Catalogue of composers and works

 

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This catalogue is a list of composers who have written music for piano, left hand alone. They are listed alphabetically, but they are mentioned with their first name(s) first. The composer's name is in blue and their works are in red. The additional information is primarily of historic nature - partly about the composer - partly about the works. Composers who have not written anything for the left hand alone but whose works have been arranged by others are mentioned, but the works are put in brackets. And links will lead you to the arranger(s) - and back. 

Names are listed as complete as possibly but the names that are not normally used are put in brackets ( ). When you se these bracket: [ ], it means that here is the original name; f.ex. with Hungarian names like Georg [György].

This page is under construction, meaning that many times you will see a composer represented only by his or her name and perhaps the title of a work. But eventually more information and - if possible - a portrait will be added - and this is the beauty of it all: When you find an entry with very little information - it is a cry for help. Here you have the unique opportunity of supplying me with data and information via the "Contact me" on the first page (or here). In fact I now realize that this page will always be under construction since so many composers have opened their eyes for this kind of art and left hand works are being composed as never before. Of course felse modesty will prevent me from thinking that I had anything to do with it, but I could name a few composers who had never written for the left hand alone before I approached them - and some works have - of course quite undeservedly - been written at my instigation and even dedicated to me.

 

 

(No portrait)

 

Henri van den Abeelen  Dutch composer and pianist

Born: ?

The Blue Bells og Scotland - Grand caprice for piano, left hand alone (London 1859)
(British Library)
As with many folk songs there are several version but this should be the original. Dedicated to Miss. Ella Pendrill.

     
 
Text:
O where and O where does your highland laddie dwell;
O where and O where does your highland laddie dwell;
He dwells in merry Scotland where the blue bells sweetly smell,
And all in my heart I love my laddie well'
(A bluebell is the flower Campanula rotundifolia).
     
 

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Hans Abrahamsen  Danish composer 

Copenhagen, 23.12.1952 - 

Abrahamsen was educated at the Royal Danish Conservatory and privately by Per Nørgård and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen whose neo-simplicity he adopted for his first works. Later he has taught at the Royal Danish Conservatory himself (orchestration) as well as being artistic director of the Esbjerg Ensemble.
Abrahamsen style has during later years changed to one of more emotion in many layers which he carries on in works of short and very concentrated duration with refined orchestration. His works are mostly instrumental and include the wind quartet Walden, two string quartets, the chamber music pieces Winternacht (Winter night) and Märchenbilder (Fairytale pictures) and the orchestral pieces Stratifications and Nacht und Trompeten (Night and Trumpets).

October  1969; revised in 1976
This work started as a piece for piano left hand, obligate horn and a brick! The latter was supposed to be used for pressing down the sostenuto pedal which turned out to be a little
awkward - so at the first performance the brick was replaced by a composer colleague lying under the piano pressing the pedal.
Abrahamsen himself is educated as a horn player and not a pianist due to a slightly invalidated right arm. The title has two meanings: first it was because Abrahamsen started at the Royal Danish Conservatory in October and second that the piece has an autumnal character.
In 1976 Abrahamsen revised the work, made it more concentrated and left out both the horn - and the brick.

The first 7 bars of the second part of October in the composer's handwriting
With kind permission from the composer and the publisher.
© Edition Wilhelm Hansen www.ewh.dk
Photo of Hans Abrahamsen: Marianne Grøndahl

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Jean (Jean Nicolas Joseph) Absil  Belgian composer

Péruwelz, Hainaut, 23.10.1893 - Uccle, 02.02.1974

Absil developed very early musically but it was not until he was twenty years that he entered the Brussels Conservatory to study with Alfons Desmet (organ),  Martin Lunssens (harmony) and Leon Dubois (counterpoint). Further studies followed from 1920 to 1922 with Paul Gilson (composition and instrumentation) and in 1922 he won the second prize in Prix de Rome
Already the next year Absil was appointed director of the Etterbeek Academy of Music in Brussels - a post he kept until the end of his official career in  1958. In 1931 he was made teacher of fugue at the Brussels Conservatory in which capacity he taught a whole generation of young Belgian composers.
During his many years he won several prizes - as for example the Rubens Prize in 1934, in 1962 he was admitted in the Royal Academy and was made director of  Classe des Beaux-Arts.
As a composer Jean Absil was very prolific - at first influenced by the Vienna Expressionism - but later - partly under the influence of Maurice Ravel he developed his own personal style which has given him a unique - albeit isolated position in the Belgian musical life. A style with a tender and elegant tone - often modal with very subtle rhythms and now and again influenced by folk themes. He was a master of instrumentation and much of his music has a passionate and graceful tone.      
              

