Books & articles

This section is to be developed. Please send relevant links to the Webmaster.

Books on Alkan and his music


Eddie, W. A. (2007). Charles Valentin Alkan: His Life and His Music. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978 1 84014 260 0
 [Link to Amazon(UK)]


François-Sappey, B. (1991). Charles Valentin Alkan. Fayard: Paris. ISBN: 221302779X (in French)


François-Sappey, B. and François Luguenot (2013). Charles Valentin Alkan. Editions Bleu Nuit: Paris. ISBN: 2358840238 (in French)
 [Link to Amazon(UK)]


Kessous-Dreyfuss, A. (2013). Le passant du pont de l'Europe: Charles Valentin Alkan entre tradition et modernité. Massoreth Editions. ISBN  2911942175 (in French)
 [Link to Amazon(UK)]


Smith, R. (1976). Alkan. Volume 1: The Enigma. Kahn & Averill: London. ISBN 0 900707 39 9.


Smith, R. (1987). Alkan. Volume 2: The Music. Kahn & Averill: London. ISBN 0 900707 84 4.


Smith, R. (2000). Alkan: The Man, The Music. Kahn & Averill: London. ISBN 1871082730.(Revised edition of Vols 1 & 2 above)
 [Link to Amazon(UK)]


Tadday, U. (2017). (ed.) Charles Valentin Alkan (Musik-Konzepte Heft 178). Edition text+kritik,: Munich. ISBN 978-3-86916-600-1


Books relevant to Alkan and his music


Conway, D. (2011). Jewry in Music: Entry to the Profession from the Enlightenment to Richard Wagner. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. ISBN 9781107015388
 [Link to Amazon(UK)]


Jensen, E. (1992). Walls of Circumstance: Studies in Nineteenth-century Music. Scarecrow Press: Washington. ISBN 978-0810825888
 [Link to Amazon(UK)]


Lerner, N. & Straus, J. (2006). Sounding Off: Theorizing Disability in Music. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415979078
[Link to Amazon(UK)] 


Lindeman, S. D. (1999). Structural Novelty and Tradition in the Early Romantic Piano Concerto. Pendragon Press. ISBN 978-1576470008
 [Link to Amazon(UK)]


Macdonald, H. (2008). Beethoven's Century: Essays on Composers and Themes. University of Rochester Press. ISBN 978-1580462754
[Link to Amazon(UK)] 


Ochse, O. C. (2000). Organists and Organ Playing in Nineteenth-Century France and Belgium. Indiana University Press: Bloomington. ISBN 978-0253214232
 [Link to Amazon(UK)]


Rimm, R. (2003). The Composer-pianists: Hamelin and the Eight. Amadeus Press. ISBN 978-1574670721.
[Link to Amazon(UK)] 


Journal articles and reports


Note that there are many short articles and reports in the Alkan Society Bulletins and Bulletins de la Société Alkan available on this site. There is an index to early Society Bulletins here, and to the French Bulletins here. More recent issues of both sets of Bulletins can be searched using the Search box on the Home page.



Ahn, J. (1988). A Stylistic Evaluation of Charles Valentin Alkan's Piano Music, A Lecture Recital together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Schumann, and Villa-Lobos. Thesis for Doctor of Musical Arts, University of North Texas. Available here


Bat-Yaacov, Dena Collected papers, including  documents relating to her performacnes of Alkan. Further information.


Beauvois, M. W. (2018). Alkan’s Petits Préludes for organ: A case study of composition by constraints. Music & Science, 1, 1-19. Abstract; Full article


Bitzan, W. (2016). Durch alle Tonarten: Omnitonale Präludienzyklen für Klavier.Eine Darstellung der Gattungsgeschichte mit besonderem Blick auf Musik aus Sowjetrussland (Through all the keys: omnitonal prelude cycles for piano. A representation of the history of the genre with a special focus on music from Soviet Russia).  Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, Volume 73, Number 3, 185-219. Abstract


Byrd, D. (rev 2017), Extremes of Conventional Music Notation, web page (retrieved 4 Fab 2018)


Arfini, M. T. (2015). Charles Valentin Alkan e Johann Sebastian Bach: un capitolo dello storicismo in Francia. In: Ad Parnassum, Vol. 13. Link to abstract


Henahan, D. (1988). Music view: The Birth And Death Of a Legend. The New York Times, 12 June, 1988. Available here


Hennig, D. (1975). Charles-Valentin Alkan: An Introduction with Special Reference to the Études Op.35 and Op.39, B Phil dissertation, Oxford University. Link to World Catalog, .


