Alkan: Quatre Impromptus & Deuxième recueil d’impromptus, Op. 32; Variations on a Theme from Steibelt’s ‘Orage’ Concerto

COMPOSERS: Alkan
LABELS: Marco Polo
WORKS: Quatre Impromptus & Deuxième recueil d’impromptus, Op. 32; Variations on a Theme from Steibelt’s ‘Orage’ Concerto
PERFORMER: Laurent Martin (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 8.223657 DDD
Legend has it that Alkan died when a bookcase crashed on top of him. True or not, the story fed the myth of Alkan as a bookish recluse, whose work is somewhat dry and recondite. This disc challenges that notion, ranging from early, conventional sets of salon variations to the more probing and experimental later pieces, such as the paraphrase of Psalm 137, ‘Super flumina Babylonis’, whose eccentricities are never less than interesting. William Humphreys-Jones

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