Ballade op. 129  (1966) (Centre Belge  de Documentation Musicales, Bruxelles)
Written in a rather conservative style and well "scored" for the left hand.

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(No portrait)

Josefina Acosta de Barón

Born: 1897

Follage, Study for left hand alone  (1930) (Boileau, Barcelona)

On YouTube Alvaro Ordoñez  play this piece:
http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=oJgp8NS_mow&feature=related

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Yvonne Madeleine Adair  American pianist and teacher

Born: Guernsey, England, 18.03.1897 - Kent, Turnbridge Wells,  Jan.1900

As pianist and composer Adair was very interested in the teaching process f.ex. of children and in 1964 she published an article about percussion in Musical Education, A Symposium, edited by Harold Watkins Shaw.

Three Preludes for the Left Hand  (J. Williams / Stainer & Bell)
All three pieces are  especially attractive for children as many of Adair's works are.

Air and Variations for the Left Hand  (J. Williams / Stainer & Bell)

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Juliette Adams [Juliette Graves and known as "Mrs. Crosby Adams"] American, teacher, pianist and composer

Niagara N.Y., 25.03.1858 - Montreat, 09.11.1951

Juliette was raised on a farm near the great river, where she developed her love of nature which became her great inspiration like it was to her idol Edward MacDowell. Seven years old she began studying piano and went on - as a young woman to teach and play organ for church services. In the four years prior to her marriage she was a resident teacher of piano at Ingham University in New York state. 
Juliette and Crosby Adams were married on September 18, 1883 in Lewiston, New York.  Following their marriage they lived first in Buffalo, New York, and later in Kansas City and then Chicago.  In 1913 they moved to Montreat, North Carolina, and there continued with full and active lives rich in accomplishments. Mrs. Crosby Adams was a nationally known piano teacher, composer, author and lecturer.  She was best known for her pioneering work in piano literature for beginners.  Her compositions for children were widely adopted by piano teachers and became standard teaching material.
Her compositions were influenced by her conviction that beginners needed materials that were suitable for their needs and interests and that were presented in an orderly fashion appropriate to the students' developmental levels.  She firmly believed that the most important thing a music teacher could do for a student was to develop in him a cultivated musical taste. Her first published work, Five Tone Sketches, Opus 1, appeared in 1896 and was followed by many piano solos, duets, songs and studies for beginners, including her major work, the Graded Studies.  This series in ten volumes was widely used by piano  teachers throughout the U.S.
The Crosby Adams Music School, established in Chicago in 1892, helped secure Mrs. Adams's reputation as a respected music educator.  The School was distinguished as having the first public school music course taught in America.  Mrs. Adams became a sought-after lecturer and her articles on music commentary and criticism appeared in Chicago newspapers and leading music periodicals.  She was recognized by her contemporaries, including Amy Beach and Edward MacDowell.
While living in Chicago, Mrs. Adams began the Dolls Musical Festivals which provided a novel way to introduce children to music.  Among her publications were two children's books and a number of piano solos about dolls.  In 1929 Mrs. Adams' book, Studies in Hymnology, was first published to critical acclaim.  It was widely used in seminaries, churches, and music schools and was republished in 1938.



Mr. and Mrs. Adams' "House-in-the-Woods". 
Photo from the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest.

In 1913 Mr. and Mrs. Adams built their House-in-the-Woods in the wild Blue Ridge Mountains, Montreat, North Carolina. The plans for the house was supplied by architect Van Bergen under supervision of Crosby Adams and modelled after MacDowell's own retreat.  The house had a spacious music room that could accommodate a chorus and music recitals.
Here they conducted their Teachers Classes every summer.  They were in charge of the music program at Montreat Normal School and had a long association with the Montreat College music department.  Mrs. Adams taught piano, continued writing about and composing music, and played a leadership role in a number of organizations.  Such were their reputations in music circles, that at the age of 90, Mr. and Mrs. Adams were guests of honor at the Chicagoland Music Festival



Juliette and Crosby Adams 5th January 1948

Mrs. Adams was granted honorary life membership in the National Federation of Music Clubs and in the Music Teachers National Association and served on the Executive Boards of both organizations. Mrs. Adams was awarded honorary degrees of Doctor of Music from Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1932 and from Woman's College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1945. Mrs. Adams' last concert was given in Asheville, North Carolina on her 92nd birthday. The Crosby Adams memorial building in Montreat no longer exists; however, special collections of materials by and about Mrs. Adams are housed in the Presbyterian Historical Society in Montreat and also in the Montreat College Library.

