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 Post subject: Charles-Valentin Alkan
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:31 am 
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Charles-Valentin Alkan was a composer in the romantic period, with Chopin and Liszt, yet his music is much unknown today. If you haven't heard of Alkan or are mostly unfamiliar with him, have a look at this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbD1oAMLyn4



"Alkan: The forgotten genius - maybe the tortured genius - a man whose talents didn't pander to the appetites of the time. Nor does his breathtaking music find favour today. Why? Is it the sheer difficulty of execution making many works almost impossible to perform? Is it the complexity and aggressive hard edges, or could it be the fleeting changes of mood and volatility? Music that cannot be pidgeon holed and possibly not even understood.

Many painters have been famous long after their death, Van Gogt and Monet to name just two. Brilliant artists misunderstood in times when technical excellence was demanded and whose works are much loved today with their vibrance and light. Even dark works such as Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' are highly valued today perhaps as an insight into the human soul.

But still Alkan's music lies largely undiscovered. Perhaps, just as 'The Scream' is dark and challenging maybe its two dimensional form allows understanding, whereas the three and four dimensional works of Alkan, music without apology, maybe accusational, sometimes calmly religious or even sweetly haunting, still lie undiscovered and misunderstood. Perhaps Alkan was in fact a musical architect with a blueprint of a building that could never be built, soaring structures of great strength and impossible angles, hard materials with rooms of such eclectic contrast as to confuse the visitor. Living with Alkan may introduce you to the wonders of this musical architect, opening your eyes and ears to stunning surprises, mercurial changes of mood and depth of music that may just render other musical forms into slightly contemptuous familiarity".


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:51 pm 
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Nope, we'd never heard of this Alkan here, nor of his music. It's soooo unknown... can't find it anywhere on the internet. And nobody seems to like or even understand it.
PLEASE tell us more about him, share your unique insights with us ! We are in dire need to be educated !

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:59 pm 
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:lol:

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:23 pm 
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oh, terribly sorry.... :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:45 am
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Location: Manteca, CA
That was a bit of a harsh reception for a new member :? Don't take it too wrong, but certainly we can reward enthusiasm with more than shame, can't we?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:41 am 
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Perhaps I should've realised that this being a piano forum Alkan has probably been much discussed already. I do hope some people will watch the video I included as it was a good 100 hours work for me (having never done something like that before).

"Nope, we'd never heard of this Alkan here, nor of his music. It's soooo unknown... can't find it anywhere on the internet. And nobody seems to like or even understand it.
PLEASE tell us more about him, share your unique insights with us ! We are in dire need to be educated !"

If I came accross as arrogant like that, It's probably because I wrote those paragraphs in an arrogant way to actually get a better mark (it was for a school research project). It's all my opinion of course and opinions can never be right or wrong. I'm interested in YOURS.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:52 am 
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It’s okay, yam – I see you do understand that we are all classical piano enthusiasts and therefore it should be obvious that we know about Alkan. Coming onto the forum and asking if we’ve heard of Alkan would be like asking a bunch of rock-n-rollers if they’ve heard of Jimi Hendrix. However, I do not know that much about Alkan, so I may watch your video someday. It better be good! :) (kidding)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:17 am 
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yam wrote:
If I came accross as arrogant like that, It's probably because I wrote those paragraphs in an arrogant way to actually get a better mark (it was for a school research project). It's all my opinion of course and opinions can never be right or wrong. I'm interested in YOURS.

Ah no, not arrogant, I see your good intentions. I was just taking the p*ss, really :lol:
Will have a look at that video. It's not as if we know everything about Alkan here.

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Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:45 pm 
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Hello again, sweet potatoe. :lol: (hope you get that) Anyway, I had a little time to kill before my class and so I watched your video. I didn't realize there are several videos in the complete set, but I watched the first one just now and really did enjoy it. Much of that is due to the time in which you talk about Chopin! Very interesting the comparisons between Alkan's and Chopin's Prelude/Etude! I also like the photos you have up, and I caught that one of them is actually Hershey Felder in his portrayal of Chopin in a stage show which I saw a few years ago.

gotta run, but I'll watch the other videos later.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:46 am 
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pianolady wrote:
Hello again, sweet potatoe. :lol: (hope you get that)


I see no deep meaning so perhaps I don't get it :P

EDIT: now why can't I get the quote thingy working...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:15 am 
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yam wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Hello again, sweet potatoe. :lol: (hope you get that)


I see no deep meaning so perhaps I don't get it :P


No deep meaning :lol: I live near Chicago, Illinois and around here yams are also called sweet potatoes!

yam wrote:
EDIT: now why can't I get the quote thingy working...


They should work now. You needed to disable HTML, so I did that for you.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:16 am 
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ah awesome thanks :)

Oh, sweet potatoes here in new zealand are kumara's (maori name) and to me a yam is a rather sour potato actually :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:22 am 
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Interesting - I didn't know there was such a thing as a sour potatoe! I sometimes put sour cream on my potatoes, is that what you mean?

I know some people make sweet potatoes with lots of butter and marshmallows so then they are really really sweet! ( I don't like that - yuck)

btw - I still plan on watching your other videos - probably tomorrow.

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:15 am 
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Yay :) I think the other ones are more interesting myself, or at least the music that they cover is.

Nah they aren't actually called sour potatoes, I just find them more sour than a potato myself, actually don't like them :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:44 pm
Posts: 48
Location: Orange, CA
Quote:
Oh, sweet potatoes here in new zealand are kumara's (maori name) and to me a yam is a rather sour potato actually :P

My last girlfriend HATED yams with an extraordinary passion (we're not together anymore)!!

Quote:
I didn't realize there are several videos in the complete set, but I watched the first one just now and really did enjoy it ... Very interesting the comparisons between Alkan's and Chopin's Prelude/Etude!

I concur, the comparisons were cool. I'm not surprised some of his music might have been inspired by Chopin... Chopin inspires anyone whose ears hear his compositions. Watching the second and third videos now, I enjoy the time spent on just listening to the music. It provides a nice contrast from learning to actually hearing what's being talked about. And being somewhat new to the forums I didn't know much about Alkan, so thanks for posting!

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