Underground Sounds

Mark Viner's survey of the complete solo piano music of Alkan continues to turn up discoveries and reveal previously little-known or misunderstood sides of a protean figure in late French romanticism. Viner himself regards Alkan as 'the most enigmatic figure in the history of music as a whole'. The sixth volume of his survey focuses not on the grand cycles which have won this series such uniformly glowing reviews, but on sketches and miniatures which demonstrate Alkan's capacity to charm as well as astound and dazzle his listeners. All these pieces are further illuminated, as before, by his own comprehensive booklet notes. Several of them will be unfamiliar to all except the most dedicated of Alkan connoisseurs. Jean qui pleure et Jean qui rit is a pair of two 'chamber fugues' inspired by Voltaire's account of a man who goes, with great ease, from a state of depression in the morning to making merry in the evening. The Capriccio alla-soldatesca also has a poetic origin, as a paraphrase of an evocation of a night-watch - the subject of Rembrandt's most famous canvas - by Joseph Christian von Zedlitz. Le Tambour bat aux champs is it's companion piece, underpinned from the outset by a relentless ostinato of drum beats as a noble theme emerges, dignified and laconic. Better known, the Toccatina Op.75 can be counted among Alkan's finest shorter pieces for the piano, demanding phenomenal dexterity and lightness of touch. At the other end of the expressive scale, Désir is a little fantasy, one of Alkan's most homely-sounding miniatures, yet still coloured by his characteristic use of the ninth. Previous volumes in the series have demonstrated to listeners and critics that Mark Viner is the pre-eminent Alkan interpreter of our day. Jeremy Nicholas remarked in Gramophone: 'It takes a certain kind of temperament and a superior finger technique to take him on. Those who cut the mustard are few and far between. Mark Viner is such a one.' Reviewing the most recent volume, he noted: 'Viner responds to the composer's unique voice with great sensitivity and imagination.' The series looks set to claim definitive status.
Mark Viner's survey of the complete solo piano music of Alkan continues to turn up discoveries and reveal previously little-known or misunderstood sides of a protean figure in late French romanticism. Viner himself regards Alkan as 'the most enigmatic figure in the history of music as a whole'. The sixth volume of his survey focuses not on the grand cycles which have won this series such uniformly glowing reviews, but on sketches and miniatures which demonstrate Alkan's capacity to charm as well as astound and dazzle his listeners. All these pieces are further illuminated, as before, by his own comprehensive booklet notes. Several of them will be unfamiliar to all except the most dedicated of Alkan connoisseurs. Jean qui pleure et Jean qui rit is a pair of two 'chamber fugues' inspired by Voltaire's account of a man who goes, with great ease, from a state of depression in the morning to making merry in the evening. The Capriccio alla-soldatesca also has a poetic origin, as a paraphrase of an evocation of a night-watch - the subject of Rembrandt's most famous canvas - by Joseph Christian von Zedlitz. Le Tambour bat aux champs is it's companion piece, underpinned from the outset by a relentless ostinato of drum beats as a noble theme emerges, dignified and laconic. Better known, the Toccatina Op.75 can be counted among Alkan's finest shorter pieces for the piano, demanding phenomenal dexterity and lightness of touch. At the other end of the expressive scale, Désir is a little fantasy, one of Alkan's most homely-sounding miniatures, yet still coloured by his characteristic use of the ninth. Previous volumes in the series have demonstrated to listeners and critics that Mark Viner is the pre-eminent Alkan interpreter of our day. Jeremy Nicholas remarked in Gramophone: 'It takes a certain kind of temperament and a superior finger technique to take him on. Those who cut the mustard are few and far between. Mark Viner is such a one.' Reviewing the most recent volume, he noted: 'Viner responds to the composer's unique voice with great sensitivity and imagination.' The series looks set to claim definitive status.
5029365102759
Character Pieces & Grotesqueries
Artist: Alkan / Viner
Format: CD
New: In Print Available to Order $21.99
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Formats and Editions

DISC: 1

1. Petit Conte [04:02]
2. Pour Monsieur Gurkhaus [01:11]
3. Jean Qui Pleure [03:22]
4. Jean Qui Rit [04:41]
5. Toccatina, Op. 75 [01:48]
6. Désir [04:02]
7. Capriccio Alla Soldatesca, Op. 50 [06:47]
8. Le Tambour Bat Aux Champs, Esquisse, Op. 50Bis [04:03]
9. Fantasticheria [03:47]
10. Chapeau Bas [08:01]
11. No.
12. Ma Chere Liberte [04:10]
13. No.
14. Ma Chere Servitude [04:58]
15. Quasi-Caccia, Op. 53 [05:30]
16. Le Chemin de Fer, Op. 27 [05:02]
17. No.
18. Asse Z Gravement [05:04]
19. No.
20. Andantino [05:33]
21. No.
22. Menuet [06:09

More Info:

Mark Viner's survey of the complete solo piano music of Alkan continues to turn up discoveries and reveal previously little-known or misunderstood sides of a protean figure in late French romanticism. Viner himself regards Alkan as 'the most enigmatic figure in the history of music as a whole'. The sixth volume of his survey focuses not on the grand cycles which have won this series such uniformly glowing reviews, but on sketches and miniatures which demonstrate Alkan's capacity to charm as well as astound and dazzle his listeners. All these pieces are further illuminated, as before, by his own comprehensive booklet notes. Several of them will be unfamiliar to all except the most dedicated of Alkan connoisseurs. Jean qui pleure et Jean qui rit is a pair of two 'chamber fugues' inspired by Voltaire's account of a man who goes, with great ease, from a state of depression in the morning to making merry in the evening. The Capriccio alla-soldatesca also has a poetic origin, as a paraphrase of an evocation of a night-watch - the subject of Rembrandt's most famous canvas - by Joseph Christian von Zedlitz. Le Tambour bat aux champs is it's companion piece, underpinned from the outset by a relentless ostinato of drum beats as a noble theme emerges, dignified and laconic. Better known, the Toccatina Op.75 can be counted among Alkan's finest shorter pieces for the piano, demanding phenomenal dexterity and lightness of touch. At the other end of the expressive scale, Désir is a little fantasy, one of Alkan's most homely-sounding miniatures, yet still coloured by his characteristic use of the ninth. Previous volumes in the series have demonstrated to listeners and critics that Mark Viner is the pre-eminent Alkan interpreter of our day. Jeremy Nicholas remarked in Gramophone: 'It takes a certain kind of temperament and a superior finger technique to take him on. Those who cut the mustard are few and far between. Mark Viner is such a one.' Reviewing the most recent volume, he noted: 'Viner responds to the composer's unique voice with great sensitivity and imagination.' The series looks set to claim definitive status.
        
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