Studies op. 7  1900 (Summy)
Fairly easy pieces attractive to children for whose musical education Juliette Adams had special interests.

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(No portrait)

Frank Adlam   English organist and composer

Salisbury, England, 1858 - London, 1929 

Adlam was organist of St. Philip’s Church, Regent Street, London  to 1888.
Adlam's best known works today are religious works like a series of Offices Of The Holy Communion in F, G, D and E Flat, Missa De Sanctus In E Flat and Open To Me The Gates for choir, four voices. Besides this Frank Adlam arranged many songs for piano and in 1919 he composed Four Tone Poems for the organ: 1. Shepherds Song, 2. March of Triumph, 3. Dirge, and 4. Two Voices. 

Triumph (Impromptu)  (1918) (Nightingale & Co)

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(No portrait)

Barbara Lee Agee

Born: ?

Ascent (for the left hand alone)  1950 MS  Library of Congress

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(No portrait)   Stephen Adoff

Born; 1938

Left Hand Alone  (Willis Co., Cincinnati 1988)

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(No portrait)   Miguel del Aguila

Born: 1957

XXX

Half of me, Piano Left Hand Alone op 70  2000  (MS) (Peermusic Classical, New York)

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Sven Ahlin  Swedish composer and teacher

Born, Sundsvall ca. 1952

Ahlin attended the local Music School i Stockholm and alter at the Indiana University. but first at the age of 17 he decided to devote his life to music and to become a composer and a major influence on this decision was the composer Björn Wilho Hallberg.
After his exams he taught at Music High School In Stockholm in form, composition of movements, counterpoint etc,
After many years of education he left Stockholm, but continued to teach at in different places.
Ahlin is a member of the Union of Swedish composers (FST).
His
œvre comprises almost all genres.
Since then Ahlin's work as a composer has developed through different phases from quite complicated music to pieces of simplicity. He says that he is inspired by other peoples' music, often by poetry and impressions from nature etc. but never through personal experiences.
Among his works there are thus quite a deal of choir music.

C-dur for piano left hand  (2000)
Written for the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer.

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(No portrait)

John Carver Alden  American pianist and composer

Boston, 11.09.1852 - Cambridge, 20.10.1935

At first Alden studied in USA with Carl Faelten (1846-1925) after which he travelled to Europe and Leipzig to continue his studies with Oscar Paul (1836-1898), Louis Plaidy and Benjamin Robert Papperitz (1826-1903).
Back in America he started teaching piano in 1880 at the New England Conservatory, then for some time in New York City, later still at the Converse College, Spartanburg S.C. and finally became head of the piano department at the Quincy Mansion School, Mass.
His compositions include a piano concerto in G minor, piano pieces (studies) and songs.

Gavotte for the left hand 1902  (Wood Music Co, Boston.)

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(No portrait)

Maisie Aldridge

Born: ?

The Bass Clef Book 1965 (Augener London)
This collection is very well suited for beginners.

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Raphaele d'Alessandro Swiss composer and pianist

St. Gall, 17.03.1911 - Lausanne, 17.03.1959 (!)

After his training in Switzerland d'Alessandro went to Paris to become a pupil of Nadia Boulanger (composition), Marcel Dupré (organ) and Paul Roês (piano).
After his return to Switzerland a number of his works were played by the leading Swiss orchestras and ensembles - f.ex. Rumba Sinfonica (by Ansermet) - but conductors like Günter Wand, Paul Kletzki and Carl Schuricht soon became interested in the young composer's works.
In his short span of life d'Alessandro produced a number of works for the orchestra, chamber music (sonatas, quartets and quintets) - but most of all piano music.

Prèlude; No. 20: pour la main gauche seule   (1940)
Published by M. & P. Foetisch, Lausanne in 1951 as part of Vingt-quatre Préludes pour piano, opus 30.
Sources: Luise Marretta-Schär, Raffaele d'Alessandro: Leben und Werk, Amadeus Verlag, Zurich, 1979.
Antonin Scherrer, Raffaele d'Alessandro ou l'urgence intérieure, Editions Papillons, Troinex/Drize (Geneva), 2009
.

