Seemingly, most of the releases to celebrate Alkan’s bicentenary this year are by Piano Classics–sad that many major labels couldn’t be bothered to reissue their Alkan legacies long forgotten in their annals. At any rate, Top Ear is very happy that Piano Classics will be releasing 2 Alkan discs soon, generous and much-needed additions to the rather small pool of present Alkan recordings.
Vincenzo Maltempo continues his Alkan series on Piano Classics with this: the variations on a theme “Le Festin d’Esope” and Ouverture from the sprawling set of Op. 39 etudes, as well as the 3 Morceaux (the “Pathetic Souvenirs”, as we like to call it), Op. 15, previously recorded only by Hamelin in a dazzling display of virtuosity, balance and lyricism, and the piquant Sonatine in A minor, Op. 61. Gone is the rather awkward cover of the first installment: the new cover is superb. Let’s just hope he doesn’t stick to his nasal-sounding Yamaha, and that his bountiful technique and musicality stays in place.
Next, a début release by Alessandro Deljavan, who made a deep impression at the Van Cliburn Competition. Here he plays the Op. 76 set of études (for left hand, right hand and hands together), the Op. 61 Sonatine (which is, incidentally, a clash of repertoire with Maltempo’s disc), and lastly a set of two pieces, Op. 60, which have, to Top Ear’s best knowledge, never been recorded before. We at Top Ear have never heard Deljavan, but we look forward to this release (and Maltempo’s, obviously).
And just in case you’re wondering: yes, both these releases will actually exist.