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katya-oddio on 04/16/2010 at 09:00AM

Charles-Valentin Alkan's Opuses 25 and 31

Alkan's music frequently displays idiosyncratic features, including nonstandard key signature and pedal notation, as seen in this extract from the 2nd movement of the sonata Les Quatre Âges.

Brazillian pianist Felipe Sarro performs Opus 25 Alleluia and Opus 31 Préludes by French Romantic composer Charles-Valentin Alkan.

Alkan, one of the greatest virtuoso pianists of his day, was a friend and contemporary of Franz Liszt and Frédéric Chopin. He was a child prodigy, entering the Paris Conservatoire at the age of six. Alkan was a favorite of his teacher, Joseph Zimmermann, who also taught fellow composers Georges Bizet, César Franck, Charles Gounod, and Ambroise Thomas. In his twenties, Alkan was a famous virtuoso and teacher in elegant social circles. Liszt once stated that Alkan had the finest piano technique of anyone he knew. This Romantic composer was a luminary of his time.

Felipe Sarro began his musical training at the age of eight and studied at Academia Musical Fátima and Santa Cecília Musical Conservatory. In this album on the FMA, Sarro performs Alkan's Opus 31 Alleluia (1844) and Opus 25 Préludes dans touts les tons majeur et mineurs (1847) in entirety.

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