Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813–88) was a French composer and pianist.
Alongside his friends and colleagues Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt,
he was among the leading virtuoso pianists in Paris. His career was
marked by his occasional long withdrawals for personal reasons from
public performance, and from 1848 he began to adopt a reclusive life
style, while continuing with his compositions, virtually all of which
are for the keyboard. During this period he published his collections of
large-scale studies in all the major keys (Op. 35) and all the minor
keys (Op. 39). The latter includes his Symphony for Solo Piano and
Concerto for Solo Piano, considered among his masterpieces, of great
musical and technical complexity. Alkan's attachment to his Jewish
origins is displayed both in his life and his work. He was the first
composer to incorporate Jewish melodies in art music. Fluent in Hebrew
and Greek, he devoted much time to a complete new translation of the
Bible into French. After his death (which according to a persistent myth
was caused by a falling bookcase), his music was neglected, but since
the late 1960s many pianists have recorded it and brought it back into
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles-Valentin_Alkan>
Today's selected anniversaries:
Russian warships led by Pavel Nakhimov destroyed an Ottoman
fleet of frigates at the Battle of Sinop, precipitating the Crimean War.
The first-ever international football match took place at
Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, between Scotland and England.
The Winter War broke out as the Soviet Red Army invaded Finland
(Finnish troops pictured) and quickly advanced to the Mannerheim Line,
an action judged as illegal by the League of Nations.
U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence
Prevention Act into law, requiring purchasers of handguns to pass a
Protests by anti-globalization activists against the World
Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Seattle forced the
cancellation of its opening ceremonies.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. To kill all of a population, usually deliberate and especially applied
2. (figuratively) To bring a definite end to; to finish completely.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet
perhaps as few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where
sometimes there is a vein of gold, which the owner knows not of.
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