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Alkan: 12 Etudes Op. 39 including Symphony & Concerto for Solo Piano

Jack Gibbons Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Composer: Charles-Valentin Alkan
  • Audio CD (3 Jun 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: ASV
  • ASIN: B0000030PK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,043 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 1. Comme le vent 4:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 2. En rythme molossique 7:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 3. Scherzo diabolico 4:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 4. Symphonie - Allegro10:14£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 5. Symphonie - Marche funebre 6:52£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 6. Symphonie - Menuet 5:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 7. Symphonie - Finale 4:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Nocturne in B, Op.22 6:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Allegro barbaro, Op.35 No.5 2:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Assez vivement, Op.38 No.1 3:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. 25 Preludes, Op.31 - 13. J'etais endormie, mais mon coeur veillait 2:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Esquisses, Op.63 - 2. Le staccatissimo 1:07£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Esquisses, Op.63 - 4. Les cloches0:44£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Esquisses, Op.63 - 11. Les soupirs 1:40£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Esquisses, Op.63 - 48. En songe 1:09£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Gros temps, Op.74, 1st suite No.2 2:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Barcarolle, Op.65 No.6 3:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. 25 Preludes, Op.31 / 1st Suite - 8. La chansonne de la folle au bord de la mer 4:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. 25 Preludes, Op.31 / 2nd Suite - 12. Le temps qui n'est plus 1:29£0.39  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 8. Allegro assai29:41£3.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 9. Adagio11:52£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 10. Allegro alla barbaresca10:08£1.49  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 11. Ouverture14:54£1.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs, Op.39 - 12. Le Festin d'Esope 9:18£0.79  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant music, great playing 13 Feb 2009
Format:Audio CD
This is an excellent find for the newcomer to Alkan. As well as the complete minor key etudes, there are a selection of great other pieces (seach 'allegro barbaro gibbons' on youtube - that's on here) that really round off the collection.

The piano sound is fairly bright, but that is a good thing here; the strings of fast staccato notes come across very clearly. Sound quality is excellent.

I still prefer the solo concerto by Hamelin, but this is a better value selection, and is simply brilliant, really.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular 26 Aug 2011
By Elpenor
Format:Audio CD
It's very difficult to compete with Marc-Andre Hamelin in the music of Alkan, but Jack Gibbons is every bit his illustrious colleague's equal. As far as complete sets of the Etudes op. 39 go, this is the best. In individual pieces, it's fascinating to compare Gibbons to Hamelin. Both have mastered the stupendous technical difficulty of the pieces, but where Hamelin is often cool and unruffled, Gibbons is mercurial and impulsive. The differences in approach benefit different pieces. In the Concerto for solo piano, I prefer Hamelin's tighter control of the sprawling structure to Gibbons's more impressionable response to each individual episode.

In the more compact Symphony for solo piano, on the other hand, it seems to me that Gibbons is the one who gets to the heart of the piece, despite Hamelin's effortless virtuosity. If you don't know Alkan's piano music, this set is the ideal introduction given its quality and value for money. From then on, you can supplement with Hamelin's Les Quatre Ages CD and Steven Osborne's Esquisses (and Hamelin's stupendous Concerto for solo piano for a more cogent alternate version), and you're all set for one of the most individual and fascinating voices of the Romantic piano repertoire.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggering, unbelievable, stupendous, etc. 29 April 2010
By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
More of the music of my best discovery of 2010 so far, Charles Valentine Alkan. Alkan is the other great 19th Century composer-pianist, whose reticence and hyper-sensitivity denied him his justly deserved portion of the fame and glory enjoyed by Liszt, and Alkan's dear friend and next door neighbour, Frederic Chopin. Fortunately, his reputation is steadily being salvaged over recent decades by a dedicated elite of virtuosi, with the dexterity and incredible stamina demanded by his hugely formidable and monumental scores. I am not aware of any other composer for the piano whose work insists upon such sustained peaks of virtuosity over such extended periods. Indeed, in terms of sheer notes played per unit cost there can be few discs to rival these as a value proposition. Still, do not infer from this that Alkan's music is just about virtuosity for its own sake. No, that virtuosity must be placed in the humble service of music of the most intense and thrilling excitement and which must draw from an emotional palette of immense wealth and depth.

As far as I can tell, it is only with this pair of discs that we can get to hear a complete performance of Alkan's epic magnum opus, Etudes for the Twelve Minor Keys, Op.39 (1857). Running at over 2 hours in length it includes Alkan's Symphony for Solo Piano, etudes 4-7, and his mighty Concerto for solo piano, etudes 8-10, which other fine pianists have given to us as extracts. Amongst its other delights are No.12, Le Festin d'Esope, which must be the meanest set of variations on Bah-Bah Black-Sheep, or at least something very like it, one is ever likely to hear.

The pianist here is the literally indestructible Jack Gibbons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As an amateur classical music listner and amateur musician I highly recomend it ! I don't have theoretical or pratical knowlegde to write a deepest review.
Charles Valentin Alkan's music is SUPERB AND SUPERLATIVE and unfairly less known that Chopin's or Liszt's !
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jaw-dropping! 22 Nov 2002
Format:Audio CD
Gibbons possess a rare and wonderful gift that brings the music of Alkan alive! His technical brilliance, and virtuosic skill are obvious, and at times one listens to the crystal clear execution of the music and wonders, "How is playing that with just two hands?!" Jaw-dropping! This CD is a treasure and should be part of every music lovers collection! Go on... buy it!
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