALKAN: Priere, Op. 64, no. 11 in E –Christopher Herrick (1924 Harrison/Temple Church, London, UK) Hyperion 67060

Filler – Grand Prelude, Op. 66, no. 10 (organ version) Toccata Classics 0030 (see above)

As a Paris Conservatoire classmate and friend of Cesar Franck, a neighbor to Frederic Chopin, and a real concert hall rival to Franz Liszt, the brilliant yet ill-fated Charles-Valentin Alkan (11/30/1813–3/29/1888) deserves much more than a footnote in the history of romantic music. Many of his very attractive and often astonishing compositions…piano solos large and small, chamber music, concerted pieces for keyboard and orchestra… are available on CD. His biography (Alkan: The Man/The Music), written by Ronald Smith, makes for a very interesting read, and nearly all of the scores featured in this program are accessible online, free!!

This is an ‘encore’ release of material first aired as #1347 in November 2013.

Check out a previous all-Alkan program in the PIPEDREAMS Archive (#0437, Prayers and Preludes)

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