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Alkan: Sonatine, 3 Grandes études & 2 pe


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Alkan: Sonatine, 3 Grandes études & 2 pe + Alkan: Le Festin d'Esope & Trois Morceau
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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Alkan
  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Piano Classics
  • ASIN: B00BQ3TTVG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,897 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fantasie En La Bemol
2. Introduction, Variations Et Finale
3. Etude De Concert
4. Allegro Vivace
5. Allegramente
6. Scherzo-Minuetto
7. Tempo Giusto
8. Ma Chere Liberte
9. Ma Chere Servitude

Product Description

Product Description

Grandes études pour les deux mains séparées et réunies, op.76 - Sonatine, op.61 - 2 petites pièces, op.60 / Alessandro Deljavan, piano

Review

In just two years, Piano Classics has established itself as an important resource, not only for its recordings of neglected portions of the 19th- and 20th-century piano repertoire, but as a showcase for a new generation of outstanding keyboard players. Two of the three works by Alkan that the 26-year-old Italian Alessandro Deljavan plays here are relatively familiar. Both Ronald Smith, the pioneering Alkan specialist, and Marc André Hamelin have recorded the Trois Grandes Etudes, in which the first piece is for left hand alone, the second for just the right, and the third is a toccata in which both hands play in unison, two octaves apart; the Sonatine, meanwhile, with an unassuming title for something of such ferocious difficulty, is one of the most recorded of all his piano works. But the Two Pieces are much less often performed. Deljavan brings out their charm, and in even the most demanding passages he is always poised and focused, aware that in Alkan's music the technical challenges are always a means to achieving a particular musical end.**** --Guardian, 15/5/13

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ethan James McCollum on 8 July 2013
Format: Audio CD
If you enjoyed Alessandro Deljavan's performances in the Van Cliburn competition, you will most definitely enjoy this CD. It features all of the personality, freshness, and spontaneity that is so characteristic of his playing, and that fits perfectly with Alkan's overall style (and slight quirkiness/sense of humor). The first two Op. 76 etudes are executed with great virtuosity and grandeur, but also very romantically and profoundly. The third etude, "Hands Reunited" displays Deljavan's absolutely impeccable technique that takes no prisoners, as well as great wit and charm. The firecracker of a "Sonatine" is rattled off with just as much confidence, wit, charm, and personality; once again, Deljavan's personality meshing perfectly with Alkan's. And finally, the two pieces Op. 60, are played with such warmth and sensitivity (two traits that are abundant in Alkan's compositions, despite popular and inaccurate critism), especially the second work.

If you are a fan of Alkan's music, this is most definitely a disc to add to your library. And if you are not, or are not familiar with his music, this disc is a fantastic starting point, or will add a fresh new perspective of Alkan's wonderful sound world and imagination.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Alkan and Deljavan Were Made For Each Other 13 Aug 2013
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Alessandro Deljavan first popped up on my musical radar screen when he competed in the most recent Van Cliburn International Piano Competition where he wowed me and many others. He was a semi-finalist but did not place. I suspect that was partly because of his idiosyncratic wild-man platform behavior: he sings subvocally and has a variety of behavioral tics that some find distracting. He is, however, a marvelous musician as well as pianist. For instance, his performance with the Brentano String Quartet of the Dvorák Piano Quintet in the chamber music portion of the Cliburn was simply first-rate.

On this disc, devoted to some of the ferociously difficult piano music of Charles-Valentin Alkan, I hear no vocalizing, and of course one cannot see his quirky behavior at the keyboard. What I do hear is, plain and simple, great playing of these immediately attractive works. Further, the disc contains the first performance on CD of the Deux petites pièces, Op. 60, two lieder-inspired works that are delicious, and deliciously played.

The biggest works here are the 'Grande études pour les deux mains séparées et réunies' ('Grand Études for both hands separated and reunited'), Op. 76. They consist of a long Fantasie for left hand alone, a longer Introduction, Variations and Finale for right hand alone, and then a Concert Study for both hands together. Each of these works is a marvel. The two works for a single hand beggar belief that they could be handled by a single hand, but beyond that they are tuneful, artfully clever, thematically varied, and constantly surprising. The last movement is for the two hands playing in unison two octaves apart in unceasing sixteenth notes and faster than the wind. It reminds one of the 'wind whistling over a graveyard' of the last movement of Chopin's Second Sonata, 'Funeral March', Op. 35. Except it is even faster than Chopin's movement. Deljavan plays these études as well as I've ever heard them.