Sonatine no. 2 for piano, left hand alone op.28  (1939)

4 miniatures for piano, left hand op. 8A (1956)

6 études for piano, left hand. Hommage à Ravel op. 80  (1958)

 

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Dennis Alexander  American pianist teacher and composer

Born: Kansas, 12.10.1947

Professor Alexander was educated at the University of Kansas where he was a student of Richard Reber and graduating in 1972. After this he was immediately invited to join the faculty at the University of Montana where he served as piano department chair in addition to his teaching duties in applied piano, class piano and piano pedagogy.
He made his New York In 1987 debut at Carnegie Recital Hall with violinist Walter Olivares and has since continued to be active as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician with numerous internationally recognized soloists, instrumentalists, and chamber groups. Dennis Alexander has toured twice to the far East where he performed recitals and workshops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia and as former president of the Montana State Music Teachers Association, he is a popular clinician at state music teachers conventions. 
Over the years, numerous organizations and state associations have commissioned him to write compositions. His Concertante in G Major was commissioned by the Montana Music Teachers organization for their state convention, and his work for two pianos, Fanfare Toccata Rondo was commissioned by Goshen College. Many of his compositions are included in the National Federation of Music Study Clubs Festival required list and his music is being performed by students throughout the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe. One of Mr. Alexander's most significant contributions to the repertoire is "24 Character Preludes" in all major and minor keys. He is also a co-author of an exciting and innovative new piano method recently released in June of 2005 entitled "Alfred's Premier Piano Course".
Professor Alexander retired from his position at the University of Montana in May 1996 where he taught piano and piano pedagogy for 24 years. Upon moving to California, he has taught privately in addition to serving on the faculties of Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. He currently lives in Rancho Mirage, CA where he maintains an active composing and touring schedule. 

Elegy (for the left hand alone)  (Alfred Publishing, Van Nuys 1994)

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    M. Fr. Alexander  Dutch composer

xxx

xxx

Heilig, Heilig Heilig (linker hand aleen, No. 15 aus 20 Pianostukjes)  (Alsbach Amsterdam 1936.

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Mario Alfagüell (Alfaro Güell)  Costa Rican composer and pianist

Born: San José, Costa Rica, 27.04.1948 

Mario  Alfagüell studied composition and piano from 1966-76 at the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica, as well as history and theatre as minor studies.  He then had post-graduate studies in composition with Brian Ferneyhough and Klaus Huber at the Musikhochschule Freiburg, Breisgau (Germany) from 1976-80.
Alfagüell has received many awards and honors including the Premio Nacional en Composición from the government of Costa Rica (1982, for Sonata para la mano izquierda, Op. 14 (mentioned below) and Episodios Sinfónicos, Op. 19; 2001, for Sonata quasi un claro de Luna, Op. 111). He has also received the Premio Ancora in San José (1975, for Trio, Op. 5) and the Premio  Jorge Volio from the Colegio de Licenciados y Profesores in San José (1985, for Otra piecita posterior a Beethoven, Op. 22; 2002, for Otra Sinfonía de despedida, Op. 102). In addition, his Diálogo guerrero místico, Op. 15 was selected at the TRIMALCA (Tribuna Musical de América Latina y el Caribe in Rio de Janeiro (1985). His music has been performed world wide (in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Uruguay, the USA, and Venezuela).
As a professor Alfagüell has taught creative music, music appreciation, music history, and 20th-century analysis at the Universidad Nacional de Heredia, Costa Rica since 1974.
Professor Alfagüell has composed in practically all genres: The ballet Cocorí (1987), the zarzuela TNT Op. 88, text from Alberto Cañas Escalante (1997) and the three operas Pedro nada más Op. 140, text from Mario Benedetti (2002), Pablo José Op. 150 text from Roxana Campos (2004) and Fábula del bosque Op. 173, text from Fernando Centeno Güell (2006).
Among his orchestral works are: Episodios sinfónicos, large orchestra Op. 19 (1982), Once Proporciones, string orchestra Op. 21 (1983), Sinfonía vocal y participativa, mezzo-soprano, speaker, choruses, orchestra Op. 40 (1989), Sinfonía Coral Morazán, mezzo-soprano, baritone, mixed chorus, large orchestra Op. 57 (1992) and half a dozen concertos for different instruments and combinations.
His output of chamber music includes Preludio, Fuga y Postludio, any 4 voices/players Op. 3 (1971), Sonatina para flauta de amor y timbal, alto flute, timpani, Op. 110, (2000), Elegía, 5 trumpets Op. 43 (1990), Siete Sonatinas, violin, piano Op. 117 (2001), Sonatina, 2 marimbas (4 players) Op. 118 (2001) and Sonata para violín y guitarra Op. 165 (2005).
Furthermore there are a great variety of choral and vocal works and finally two books for organ (Opus 105 and Opus 170) and numerous piano pieces among these: Homenaje a Beethoven Op. 4 (1970). He has composed several symphonies and oratorios.
A more complete list of Alfagüell's work may be found on the following site: The Living Composers Project.
About publishing and compositional style Professor Alfagüell has written to this author:
My opus 143 has been published by our University (Editorial de la Universidad Nacional, Heredia), Costa Rica: editoria@una.ac.cr. Other works by Editorial Fernández Arce, San José, Costa Rica and the rest I have done my own editions.
My style is in the contemporary music trend, I use different materials, which I transform. Usually I use a folkloric song from Costa Rica (Indian, Spanish, Afro-American) and then I make processes in very different ways in each piece. I write aleatoric passages, as well as traditional notation

