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A Rousing Conclusion to Maltempo’s Alkan Cycle

Jeremy Lee writes

So far Vincenzo Maltempo’s Alkan cycle (that is, a complete survey of the composer’s magnum opus, 12 Etudes in all the minor keys Op. 39) has stacked up extremely well and revealed Maltempo as a thrillingly resourceful musician with formidable technique and intelligence.  The present release Continue reading


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Maltempo’s Alkan Cycle, Vol. 1

Jeremy Lee writes

Maybe it’s a bit late to review this album, given my excitement when I announced the news of this album’s release two years ago on this blog.  But better late than never!  Maltempo has, by now, completed his Alkan Op. 39 cycle–the fourth so far, after Smith, McCallum and Gibbons–and Continue reading

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John Ogdon’s Fascinating RCA Legacy

Jeremy Lee writes

To mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of British virtuoso pianist John Ogdon in 1989, RCA has wisely exhumed his complete recordings for the label, and since Ogdon did not record prolifically for RCA (most of his recordings are for EMI) this original jacket collection fits snugly on 6 discs at Continue reading

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Alkan by Maltempo and Deljavan


Leonard Ip writes  [translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Lee]

Charles-Valentin Alkan’s bicentenary just passed about a week ago, on the 30th of November. Even though Alkan was one of Chopin’s and Liszt’s best friends and most respected colleagues, to fans of this composer, the lack of any form of commotion from the major record labels on his anniversary is something they’ve all become accustomed to anyway. Thankfully, for his bicentenary, Continue reading

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Two New Alkan Releases from Piano Classics

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.

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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 Continue reading