Yury Favorin – Charles-Valentin Alkan: Piano Works (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 01:06:55 minutes | 1,01 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © MUSO
Charles-Valentin Alkan is one of the most talented French romantic composers and pianists yet his music has rarely been recorded, and too little performed. Fascinated by the piano, Alkan showed great interest in the progress of instrumental manufacture and composed many works for solo piano; the programme chosen by Yury Favorin includes two of his major compositions.
First, the Symphony for solo piano, taken from the Twelves Studies in all the minor keys, described as an «epic for the piano ». Wit hits intense, deep, dense style, exploring and shaping the colourful timbres, it is indeed a symphony that Alkan has written for the piano and not a transcription for piano of an orchestral work.
The Grand Sonata ‘The Four Ages’ is worthy of Beethoven’s sonatas ; this is a masterly work, one of the most accomplished sonatas of the romantic piano and herald of the Liszt Sonata. In its four movements Alkan describes the four ages in a man’s life : 20 years old, 30, 40 and 50, explaining that these ‘correspond to a given moment of existence, to a particular disposition of thought, of the imagination’. Contrary to the typical alternation of slow/fast, the movements are increasingly slow, from Very fast to Extremely slow, matching the inevitable slowing down of life itself. The first of the twenty-year-old is followed by the dazzline virtuosity of age 30 ; 40 depicts the tender moment of a couple with its children ; then comes the slow, somber and heartrending age 50 that concludes one of the high-points of the whole romantic repertory.
Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888)
01. Super flumina Babylonis “Paraphrase du psaume 137”, Op. 52
02. Symphonie pour piano seul No. 4-7, Op. 39: I. Allegro
03. Symphonie pour piano seul No. 4-7, Op. 39: II. Marche funèbre
04. Symphonie pour piano seul No. 4-7, Op. 39: III. Menuet
05. Symphonie pour piano seul No. 4-7, Op. 39: IV. Finale
06. Grande Sonate pour piano “Les Quatre Âges de la vie”, Op. 33: I. 20 ans. Très vite
07. Grande Sonate pour piano “Les Quatre Âges de la vie”, Op. 33: II. 30 ans, Quasi-Faust. Sataniquement
08. Grande Sonate pour piano “Les Quatre Âges de la vie”, Op. 33: III. 40 ans, Un heureux ménage. Lentement
09. Grande Sonate pour piano “Les Quatre Âges de la vie”, Op. 33:IV. 50 ans, Prométhée enchaîné. Extrêmement lent
Yury Favorin, piano