Alkan’s lesser-known work, Étude “Alla-Barbaro” is reissued in France in 2000s, but we made up a much more faithful typeset to its first edition and added the unpublished foreword by Raymond Lewenthal.
Lewenthal is a well-known pianist whose repertoire includes Alkan. His performance of Alkan, in the manner of 19th-century virtuosi, is overwhelming and outstanding. It seemed that he had a project of publishing his own Alkan edition, but it wouldn’t appear in his lifetime. Schirmer edition of Lewenthal’s “The piano music of Alkan” doesn’t include “Alla-Barbaro”; after his death, like as Alkan, his legacy is lost and his project is obscured.
ALKAN’S ALLA BARBARO (excerpt from the foreword by Raymond Lewenthal)
I am thrilled to bring back this work from total oblivion and to republish it here for the first time since it saw the very dim light of day in 1857. Considering that Alkan’s music was little known or performed during his lifetime, it is surprising how much of it got published, principally by two of the largest Parisian publishers, Richault and Brandus. These two firms had close connections in Germany, and a few of Alkan’s works appeared there. A few of his works were brought out by other Parisian publishers, and some of his juvenilia were published in London. Evidence of these publications has turned up in the catalogs of these publishers (and in lexicographical works), as have copies of most of these Alkan works which has been listed. No mention of this Alla-barbaro is to be found anywhere. No writers on Alkan have ever mentioned its existence. And in all my research I have seen only one copy of it.