Charles-Valentin Alkan: Complete Recueils de Chants, Volume One

Catalogue No: TOCC0157
EAN/UPC: 5060113441577
Release Date: 2013-01-28
Composer: Charles-Valentin Alkan
Artists: Stephanie McCallum

The wild originality of Charles-Valentin Alkan was little appreciated during his lifetime (1813-88), nor during the century which followed, when he was largely lost from sight. But now Alkan is increasingly recognised as one of the most individual personalities in all music. The five albums he called Recueils de chants — miniature tone-poems which marry Classical constraint to virtuoso Romantic excess — provide an attractive gateway to his freewheeling imagination.

Stephanie McCallum, piano

Listen To This Recording:

    Premier recueil de chants, Op. 38 (1857)

  1. 1. Assez vivement
  2. 2. Sérénade: Quasi-allegretto
  3. 3. Choeur: Allegro
  4. 4. L’Offrande: Andantino
  5. 5. Agitatissimo (disperato)
  6. 6. Barcarolle: Andante
  7. Deuxième recueil de chants, Op. 38 (1857)

  8. 1. Hymne: Adagio
  9. 2. Allegretto (‘Fa’)
  10. 3. Chant de guerre: Allegro
  11. 4. Procession-Nocturne: Andantino
  12. 5. Andantino
  13. 6. Barcarolle en choeur: Andante
  14. Troisième recueil de chants, Op. 65 (c. 1859)

  15. 1. Vivante
  16. 2. Esprits follets: Prestissimo
  17. 3. Canon: Assez vivement – Assez doucement
  18. 4. Tempo giusto
  19. 5. Horace et Lydie: Vivacissimo
  20. 6. Barcarolle: Assez lentement
  21. Une fusée: Introduction et Impromptu, Op. 55 (1859)

9 reviews for Charles-Valentin Alkan: Complete Recueils de Chants, Volume One

  1. :

    ‘…Alkan followed in the path of Mendelssohn, but developed eccentrically, eventually producing a corpus of long and titanically difficult works for piano and a large number of shorter pieces of considerable originality as well as charm…’

    —Mark DeVoto, Classical Ear

  2. :

    ‘…His fascinating music, which is finally becoming known and admired by a wider audience, is among the most individual and technically demanding of any in the Romantic era.…McCallum is across every aspect of this music, exploring the collection’s diversity with apparent ease…’

    —Phillip Scott, Limelight

  3. :

    An excellent recording!

    Stephanie McCallum has a natural affinity for the works of Alkan that really comes through in this reading.

    It’s brilliant to finally have an acoustic recording of the Op. 55 too, a tricky work, but handled in a masterly fashion by one of the composer’s great modern-day champions.

    Bring on disc two!

  4. :

    This is a fantastic undertaking by a wonderful pianist! It’s about time somebody else records the complete Chants. I will make sure to acquire this CD soon. I can already tell by the audio preview samples that McCallum’s playing is splendid and that the CD is definitely worth the purchase.

    I am also excited for whenever Volume 2 is released!

  5. :

    ‘This is really interesting Alkan. We associate Alkan with gigantic, over-the-top virtuoso works […] This is Alkan the lyricist and the miniaturist […] It’s really exquisitely played by Stephanie McCallum, who really ‘gets’ the style […] if you want to get into Alkan yourself, this is an excellent disc to try.

    She really has wonderfully mastered Alkan’s style. […]

    this CD actually has some very good programme notes’

    —Kenneth Hamilton and Andrew McGregor, CD Review, BBC Radio 3

  6. :

    ‘I thought it a stunning disc upon first hearing; it has not lost its appeal all these years later. There is a grittiness to her playing which is highly appropriate for so many of this composer’s works […]

    McCallum characterizes each of these little gems perfectly […] I eagerly await the second volume in this series.’

    —Scott Noriega, Fanfare Magazine July/August 2013

  7. :

    ‘McCallum’s playing is exemplary, her projection of the melody just right, her realization of the piece’s aura simply beautiful. […]

    McCallum exhibits fine virtuosity[…]

    A remarkable disc; one that I for one will not forget in a long while. The generous annotations are just as expert as the playing.’

    —Colin Clarke, Fanfare Magazine July/August 2013

  8. :

    ‘McCallum maintains a balanced approach, never ever rushing just to dazzle the listener with the sheer difficulty of the music […] but rather always emphasizing the lyricism inherent in the music.’

    —Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine July/August 2013

  9. :

    ‘McCallum is never less than engaging, savvy in choices of tempo, aware of continuities as the pieces unfold, and deft in projecting Alkan’s bizarre quirkiness. […]

    Warmest recommendation.’

    —Adrian Corleonis, Fanfare Magazine July/August 2013

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *