Alkan Op. 34 - Scherzo Focoso

Has this ever been recorded? I can’t find anything but a midi anywhere. Maybe one of you mofos has a bootleg someone playing it, or you know of a pianist who plays it? I’m not requesting the rec, just wondering if anyone, anywhere actually plays it somewhere other than their living room.

Edit: I found this on a concert review of Thomas Wakefield, not sure how true it is though, as obviously bootlegs don’t count as known recordings.

“The most startling of this group of pieces - and of the recital - was Alkan’s op. 34 Scherzo focoso of 1847, long thought to be completely unplayable and being given, I think, its first public concert performance in Britain (the young pianist Lloyd Buck having given a great shot at it earlier this year at the Royal College of Music). Until now we have had to rely on Anders RÃ¥dén’s pioneering electronic version (click on the sheet music on the site to download the mp3 played by computerised piano) to get much idea of what this extraordinary music might be like; there are (as yet) no recordings played by humans.”

At any rate, I’ve got a good SDC worthy project here.

are u canadian ?

Ronald Smith thought it not worth the effort, but it’s blatantly a piece that a Jozef Hofmann could have torn up.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve gathered too. I personally think his judgement was off, and this piece is on par with op. 39. But… whatever. I’m still a Ronald Smith fan, and it makes it that much more exciting for me to learn.

I think that Wakefield and Buck (who is actually younger than me) are the only two people who have played this in public, and it seems that there haven’t been any recordings made of either of their concerts.

Edit: No, I’m not canadian. I’m not sure who the other chris is who roams around SDC, I’m the Texan.


HAHAH diz chriz iz da NA friend, n da otha iz da canadian :kan:

Exactly what is so hard about this piece? ok, it requires some stamina but there’s nothing new in it’s technique - leaps, octaves (the norma transcription rivals the LH of the scherzo here), fast playing…
Is there something I’m missing or have I been spoilt by this forum.

lloyd buck is recording this piece for the CD label “Toccatta”. I met him at the Hamelin Alkan Concerto concert last month… he’s performed it a few times I think. I think he said it would be along with other rarely heard pieces from romantic repertoire - another pianist is also recording some of the CD if i remember correctly. If I’ve said something wrong and you’re reading this, Buck, don’t hesitate to put me straight!
A very nice person…