Charles Henri Valentin Alkan

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Charles Henri Valentin Alkan (shärl äNrē´ väläNtăN´ ălkăN´), 1813–88, French pianist and composer; his original surname was Morhange. He was a pianist of great virtuosity and wrote mainly for the piano. His most influential works were the technically formidable Études (Op. 35 and 39), which greatly enlarged the piano techniques of the day. Much of his music was program music.

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Alkan [Morhange, Charles-Valentin] (b Paris, 1813; d Paris, 1888). Fr. pianist, composer, and teacher. His comps. for pf. (and for pedal-pf.) incl. chromatic harmonies well in advance of their time and are extremely difficult to perform. Among best known are the Grande Sonate, Op.33, and the conc. for pf. solo, Op.39.