Alfagüell's
third opera "Fábula del bosque" Opus 173 (text by Costar Rican writer Fernando Centeno Güell) won a financial support from the Japanese Government and it was published in DVD, CD, and booklets to be distributed in schools and high schools.

Sonata para la mano izquierda (Sonata for the piano, left hand) Op. 14  (1982) 

Siete Invenciones para la mano izquierda (Seven inventions for the piano, left hand) Op. 16  (1982) 

Sonata para la mano izquierda (Sonata for the piano, left hand) Op. 46  (1990) 

Primer Concierto para la mano izquierda y orquesta (First Concerto for piano, left hand and small orchestra) Op. 145  (2003)
This Piano Concerto for the left hand and orchestra Opus 145 has been awarded with the National Composition Prize 2007. It was first  performed May 10  2007 by the Orchestra of the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica conducted by Guatemalan Maestro Dieter Lehnhoff and as soloist was Eduardo Solano.

Segundo Concierto para piano mano izquierda y orquesta (Second Concerto for piano, left hand and orchestra) Op.185, 2007 
This is Afagüell's sixth piano concerto and the second one for the left hand

Impromptu para la mano izquierda (impromptu for the left) Op.176 ca, 2006 

Estudios para la mano izquierda para Jutta Schwarting (Studies for Jutta Schwarting) Op.186 2007 
These  studies have been performed this year, that I am celebrating my 60th birthday. Franklin Aguilar and Karla Rodríguez played
them.

I am indebted to professor Alfagüell for proof-reading this article and correcting it.

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  Heitor Alimondo  Brazilian composer and pianist

12. 1922 - 2002

Alimonda finished his education (piano) at the Conservatorio Drámatico Musical de São Paolo in 1941 and went on to Curso Superior in organ at the Musical School at the Federal University of Rio de Janairo which he finished in 1977.
After a trip to Europe he sturied as a post-graduate at The Royal Academy of Music in London. He was a doctor at the  Escola de Música da UFRJ holdin a chair since 1963. He has mostly lived as a composer and concert artist of great accomplishment and well known for his great competence, charisma and humor

Modinha (para mão izquiquerda) for the left hand   (Carlos Wehrs &Cia. Ltda., Rio de Janeiro) 1958
A Modinha is a kind of sentimental love song. The Modinha is of uncertain origin, but it may have evolved in either Brazil or Portugal. Around the end of 18th Century Domingos Caldas Barbosa wrote a series of modinhas that extremely popular, especially in salons so can be termed salon music . The modinha of the late 19th century was sung in the streets or as an outdore A modinha is a kind of sentimental love song. The modinha is of uncertain origin, but it may have evolved in either Brazil or Portugal. Around the end of 18th Century citation needed, Domingos Caldas Barbosa wrote a series of modinhas that were extremely popular, especially in salons, and so can be termed salon music. The modinha of the late 19th century was sung in the streets or as an outdoor serenade, usually accompanied by flute, guitar, and cavaquinho (remotely related to the Ukulele).

Três peças  (2001)  (MS). In: Araujo 2009, Anexo 02.

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Charles-Valentin Alkan [Charles-Valentin Morhange]  French super piano virtuoso and composer.

Paris, 30.11.1813 - Paris, 29.03.1888

Alkan was the son of a Jewish school leader, Alkan Morhange (1780-1855) in Paris who with his wife Julie (née Abraham) had 6 children: Céleste (25.02.1812), Charles-Valentin (30.11.1913) Ernest (11.07.1816), Maxime (28.05.1818), Napoléon (02.02.1826) and Gustave (24.03.1827), and they all became musicians.
His sister Céleste entered The Paris Conservatoire at the age of 7 and obtained her Premier Prix in solfège at 11. His brother Napoléon obtained a Second Prix de Rome in 1850 and was teacher at the Conservatoire de Paris (from 1845 to 1896).
In 1819 Alkan had already shown such great  promises that he - although only six years old entered the Paris Conservatory as pupil of Pierre-Joseph-Guillaume Zimmermann (1785-1853); piano and Victor (Charles Paul) Dourlen (1780-1864); harmony. 

