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About this Piece

   Charles-Valentin Alkan (18131888) was active in Paris during the heyday of Chopin and Liszt, who considered him a friend, colleague, and artistic rival. He entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of six and won many awards, enjoying wide acclaim by the late 1820s. Around the time of Chopin’s death in 1849, Alkan began to retreat from public performance, devoting himself more to composition. Like Chopin, Alkan composed collections of etudes that go far beyond the intended purpose of a “study” piece. And like Chopin, Alkan had a close relationship with the Parisian piano manufacturer, Érard, which supplied him with a pedal piano, for which the collection Douze études pour les pieds seulement was composed.