The other big work on the disc is the more familiar 'Sonatine, Op. 61', whose four movements are all more or less fast; the second movement, Allegramente, is perhaps more Andante but it moves along, too. The Scherzo goes like the wind, although it has a minuet-like middle section. If anything Deljavan plays the Scherzo more leggiero and prestissimo than even Marc-André Hamelin. The finale combines two dissimilar themes, one furiously insistent, the other like a nocturne, a movement both clever and engaging.

I've been a devotee of Alkan's piano music for nigh on forty years, going back to pianists like Ronald Smith, e.g., Alkan: Piano Works and Raymond Lewenthal Piano Music of Alkan, through Marc-André Hamelin, e.g., Alkan: Grande sonate 'Les quatre âges', Sonatine, Le festin d'Esope, and Jack Gibbons Alkan: 12 Etudes Op. 39 and others, and Deljavan's playing belongs on the shelf with the best of them.

Strongly recommended.

Scott Morrison
A SUPERB RECORDING OF A TECHNICALLY DEMANDING BUT INTENSELY REWARDING PIANIST COMPOSER 9 Jun 2014
By David Keymer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
DELJAVAN, Alessandro. Alkan: 3 Grandes Etudes, Sonatine, 2 Pieces. Piano Classics. 2013. AD, p. RINGEISSEN, Bernard. Alkan: Piano Music, vol. 1: 12 Etudes, op. 35. DDD. 2001. BR, p.

This review is not so much of the pianists, both of whom seem competent, but of the music, which is brilliant. Of the two pianists, Deljavan, winner of several important international competitions, is particularly sensitive to the complexities of this rhythmically, melodically and technically challenging music.

I don’t know why it took me so long to come upon the music of Charles-Henri Alkan (1813-1888). In the 1830s and 1840s, he was in the front rank of Europe’s pianist composers, alongside his friends and colleagues Chopin and Liszt. A lost job and he retired into solitude, and from 1853 on, did not perform in public for two decades. Fortunately, he didn’t stop writing and the music he wrote before and after he became a recluse from the concert stage is magnificent.

His later champion Busoni likened him to Berlioz and Schumann called him “the Berlioz of the piano.” Sorabji, a brilliant 20th-ccentury pianist and composer who clearly learned from Alkan, wrote that his Sonatine (see Deljavan’s album above) was “a Beethoven sonata written by Berlioz.” (Interestingly, Alkan himself did not like Berlioz’s music although he admired his talent.) Others noted the influence of Chopin on him. All of this is to say that the music on these two discs is technically difficult but intensely musical, and for all its complexities accessible through its tug on the listener’s emotions.

The 3 Gran des Etudes (again, Deljavan’s recital) is a blockbuster. It’s in three movements. The first (16 minutes long) is for left hand alone, the second (longer yet) for right hand solo, and the third (and shortest) movement, is played with both. Fast runs, multiple-octave leaps at super speed, stretches of repeated notes breaking off suddenly into extra voices and doublings all over the place and complicated fugal passages -- it’s so musical but also so interesting!

I have another album of pieces by Alkan sitting on a side shelf –I haven’t had time to listen to it yet—and two more on order. I don’t expect to be disappointed in them. As difficult as his music is to play, I suspect it scares off all but the strongest.
Alessandro Deljavan and Alkan = Perfect Combination 28 Sep 2013
By Ethan James McCollum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Alkan was a highly witty and humorous composer, and Deljavan plays with such a wonderful quirkiness and charm. This CD is incredible. From great romanticism in the first two of the Op. 76 etudes, technical wizardry in No. 3 of the set, the charm and sparkle of the Sonatine, and the sensitivity and simplicity of the final two tracks, Deljavan executes incredibly! I highly recommend this CD.
Alessandro Deljavan - superb pianist! 16 Sep 2013
By Anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Alessandro Deljavan is a brilliant and fantastic pianist. I have played the CD many times. .He does a magnificent
delivery of Alkan's great music. I gave one of the CDs to another pianist and he has given me "rave" reviews".
Amazingly amazing piano playing! 5 Sep 2013
By Guy J. Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amazing piano playing!! First heard some of this recording on WFMT, and had to purchase it! Well recorded, too. With good headphones, sounds like piano is in the room in front of you, just to the right of center!
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