Alkan as fabled Turbo Virtuoso

In the beginning of his (very short) public career he dazzled  the Paris audience with his phenomenal technique and joined the company of celebrities such as Victor Hugo, Paganini, Rossini, Liszt and Chopin. Later he withdrew completely from public life - living like a misanthropic hermit. We are in fact not quite sure how he looked. There are three or four portraits which allegedly are of him (and one that certainly is not), although any definitive proof has never been given, but the ones shown here carries all the features that we know from the people, who actually saw him. But they were very few - because during his last many years he didn't want to see anybody - not even when an official deputy arrived at his door to bestow upon him one of the greatest honors of cultural France (in form of some medal). They were simply told by his housekeeper that: Monseigneur Alkan  is digesting and he can not see anybody - in other words go jump in the lake, and when a young pianist was dismissed with the message that Monseigneur Alkan is not available, the young man asked when he would be - he was told: Never!
But Alkan was one of the true originals of music - some kind of a Berlioz of the Piano, composing works of monstrous difficulty and whose musical idiom was so much different from what was normal at time. 
The great American pianist Raymond Lewenthal - who must be credited for bringing Alkan back into the repertoire and on records in the 1960s - once pointed out the many similarities between Alkan and Mahler: Both were virtuosi (Alkan: piano and Mahler: orchestra), both were Jews, both were very experimental and both loved funeral marches. Mahler probably didn't know Alkan, but if you listen to the latter's Le Tambour bat aux champs and afterwards to Mahler's song Der Tamboursg'sell - you will have that strange feeling of two people thinking alike. And if you listen to Alkan's Festin d'Esope or La chanson de la folle au bord de la mer - you will realize how far there was between Alkan and the other piano composers at that time - Liszt included. 
Lewenthal also points out some similarities between Alkan's Symphony for solo piano and Liszt's B minor sonata - only Alkan wrote his symphony ten years before Liszt wrote his sonata. But both composers enjoyed a diabolic or Mephisto-like kind of expression.
Alkan's life was enigmatic and so was his death being - according to the legend - crushed under a falling book case in an attempt to reach for his Talmud (a religious Hebrew book) on the top shelf. Apart from a symphony that has disappeared, two small unimpressive piano concertos and a few pieces of chamber music, he composed entirely for the solo piano - from small etudes and impromptus to large scale works taking half an hour to play and more than half a life to practice. Mind you - when I wrote small etudes this adjective doesn't cover them all. The three etudes op. 39 no. 8 -10 are linked together as a Concerto for Solo Piano in three movements - and when played like that they take 6 -7 minutes more than Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata.
After his death he was almost completely forgotten only to be rediscovered in the 1960s by the fantastic and eccentric American piano virtuoso Raymond Lewenthal. 

Alkan as misanthropic hermit

Fantasie in A flat op. 76 no. 1 1838 ( Hofmeister / Gerard Billaudot Editions Musicales)
Alkan's op. 76 consists of three pieces with the first for the left hand alone, the second for the right hand alone and the third with both hands playing in unison two octaves apart.
In his notes for his authoritative recording of the Fantasy op. 76.1 Ronald Smith (the late chairman of the Alkan Society , a formidable virtuoso and the author of two books about Alkan) comments on some odd similarities between this work and Ravel's concerto in D major and calls them inspirational coincidence. Now - coincidences are often very carefully planned and some thirty years ago a copy of Alkan's score was found in the Ravel Archives at the Biliothèque Nationale in Paris. In spite of the high opus number it a fairly early work and one of the earliest left-hand works of real virtuosity. To cut it short - most of Alkan's music is technically hard core. The fantasia make tremendous demands on the performer with huge chords and frightful tremolos. For the experienced left hand pianist this is a must - but otherwise it is just technically suicide.

(Etude op. 35 nr. 8 in A flat) This Etude is really not a left hand work as such, but has a long passage for the left hand alone, that might have some interest. Indeed this is again a work for the left hand, for the right hand and for both hands.

The Fantasie in A flat is recorded by Ronald Smith, EMI CDM 7 69630 2

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(No portrait)

 

Geoffrey Allen   Australian pianist and composer 

Born: 1927

Sinistral studies; four piano pieces for the left hand   ca. 2003 (Perth: The Keys Press).
(Left hand composers are very resourceful and the fact that the word sinister is much like the Italian word sinistra (meaning left) and has been exploited again and again).

