Jack Gibbons plays the first movement (complete) of Alkan's Concerto for solo piano.
The monumental Concerto for Solo Piano makes up Etudes 8-10 of Charles-Valentin Alkan's 'Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs' (Twelve Studies in the Minor Keys), Alkan's magnum opus, published in 1857. The Concerto for solo piano has been described as a musical epic and as one of the most original works of its century, and contains some of Alkans finest and most haunting music. As the title of the work suggests, Alkan recreates the massive and contrasting sounds of both piano and orchestra through just one pair of hands (the entry of the solo pianist, following the 'orchestral' exposition, is obvious from the rising sweep of a pianistic scale). The gigantic proportions of the first movement are superbly controlled in Alkans masterly construction, the contrasting mixture of excitement and tenderness, ferocity and lyricism being held together in a model of coherence and logical progression.
Jack Gibbons made his London debut in 1979, at the age of 17, performing the Alkan Concerto for solo piano. A year earlier, at the age of 16, he had given only the second ever performance in history of the complete Concerto (Ronald Smith gave the first ever complete performance of the work the previous year, 1977). In 1995 Jack Gibbons became the first pianist to perform the entire three and a half hour 'Douze Etudes dans les Tons Mineurs' of Alkan in a single concert.
For more information on Jack Gibbons visit his official website at http://www.jackgibbons.com