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Music Appreciation 2 Notes September

September’s programme features two piano works, one rarely played, the other a great favourite. Charles Alkan (1813-1888) was a French-Jewish composer and virtuoso pianist. At the height of his fame, he was, alongside his friends and colleagues Chopin and Liszt, among the leading pianists in Paris, a city in which he spent virtually his entire life. We’ll listen to Scherzo Diabolico that forms part of his collection of large-scale studies in all the major keys and minor keys. It is very driving and obsessive, containing numerous fast arpeggios. Bach's Goldberg Variations is a set of 30 contrapuntal variations that are very well-known today but which were outside the standard piano repertoire in 1955 when a young Glen Gould first recorded them. The work was considered esoteric and technically demanding, requiring awkward hand crossing at times when played on a piano (these passages would be played on two manuals on a harpsichord). Gould's album both established the Goldberg Variations within the contemporary classical repertoire and made him an internationally famous pianist nearly "overnight”

We’ll meet in Mountfield at 2.30 pm on 14 September and you’ll be very welcome to join us.