Charles-Valentin Alkan

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Charles-Valentin Alkan

Charles-Valentin Alkan (born Paris 30 November 1813 ; died Paris 29 March 1888) was a French-Jewish composer and pianist. His real name was Morhange. He was a virtuoso pianist who wrote a lot of piano music. Most of the pieces he wrote are extremely difficult to play. Franz Liszt, Busoni and other people of his day thought he was a great composer. Despite this, most people have only discovered in recent years how good his music is. His piano music is mostly tonal, but it changes key in unusual ways. The story was told by many people that he died when a bookcase collapsed on top of him, but that story is proved not to be true.

From the 1860s to 1873 he did not show in public very much, and composed some of his works.

Alkan was a close friend of Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt.