Tall Poppies


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 TP (1-901)



Stephanie McCallum (piano)

$23   (Australian dollars)


buy at: AMC - Buywell - iTunes

Alkan's monumental Twelve Studies in all the Major keys, opus 35, is a virtuosic tour-de-force for the pianist. Each study develops an aspect of technique but each is also pure Alkan - millions of notes and thunderous drama. McCallum has been praised world-wide for her Alkan performances, displaying prodigious technique and poised musicianship.

Alkan :
Twelve Studies in all the Major keys, opus 35
No. 1 in A major
No. 2 in D majorAllegro
No. 3 in G majorAndantino
No. 4 in C majorPresto
No. 5 in F majorAllegro Barbaro
No. 6 in B flat majorAllegramente
No. 7 in E flat majorAdagio, Allegro Moderato, Andante
The fire in the neighbouring village
No. 8 in A flat majorLento-Appassionato
No. 9 in C sharp majorAmplement Contrapunctus
No. 10 in G flat majorAdagio
Song of Love - Song of Death
No. 11 in B majorPosément
No. 12 in E majorEtude de Concert (technique des octaves)


Rarely do I find a record so irresistible that I listen to it over and over, well beyond what's required for a review. This is such a record… Part of the attraction is simply the joy of discovery. …These etudes represent Alkan at his best and most accessible. For the newly-initiated this would be a good place to begin… Stephanie McCallum is a thoroughly convincing champion of this music. Not only are her fingers up to the quite formidable technical task, but she has the right kind of temperament. Her playing has real character and elan.
American Record Guide. May/June 1995

This release is extremely welcome, the more so as Stephanie McCallum, a pupil of Ronald Smith well versed in Alkan's alchemy,. proves to be a formidable and insightful pianist, who gives us a very good idea of what the music is all about, ie transcendental technique at the service of ecstatic yet utterly disciplined vision. …Music like this, as well served as this, should be self-recommending.
Calum MacDonald
Hi-Fi News and Record Review April 1995

As fas as I know, the Australian Stephanie McCallum is the first woman pianist to record Alkan. There is, frankly, little to choose between her and Bernard Ringeissen who, at the moment, offers the sole alternative in Op. 35…. McCallum has a formidable pianistic armoury and… it's a most impressive recital. In particular, I urge you to hear her beautiful account of Etude no 19 "Chant d'amour".
Jeremy Nicholas
Classic CD. September 1995

Here is a recital of fascinating (if not always terribly good) music, by an eccentric French composer of the 19th century, played with such bravura technique that it makes me wonder why McCallum is not sitting in front of our symphony orchestras playing concertos on a regular basis.… Anyone who can play Alkan and Xenakis with equal mastery deserves all the accolades we can throw her way. Brava!
Andrew Ford
24 Hours November 1994

If you enjoy piano music of the nineteenth century and virtuoso performance, this album is for you. Don't be put off by the title. These are not finger exercises for the faint-hearted, but instead substantial works more in the style of those written by Charles Alkan's friends, Liszt and Chopin. Sydney pianist Stephanie McCallum is in excellent form.
Diana Blom
Sydney Weekly,. October 1994

Serving the name of Smith well!, August 21, 2002
Reviewer: James Iman from Dayton, PA United States
Stephanie McCallum studied with Ronald Smith (the grandfather of the Alkan movement) and has come out with her own Alkan cycle. Her playing of the op.35 (the "first volume" of the Alkan etudes) is absolutly astonishing! She handles the barage of notes with outstanding technique. These etudes are not often heard, save the 5th. Even amoung all those that have record this particular etude (Smith, Gibbons, etc) McCallum's is by far my favorite. She plays it with stunning controll and clairity (a MUST for Alkan playing). Despite their lack of pupularity and the fact that there are less bombasic and dramatic as the op.39, the op.35 still are very charming and inventive pieces. No less original than the op.39, or any of his other opera for that matter. This is a fine companion the Smith's op.39 and it comes with my praise and admiration!

Amazon Customer Review

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 TP (1-901)



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