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Alkan's Organ Music


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I received an email from Europadisc about Bank Holiday special offers including this...

 

http://www.europadisc.co.uk/classical/6065...Works_vol.1.htm

 

I confess my total ignorance having never heard of the composer and wonder if anyone knows the pieces bearing in mind they haven't been previously recorded. Is it worth buying? Worth a punt at the bargain price I guess...

 

Thanks

 

P

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I have taken some interest in Alkan, as my piano teacher was the man who did most to rediscover him some 40 years ago.

 

He played and wrote for a piano with pedals (but the organ as well), and a lot of his "organ" music is frankly pianistic. Some doesn't work on the organ to my ears, but much is well worth trying.

 

You won't find a better advocate of these pieces than Bowyer (there is a companion disk 2 as well; and presumably a forthcoming disk 3 - the pieces on that will be pretty much those on Bowyer's earlier recording at Salisbury for Nimbus).

 

Paul

 

NB - you can download the album from the publishers for £7.99 which is cheaper again.

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You will find one or two scores on the three pages of this website.

 

Page 3 has the score of his 12 organ or pedal piano studies for feet only, from which I can only conclude that he either did not treat the organ very seriously or did not understand it. Look at page 12 of the score, for example. How would you (how could you) play that ascending and descending chromatic scale near the end on the organ?

 

Alkan's music has always looked to me to require the persuasive powers of someone especially dedicated to understanding it. I've never thought I could make anything of it (and, frankly, I wouldn't be able to get anywhere near the pedal studies technically), but I daresay in the right hands... I shall try to listen out for Bowyer's recordings.

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Thank you for those interesting replies. I've looked at the scores and don't think it's really my sort of thing. I certainly could never have played the pedal part Vox Humana pointed out - nor would I have wanted to, I don't think!

 

I may ask if my local library can get a copy of one or more of the CDs rather than buy it (them) myself - space on the shelves has become scarce since I joined this forum. :blink:

 

P

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I can only conclude that he either did not treat the organ very seriously or did not understand it.

Ahem! I see that Alkan won the first prize for organ at the Paris conservatoire in 1634, so that rather puts paid to that theory! I suppose, then, that he must never have expected the studies that go below bottom C to be played on the organ.

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Ahem! I see that Alkan won the first prize for organ at the Paris conservatoire in 1634,

 

I didn't realise that the Conservatoire was there that far back!

 

AJJ

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