Charles-Valentin Alkan (Nov 30 1813 – March 29 1888) was a French-Jewish composer and virtuoso pianist. He’s not exactly a household name when it comes to composers, but nonetheless he produced a vast array of works for piano. In the 1830’s and 40’s, he was known as one of the best pianists in Paris, along with his friends Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt. Alkan was a child prodigy, and entered the Conservatoire de Paris at the tender age of 6. His examiners noted his talent in his piano audition, commenting “This child has amazing abilities”. Continue reading →
Upon hearing the name of Paul Dukas, many people immediately think about his delightful composition The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which many know from Disney’s movie Fantasia. Dukas wrote more than that however, and sadly his Symphony in C is oft overlooked. In Dukas’ time (1865 – 1935), French composers weren’t exactly in a rush to write symphonies. They were more known...