Short Takes: Music: Piano Music Of Alkan And Liszt

Raymond Lewenthal

A fabulous virtuoso, Lewenthal (who died in 1988) had a boldness, imagination and rich, multihued sound that were perfect for the 19th century composer-pianists whose work he resurrected in the 1960s. His trailblazing recordings of music by Charles-Valentin Alkan, called "the Berlioz of the piano," are electrifying. Alkan's ferociously difficult, densely textured music has been taken up by other pianists, but Lewenthal--especially in this vibrant remastering--remains his most thrilling advocate.

--By Elliot Ravetz

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