The value and greatness of Alkan’s music has been much talked about. I ask you to listen to any of the douze etudes in the minor keys, or the Grande Sonate or Sonatine and you will no longer question the calibre of this supreme artist, which I believe to be THE greatest composer since Beethoven. Why such a bold claim? LISTEN TO THE MUSIC!!! All your questions will be answered therein. Describing the exact qualities and emotions of the music with words is virtually impossible but I will attempt to address this most lofty of propositions. The feelings that pervade his works are like that of no other composer. They range from calm contentedness, to blisteringly aggressive and passionate music. His etudes are most often the latter, and are some of the most perfectly eloquent expressions of that kind. Even in his most harsh, angry and brittle music there always pervades beauty, if not of harmonies at least in sincerity of emotion. I should also mention his immense originality – I know of no other composer but Beethoven who maintains such an obsessive rhythmic drive in his works. Tonality is also very original, the harmonies are often very experimental, and progressions unusual, but always very musically effective. Bizarreness is also a pervading feature in his works, often completely stark then completely saturated, his music covers all and often unexplored areas of expression and style. An example of his weirdness will most readily be found in his Esquisses , which are basically short sketches and ideas. They are short, but show his eccentricity most readily and apparently. In conclusion I must write that alkan’s music isn’t really intellectual, its value is in the sheer emotion and feeling which reach such wonderful extremes in his works, more , I feel , than any other composer since Beethoven. His music is also immensely interesting, in that every emotion is expressed in a wholly original way, his music hardly ever repeats itself and each of his works are very unique. I urge you to seek out these gems of music and get a taste of the genius of ALKAN.