Andrew Clements, The Guardian

Alkan – Le Festin D’Esope, 3 Morceaux Op. 15, Ouverture, Sonatine

PianoClassics 2013

[...] 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.

Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 5 stars