Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alkan, Clark, Welsh|
Complete Chamber Music
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Good stuff for Alkan fanatics
svf | 03/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're like me, you grab anything you can find with the name "Charles Valentin Alkan" on it, especially if it promises premiere recordings. There are plenty to be heard on this 2-CD release of (mostly) chamber music by the enigmatic French composer, most of which I haven't seen elsewhere. Of particular interest are the Grand Duo Concertante for Violin and Piano and the Sonata de Concert for Cello and Piano: two large-scale, intensely romantic and rhapsodic works of remarkable imagination. The Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello finds Alkan in a more compact, classically elegant mode. Interspersed are some of Alkan's more characteristic virtuoso piano studies... the Marche Funebre Op. 26 is particularly interesting: a somber and subdued procession surrounding a startlingly lovely bell-like interlude. (Note: the Op. 39 #5 Marche Funebre from the "Symphonie" listed above is an error -- Op. 26 actually appears on this CD.)The sound quality is very good if a bit distant... I believe the recording was made in a church, so there is lots of resonance. The pianist Ronald Smith, an Alkan expert and champion, navigates the complexities of all of this music with conviction. While beginners should start with the Symphony or Concerto for Solo Piano, this release is a must for the converted Alkan enthusiast."