Source: National Library of Australia

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(No portrait)

 

Walter Allum  British composer and pianist  

(1895 - 1986)

Allum was a close friend of Havergal Brian and shared rooms with him in 1918 and was his life-long friend - even publishing the book: Friendship with Havergal Brian.
Among his published works are Aspatia's Song and Come Away (songs), nocturne and prelude (solo), Preludes on original vespers (organ) and the songs Sweet was the song and Take, O take Those Lips Away

Nocturne   (British Music Information Centre)

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(No portrait)

 

Joachim de Almeida   

(? -1874)

XXx

Junho. Ernani . Capricho (Fantasy) for the left hand after Verdi (Lence & Viuva Canonigia, Lisboa 1873)

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(No portrait)

 

Emilie Altner de Résimont  (Austrian composer)

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Redowa (A Folk Dance) op. 6  (Otto Wernthal, Berlin)

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(No portrait)

 

August von Pereira-Arnstein Amadé  

(1867 - 1930)

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Prélude (arrangement of Chopin's Prélude op. 45, c sharp minor (1841)  (MS) (Östereichsiche Nationalbibliotek)

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John Amriding English pianist and composer

Born: Preston, Lancashire, U.K. December 29 1954 

John Amriding studied at Preston Catholic College under Harry Duckworth and Eric Whiteside and, in 1973, continued his studies as an Open Scholar in Music at Christ Church, Oxford under Simon Preston, Sydney Watson, Roger Wibberley and John Caldwell with especial interest in choral music of the Renaissance. He graduated from Oxford with a B.A. in 1976 and worked at the Harris Library, Preston, where he was Music Librarian for 21 years.
In his spare time John Amriding was associated with Preston Cecilian Choral Society, Preston Opera, Preston Concert Orchestra and Preston Opera Orchestra. He had a 10 year association with the WEA (Workers Educational Association) where he was a part-time lecturer in music and he also undertook many freelance lectures and performances at Alston Hall, Longridge as a piano recitalist.
Since 1998 he has concentrated exclusively on piano works composed and arranged for the left hand. 

Transcriptions

Reger: Mariä Wiegenlied (from Schlichte Weisen op. 76, volume VI)  (MS)
Transcribed November 2007 and dedicated to John Amriding's wife, Mary.

Ivor Novello: My Dearest Dear (from the London musical The Dancing Years produced in 1939)
This gem of English light music was transcribed February 24 2008 and is dedicated To My Dearest Dear, which I am quite sure is again his wife, Mary. Apart from being a very effective and beautiful transcription this piece gives you the glorious opportunity of practicing playing 3 against 4 with one hand (bars 62-63) - with four crotchets in the upper stave and three triplets in the lower.

John Amriding's home page: http://www.amriding.org/

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(No portrait)

 

Guglielmo Andreoli  

Mirandola, 22.04.1835 - Nice, 13.03.1860

Andreoli came from a very musical family, his father Evangelista Andreoli (1810-1875) was organist and teacher at Mirandola (34 kilometers north of Modena) and his brother Carlo (1840-1906) became a famous pianist, conductor and composer who taught at the Milan Conservatory
Guglielmo was a pupil at the Milan Conservatory from 1847 to 1853 becoming a distinguished pianist giving concerts in Italy, London and other places.
He was known for his delicate touch, pure taste and great expressive powers, but his compositions was later regarded as unimportant and today he is practically forgotten.

Barcarola del Marino Falieri di Donizetti. Grand studio di concerto per pianoforte per pianoforte per la mano sinistra op.5  (Tito di Ricordi. Milan 1854)
Marino Faliero (or Marin Faliero) is a rather unknown lyric opera, in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Giovanni Emanuele Bidéra wrote the Italian libretto, with revisions by Agostino Ruffini, after Casimir Delavigne's play. It is in fact inspired by Lord Byron's drama Marino Faliero (1820) and based on the life of a historical character, the Venetian Doge Marino Faliero the execution of whom was among Eugene Delacroix great paintings.

   
  Marino Faliero (c.1285-1355)  

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(No portrait)

 

Jurinaan Andriessen  (Dutch composer and pianist)  

(Haarlem, 15.11.1925 - The Hague, 23.08.1996)

Elder brother of Louis Andriessen and thus son of Hendrik Andriessen. He studied composition at the Utrecht Conservatory: composition with his father, orchestration with the renowned conductor Willem van Otterloo and piano with Gerard Hengeveld and André Jurres.
After this went years of study in Paris among other things of film- and radio music receiving several commissions. Back in Holland in March 1948 he continued his compositional work with other genres like church music and orchestre music. One of his most important work is considered to be Grande Messe pour la gloire de Dieu (written for the Utrecht Students' Society, "Veritas" in 1949 for their jubilee i May).

