The gloriously maverick music of Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813–88) is more familiar now than ever before. But even though his original compositions are now beginning to be heard in concert programmes, his equally idiosyncratic transcriptions have not yet been systematically documented in recordings – an omission this series, which begins with Alkan’s complete transcriptions of Mozart, seeks to redress.
José Raúl López, piano
Catalogue No: TOCC0240EAN/UPC: 5060113442406Release Date: 05.06.2015Composer: Charles-Valentin Alkan Artists: José Raúl López
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Scott Noriega :
“… And though one may question whether we still need solo piano transcriptions of orchestral and chamber works, many of which we all know well through recordings, my answer would be an unambiguous “yes.” Not only do these works provide a window into 19th-century performance practice—certainly Alkan approached Mozart differently than George Szell did with an orchestra, or Murray Perahia does at the piano—they also give us an ability to see this music’s influence on Alkan the composer as well. And besides that they make for highly enjoyable listening, especially when played so adeptly as by the pianist here, José Raúl López (who also wrote the very fine program notes, complete with footnotes, for those interested in learning more about Alkan). In his hands the faster passages sparkle, while the slower, more lyrical ones truly sing. … Listen to those cadenzas in Mozart’s D-Minor Concerto and you’ll get his understanding of Alkan’s humor and irony to a tee! He knows just when and where to hold a note, to push forward, and to tonally alter the sound to get the maximum effect out of this music.
So, what else can be said? Excellent performances, informative program notes, fascinating repertoire, all captured in pristine sound—grab it and enjoy. Whether you know Mozart or not, this will make you appreciate him anew.” —Fanfare Magazine, November/December 2015
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