Piano Forum

Topic: 12 hours until Alkan's Birthday  (Read 1138 times)


  • Guest
12 hours until Alkan's Birthday
on: November 29, 2013, 11:00:36 AM
I will be asleep when this happens, so i will just like to say 

Offline iancollett6

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 164
Re: 12 hours until Alkan's Birthday
Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 12:13:17 PM
There is an artical on Alkan in the latest edition of International Piano.....if any on is interested?!
"War is terrorism by the rich and terrorism is war by the poor." Peter Ustinov

Offline ignaceii

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 193
Re: 12 hours until Alkan's Birthday
Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 11:08:53 AM
Yes I read it.
I also replied to the magazine. This is a copy:

Writing from Belgium, and as such not an english native write or speaker, I just wanted to briefly comment
on a quote by M.A. Hamelin discussing the music of Alkan.
At a certain point he says "where there are much half talented yougsters who play Islamey or Petrouchka,...".
To begin with, I'd least say talented, and adolescents or matured youngsters. And then, I still not totally agree.
Otherwise, what is Petrouchka doing as a virtuoso piece by concert pianists, or ambitious daring competition pianists, on the piano program.
Not to say that we hardly, or never hear Islamey anymore. Why ? because it is only fitted for half talented youngsters. I think not.

Of course we all know M.A. Hamelin as a dazzling virtuoso himself, too virtuoso I think perhaps for his latest Haydn editions.
But to say that of Balakirev and Strawinsky, is beyond my understanding of piano music.

As a middle-aged amateur,this quotre leads me to close the piano lid forever, because, logically, what comes then next for the "talented" youngster,
Busoni's versions of the Chopin etudes, and for the mature, Prokofievs piano concertos, to say the least.
Then, so once become a concert pianist there is nothing more left, if not Alkan. And Alkan is not played on any concert program.
Why Medtner and not Alkan ? What is next ?

I think Hamelin degrades the difficulty of the mentioned works, in a one-liner, without nuances.
For me, half talented youngsters perhaps can play some Liszt, perhaps Ravels jeux d'eau, perhaps Bachs Well tempered clavier, many perhapses, but not, you know what I mean.

It is not because mr. Hamelin towers above many pianists today, that he should consider the mentioned works in the same way.

Not a good example for many pianists, old or young, talented or not.

And playing all Chopin Etudes for breakfast, okay, he's excused for this same type of "downgrading".

I hope his breakfast meals digests as easily after Chopin, as his dinner does after Petrouchka or Islamey.

A. Schiffs never should say these things, only, 1 prelude and fugue as breakfast. That's the approach. Sorry Mr. Hamelin, beware of what you say.

I would have more appreciated his comments on Alkans keyboard landscape pieces compared to what Prokofievs landscapes looked like.

And a last thing, why are the Beethoven concertos being played, over and over again on concerts ? That's food for the beginning youngsters.

Kind regards,

Ignace Erauw

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert