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Alkan - Concerto and Symphony for Solo Piano

Composer Charles-Valentin Alkan
Performer Paul Wee
Period Romantic
Catalogue Number BIS-2465 SACD
EAN 7318599924656
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Nov 2019
Total time 78'32


Album trailer

Charles-Valentin Alkan made his name as pianist in nineteenth-century Paris and seemed poised for a glittering career. But following a series of setbacks he withdrew into a life of relative seclusion, and as he receded from the public eye, so too did his music. It was never entirely forgotten, &&&but it was not until the 1960s and 1970s that Alkan’s works began to emerge from obscurity. To quote the liner notes by Paul Wee, ‘Alkan’s music exhibits a formidable grasp of form and structure, a strong command of melody, a high sense of drama and an unprecedented exploitation of the capabilities of the piano.’ Combined here on one disc – possibly for the first time – are the Symphony and the Concerto for Solo Piano, two pinnacles of Alkan’s legacy. Unusually, the four movements of the Symphony and the three movements of the Concerto are included as seven études within Alkan’s Douze Études dans tous les tons mineurs (Twelve studies in all the minor keys), in 1857 as his Op. 39. As to why Alkan composed these epic works and then hid them away in a set of études, Wee suggests that they are to be seen as ‘a celebration of the piano and its capabilities.’

Paul Wee is a barrister specialising in commercial law and appears regularly before courts and tribunals on behalf of clients including governments, corporations, financial institutions and individuals. Born in Australia, he began his piano studies at the age of four, continuing them in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music. Going on to study law at the University of Oxford, he attempts to balance his love for the piano alongside the demands of a busy international career in law.
 
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  Charles-Valentin Alkan
  Symphony for Solo Piano, Op. 39, Nos. 4-7 26'29
01 I. Allegro 10'41
02 II. Marche funèbre. Andantino 6'26
03 III. Menuet 5'02
04 IV. Finale. Presto 4'20
 
  Concerto for Solo Piano, Op. 39, Nos. 8-10 52'00
05 I. Allegro assai 30'05
06 II. Adagio 12'29
07 III. Allegretto alla barbaresca 9'26
 
  Album total 78'32
PianoWee, Paul
ComposerAlkan, Charles-Valentin

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