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TO 0031
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TO 0031

Alkan: Ogan Works, Volume 2

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2008

Originally recorded in 2008


Kevin Bowyer



Blackburn Cathedral


Richard Tanner

Martin Anderson


Record Label



Total Time - 73:40
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Pro Organo (1850)


12 Etudes pour les pieds seulement (c. 1869)

2 No. 7. Allegro, Fsharp minor 3:06
3 No. 8. Energicamente, D minor 3:09
4 No. 9. Moderato, D major 3:27
5 No. 10. Moderato, D major 2:23
6 No. 11. Adagio, F minor 4:53
7 No. 12. Tempo giusto, C major 4:22

11 Pieces dans le Style Religieux, et 1 Transcription, du Messie de Handel, Op. 72 (c. 1867)

8 No. 1. Tempo giustissimo, C major 3:25
9 No. 2. Andantino, A major 4:38
10 No. 3. Quasi-Adagio, D minor 2:53
11 No. 4. Assez doucement, G major 3:43
12 No. 5. Lentement, D minor 3:45
13 No. 6. Majesteusement, B flat major 3:41
14 No. 7. Molto Moderato, F major 4:40
15 No. 8. Assez vite, A minor 4:06
16 No. 9. Assez lentement, E flat major 5:03
17 No. 10. Moderement, D minor 4:27
18 No. 11. Dolcemente, A minor 6:36

Handel, Messiah, transcr. Alkan: Larghetto ('Pastoral Symphony'), B major


In the last three decades the staggeringly original piano music of Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-88) has emerged from the darkness that surrounded it over the previous century and today features regularly in recital programmes. But Alkan’s music for organ - much of it initially conceived for the now obsolete pedal-piano - is no less powerful and imaginative, although little of it had been recorded before Kevin Bowyer began this survey. His first recording of this repertoire drew ecstatic reviews from the critics; this second instalment (of three) offers music and playing of equal quality.

‘Not for nothing have I referred to Bowyer as the Marc-André Hamelin of the organ. Seeing what Alkan requires the feet unaided to wring from a pedal board is hair-raising by itself, but hearing those requirements realized with interpretive point is simply jaw dropping… Bowyer’s ear is cocked for Alkan’s quirky divagations, his tongue-in-cheek detours… For the moments of menace or soaring grandeur mingling with the blithesome and faux-naïf there is no comparison—Bowyer is the thing itself. […] Enthusiastically recommended.’

Adrian Corleonis

Fanfare - November/December 2008

‘ Bowyer we have a performer who not only guides us through the music with the assurance of one who sees nothing out of the ordinary in Alkan’s musical language but who cuts through the immense technical difficulties like a hot knife through butter. […] breathtaking footwork… […] some of the most vividly focused and technically fluent organ-playing imaginable.’

Marc Rochester

Gramophone - June 2008

‘Kevin Bowyer and Toccata Classics have done Alkan a huge service. Bowyer is the ideal advocate for this music: not only is he a consummate and highly intelligent musician, but his technique seems to know no bounds. […] This CD demands to be heard by a wide musical audience and not only by Alkan and organ aficionados. High accolades should also be awarded to Toccata Classics for such an enterprising release’

Robert Costin


MusicWeb - February 2008

‘This is a dazzling achievement and the most enjoyable organ disc that has come my way this year. […] Congratulations to Bowyer and to Martin Anderson of Toccata Classics.’

Peter Grahame Woolf

Musical Pointers - December 2007

‘Unfamiliar repertoire and monstrous challenges are probably what Kevin Bowyer devours daily before breakfast…. […] In every track on these two CDs, Bowyer’s flawless technique and missionary commitment provide ample ammunition to silence all potential doubters. The critical encomia that have already greeted Volume I are well justified; Bowyer’s phenomenal mastery is every bit as engaging in Volume II. In looking forward to the third and final CD in this series (anticipated for 2009), one can only wonder why these seminal works have had to wait so long for the recognition that they so richly deserve; the simple answer, however, is that it has been equally necessary to wait for an organist of rare intelligence capable of rising to the often fearsome challenges of this remarkable music.’

Alistair Hinton

Music & Vision Daily - 29 June 2008

                    Want List for Adrian Corleonis 2008

‘Two decades ago, Kevin Bowyer’s first collection of Alkan’s organ works alerted listeners to the quirky riches of that composer’s last creative phase, whose conspectus is rounded off here. As ever, Bowyer plays with an ear cocked to Alkan’s beguiling, often startling, eldritch vein—for those who delight in bizarrerie.’

Adrian Corleonis

Fanfare - November/December 2008

"... flawless technique and missionary commitment ..."
Alistair Hinton


CD Spotlight

"The CD comes with a thick booklet including the organ specification and most excellent notes by Malcolm MacDonald. In first-rate sound, the rich acoustic of Blackburn Cathedral has been captured without losing any of the details of either the music or its interpretation. The third and final volume is eagerly awaited; in the meantime, this issue, as with Volume 1, comes very highly recommended as an authoritative journey through Alkan’s organ music."
Peter Joelson


The Classical Source

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