Dave Lampson wrote:
>I know there are a number of Alkan fans here, so I'm a little surprised
>that no one has mentioned the death of Alkan specialist extraordinaire
>Ronald Smith on May 27. For those who don't know the name: he was an
>early advocate of Alkan's music on recordings, and many feel he was one
>of the very best. There are excellent obituaries at:
I am sorry to hear of the death of Ronald Smith.
I also have the EMI CD of Mr Smith performing the Grand Sonate and the
I also have his performance of the Lizst transcription of Beethovan's
7th symphony entitled "The Amazing Mr Smith". I also remember a program
he gave on "St. Paul Sunday Morning". although he wasn't treated
particularly well by the host.
For my money, none can compare with John Ogden's renditition of the solo
piano concerto, and listening to Mr Smith and Mr Ogden's recordings of
that piece shows Mr Ogden's performance to be secure - even sweeping
while Mr Smith sounded labored..
This is not to take away from Mr Smith's pioneering efforts on behalf
of Alkan - although we should not forget Raymond Lewenthal's 1965 recording
of the Symphony and "le Festin d'Escope" which, I believe, was a recording
first of those works by Alkan.
And, while still honoring Mr Smith's memory, and mindful that John Ogden
and Raymond Lewenthal are no longer with us, I would say emphatically
the mantle of Alkan performance has passed to Marc Andre Hamelin.. I
hope he decides to record the remainder of the Op39 etudes in all the