Alkan Le Festin D’Esope 3 Morceaux Op. 15 Ouverture Sonatine
Le Festin D’Esope 3 Morceaux Op. 15 Ouverture Sonatine
Release Date: June 2013
“Seemingly, most of the releases to celebrate Alkan’s bicentenary this year are by Piano Classics” (Top Ear). Indeed, with or without Bicentenary, Piano Classics wishes to share its enthousiasm and passion for Alkan, that neglected genius composer for the piano. And especially happy when presenting pianists capable to do justice to the colossal difficulties of this awesome music, like young Italian virtuoso Vincenzo Maltempo, whose earlier Alkan CD for Piano Classics (PCL0038) received the highest praise from international critics: “Exhilarating, a real revelation, 5 Stars” (The Guardian), “Imaginative, intelligent, utterly convincing, 5 Star”(Diapason). On this new recording (more is to come this year!) Maltempo plays the famous Le Festin d’Ésope, the seldom played Trois Morceaux dans le genre pathétique” (with the hauntingly beautiful and chilling Morte, a foreshadow of Ravel’s Le Gibet!), the Ouverture in grand quasi-orchestral style, and the fiendishly difficult Sonatine. An exciting release for all lovers of transcendent pianism!
Bertrand Boissard/ Diapason
[…] The works of Alkan require a truly transcendental pianism, a cool head and a remarkable coolness in front of the features and sounds of an oddity that remain unsurpassed, both in his time and in those to come. The fierce Festin Esope which opens the CD of Vincenzo Maltempo, author of a text of great richness, is presented as a series of variations each most insane than the others. The Italian pianist, whose skills and precision are truly remarkable [...], gives us a fiery execution always well substained. He outclasses Raymond Lewenthal (RCA), who is not always clear and precise and whose sound is quite unappealing, but also that of Ronald Smith (EMI), rather dull and without follies. […] In the Trois Morceux dans le genre pathétique [...] Maltempo puts all his sensitivity, his lyricism, his clarity of formal conception, the warmth of its marks in the service of this disturbing cycle. […] With this passionate record Maltempo confirms his place in the restricted circle of Alkan’s best performers.
Andrew Clements/ The Guardian
[...] Vincenzo Maltempo follows his superb accounts of Alkan's Symphonie and Grande Sonate last year with another exceptional collection [...] that includes the ferociously challenging Sonatine, alongside the last two of the set of 12 Grandes Etudes Op 39, the Ouverture, and the wildly exuberant set of variations named after the story from Greek legend about the banquet that Aesop put on for his master. Maltempo delivers them both, as well as the extraordinary Sonatine, with the kind of larger-than-life swagger and unflinching technique they need, but it's the Trois Morceaux dans le Genre Pathétique Op 15, which Maltempo's own sleeve notes describe as the first significant product of Alkan's maturity, that are even more remarkable. Whether in the sinister, whirling moto perpetuo of the second Le Vent, or the funeral march of the last, Morte, which uses the Dies Irae as a frame and builds to a ferocious climax, Maltempo makes every effect count. Thrillingly demonic.