Hillmann, J. L. (2018). Solving the Riddle of Alkan's Grande Sonate Op. 33 ‘Les quatre âges’: A Performance Guide and Programmatic Overview. Doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University. Abstract; Full thesis


Himelfarb, C. (2005). “Le Foyer d'art de Pierre Joseph Zimmerman Un Salon de pianistes dans la Nouvelle Athènes sous Louis Philippe”,  in : La Maison de l'artiste construction d'un espace de représentations entre réalité et imaginaire (XVIIe-XXe siècles), P.U. de Rennes,


Himelfarb, C. (2001). “De la concordance des temps dans l'œuvre pour piano de C. V. Alkan (1813-1888) Eléments pour une étude des modèles anciens dans le cycle poétique des 25 Préludes op.31 (1847)” mémoire de D.E.A, université de Genève, dir. J.-J Eigeldinger,


Himelfarb, C. (1997). “Dans le genre ancien, Charles Valentin Alkan et la musique du passé (1813-1888)”, in : Sillages musicologiques, Hommages à Yves Gérard, CREC, Paris.


Himelfarb, C. (1990). “Reflexions sur la problématique de la forme dans le piano romantique français : "Le Festin d'Esope", n° 12 des "Études dans les tons mineurs" op.39 de Charles Valentin Alkan (1857)”, in : Analyse musicale, juin, n°20


Himelfarb, C. (1988). «Charles Valentin Alkan L'interprète à travers la presse musicale» in : C. V.ALKAN (ouvrage collectif, dir. B.François-Sappey) Fayard,


Himelfarb, C. (1986). «Le testament de Charles Valentin Alkan» in : Revue musicale de Suisse Romande, déc.


Ho, Allan Benedict (1978). The Piano Music of Charles-Valentin Alkan. Dean Prize for Undergraduate Research (listed on Googlebooks but currently unavailable)


Holden, E. (2014). Charles Valentin Alkan: Interpreting the Composer’s use of Rhythm as Identified in the Dominant Motifs present in the Music for Organ, Pedal-piano and Harmonium. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland. Link to pdf version of thesis.


Kersey, J., (1990), Quelques considerations concernant le rythme dans la musique de Charles-Valentin Alkan, London, Alkan Society Archive at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, 1990; also in Bulletin de la Société Alkan, 35 (1996), 3-20


Kersey, J., (trans. Luguenot, F.) (1998), Raymond Lewenthal et la musique de Charles-Valentin Alkan. Bulletin de la Société Alkan, 41, 12-13.


Kersey, J. (2007). Collectors’ Guide: the major recordings of Alkan’s Concerto for solo piano, in International Piano, ed. Williams, Orpheus Publications, London, vol 9 no 53, September/October 2007, pp60-63.


Lee, W. (2015). The pianistic idiosyncrasies of Charles Valentin Alkan as exemplified in his "Recueil de Chants". Masters thesis, California State University. Link to pdf version of thesis.


MacDonald, L. E. (1966). The Piano Music of Charles-Valentin Alkan. Master thesis Ohio State University. (Available from here - scroll to near bottom of page and click on “Download”)


Penrose, J. (1993). The strange case of Charles Valentin Alkan. New Criterion, 11(9).


Roberge, M.-A. (1984). Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-88): un excentrique enfin pris au sérieux.  Sonances, revue musicale québécoise, 3(3), 11-16. Available here


Roberge, M.-A. (1991). The Busoni Network and the Art of Creative Transcription. Canadian University Music Review, 11(1), 68-88. Available here


Robson, K. W. (2012). Romantic liturgists: Franz Liszt’s and Charles Valentin Alkan’s settings Of Psalm 137. Masters thesis, University of Georgia. Link to pdf version of thesis


Sandvik, J. (2014). Examination concert: Interpreting music by three different composers. Masters thesis, Kungliga Musikhögskolan, Sweden. (Includes performance notes on Symphonie for solo piano.) Available here


Simms, N. (2017). Some Observations on the Jewish Comedian-Musician. New English Review, Dec 2017. Available here


Steinbron, M. J. (2006). Background conglomerates in Alkan's Quasi-Faust, op. 33, no. 2. Masters thesis, Louisiana State University. Available here


Waeber, J. (2007). Searching for the Plot: Charles-Valentin Alkan's Souvenirs: Trois morceaux dans le genre pathétique, Op. 15. Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 132(1), 60-114. Abstract




Nicholas Bell’s bibliography (compiled 1994 but of continuing relevance)