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Alkan: Esquisses Op 63 / Laurent Martin


Release Date: 05/21/2002 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8555496   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles Valentin Alkan
Performer:  Laurent Martin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

If you'd like to access the full scope of Alkan's quirky style in bite-sized proportions rather than piling into the Concerto for Solo Piano, Les Quartre Ages, and other large-scale concoctions, here's a disc for you. Esquisses (Sketches) contains 49 piano miniatures, each lasting from 43 seconds to a little more than four minutes. Alkan apparently composed these over a 15-year span. He eventually partitioned the collection into four volumes, arranged according to key sequence. It's almost too easy to describe the music as slightly off-center replicas of Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, and Weber, with touches of the French clavicenists, but that's essentially what you hear. He even foreshadows Paul McCartney's "Michelle" by a century in Read more the quasi-modal "Barcollete!"


Laurent Martin commands Alkan's idiom well, and his fingers toss off the composer's fastest flurries of notes (e.g. the Fantasie, No. 16) with next to no effort. However, Martin's artistry is severely compromised by strident, tinny sonics. I could somewhat tame the jangly quality of loud, pedaled repeated chords by futzing with my receiver's parametric equalizer, but that's akin to treating a tummy ache with a band-aid. In fairness, Naxos has significantly improved its techniques for recording piano music since this 1992 release, originally available on Marco Polo and now reissued at budget price.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Esquisses (48) for Piano, Op. 63 by Charles Valentin Alkan
Performer:  Laurent Martin (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1990 
Venue:  Tonstudio Van Geest, Heidelberg, Germany 
Length: 74 Minutes 29 Secs. 

Sound Samples

48 Esquisses, Op. 63: La vision
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Le staccatissimo
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Le legatissimo
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Les cloches
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Les inities
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Fuguette
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Le frisson
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Pseudo-Naivete
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Confidence
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Increpatio
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Les soupirs
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Barcarollette
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Ressouvenir
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Duettino
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Tutti de Concerto dans le genre ancien
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Fantaisie
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Petit prelude a 3
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Liedchen
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Graces
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Petite marche villageoise
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Morituri te salutant
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Innocenza
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: L'Homme aux sabots
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Contredanse
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: La poursuite
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Petit air
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Rigaudon
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Inflexibilite
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Delire
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Petit air dolent
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Debut de quatuor
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Minuettino
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Fais Dodo
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Odi profanum vulgus et arceo
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Musique militaire
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Toccatina
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Scherzettino
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Les bons souhaits
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Heraclite et Democrite
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Attendez-moi sous l'orme
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Les enharmoniques
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Petit air
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Notturnino - Innamorato
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Transports
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Les diablotins
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Le premier billet doux
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Scherzetto
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: En songe
48 Esquisses, Op. 63: Laus Deo

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