Composer of the Day!

Today's Composer of the Day is Charles-Valentin Alkan.


Alkan was a virtuoso pianist. He was also a composer of difficult piano music. Alkan was, famously, antisocial (see picture, left).

Nobody remembers Alkan much. Although, Ronald Smith, an English pianist and writer, championed his music in the 1990s and wrote a biography about him, which has led to a small revival of interest.

He was Jewish and lived in Paris. There is a long-standing rumor that he died when a heavy bookcase fell on him as he was reaching for the Talmud on the top shelf. Unfortunately, this story is now in doubt.

He was Chopin's next door neighbor for a while, and knew Liszt and other famous figures of the day. Too bad he was shy. He did not perform much. His music is obscure, which is awesome.

You should listen to his music.


Anonymous said...

i love him