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Concerto da camera in C sharp minor, Op 10 No 2
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Scored for piano and strings, the Concerto da camera in C sharp minor, Op 10 No 2, was composed in 1833 (when Alkan was only twenty) during a visit to England. It remained a lifelong favourite. It is dedicated to the minor composer and pianist Henry Field, Bath-born and -bred (1797–1848), who gave the first performance there on 11 April 1834 (the Bath and Cheltenham Gazette reviewed it as ‘especially delightful for the novelty of its style and technique’). Field must have been no mean player to cope with some of the novel and challenging keyboard acrobatics, especially the final section of its simple A–B–A structure which incorporates lightning-fast arpeggios and jumps that put it way beyond the gentleman amateur. This is not Alkan at full stretch (as in the Twelve Études) but, despite the obvious limitations and influences in the work, clearly he already knows that he has a voice of his own.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 1994

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