Quatro Pezzi (Fanfare, Allegro deciso, Adagio & Vivo)  (Donemus, Amsterdam 1964)

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Louis Andriessen  Dutch composer

Utrecht, 06,06.1939 

Nephew of Willem Andriessen. He was born in Utrecht into a large musical family.  Louis studied at first with his father Hendrik and with Kees van Baaren (1906-1970) at the Hague Conservatory, and between 1962 and 1964 undertook further studies in Milan and Berlin with Luciano Berio. Since 1974 he has combined his teaching with his work as a composer and pianist. He is now widely regarded as the leading composer working in the Netherlands today and is a central figure in the international new music scene.
Groups outside of the Netherlands who have commissioned or performed his works include the San Francisco and BBC symphony orchestras, Kronos Quartet, the London Sinfonietta, and Ensemble Modern, Ensemble InterContemporain.
From a background of jazz and avant-garde composition, Andriessen has evolved a style employing elemental harmonic and rhythmic materials, heard in totally distinctive instrumentation.

Trois pièces: 1. Promenade, 2. Fracas, 3. Hymne 1963 (Donemus)
These are very effective pieces and all written for the Pianist Cor de Groot. Nr. 1 being slow with some interesting effects, nr 2. a rather dry toccata-like piece and nr.3 a slow movement  with dissonant chords - and all three requiring a wide compass of the left hand.

Base for piano left hand  1994 (Boosey and Hawkes)
Written to the memory og David Huntley

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Willem Andriessen  Dutch pianist and composer

Harlem, Holland, 25.10.1887 -  Amsterdam, 29.03.1964 .

Uncle of Louis Andriessen above - Willem Andriessen's talent for music was discovered very early and his first teacher was his father Nicolaas Andriessen who was organist choir leader. Willem then went on to The Amsterdam Conservatory as a pupil of J. B. de Pauw (piano), Bernard Zweers (composition) and Julius Röntgen (ensemble playing). 

Jan de Pauw

Bernhard Zweers

Julius Röntgen

In 1906 he took his final diploma exams and in 1908 he got a Prix d'Exelence with a performance of a piano concerto that he had composed for that very occasion. 
After that he began a career as international concert pianist - particularly famous for his performances of Beethoven and Chopin. He married a fellow student from the conservatory and their home became an intellectual and musical gathering place with composers like Ravel and Reger as regular guests. 
During the years 1910 to 1918 he taught at The Royal Conservatory in The Haag and in 1924 he became professor at The Amsterdam Conservatory - of which he was director from 1937 until his retirement in 1953.
Besides the piano concerto already mentioned he has composed a Mass, a piano sonata, small piano pieces and numerous songs.

Preludium 1963 (Donemus)
This preludium is very well-functioning with a technical layout that in places really make the illusion of two hands playing together. Perhaps not deep music but an indication of that Willem Andriessen should be heard more often. For the left hand pianist it is a valuable and effective work.

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(Joseph) Humfrey Anger  Canadian teacher, organist, conductor and composer

Faringdon, Berkshire, England, 03.06.1862 - Toronto, 11.06.1913

Already in his first position as organist at Frenchay near Bristol the young Anger won his first gold medal in 1888 from the Bach Philharmonic Society for his setting of Psalm 96 for voices and orchestra. Before that he had been a school teacher, church organist and conductor of the Ludlow (Shropshire) Choral and Orchestral Society. The next year (1889) he became Bachelor of Music at Oxford,  FRCO (Fellow of the Royal College of Organists), later he was appointed head of the theory department of the Toronto Conservatory of Music (1893) and in 1902 he received a doctorate honoris causa at Trinity College, Toronto. .
As a composer he won several prizes, including the London Madrigal Society Prize in 1890 for his madrigal Bonnie Belle and in 1897 the Jubilee Prize of the Bath Philharmonic Society for his cantata A Song of Thanksgiving.  
In Toronto he worked as organist and choirmaster from 1894 to1896 at the Church of the Ascension and later at the Old St Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

St. Andrew's Presbytarian 
Church in Toronto

After 1902 he was organist at Central Methodist Church and the Church of the Ascension, Toronto and in connection with this work he served as president of the Canadian Society of Musicians and was dean of the Ontario chapter of the American Guild of Organists. From the years 1893 to 1913 he served as Professor, Toronto Conservatory. 
He conducted the Toronto Philharmonic from 1896 to 1898 but as a composer in Canada he was mostly occupied with church music and pieces for piano and organ. Among his best known works are A Concert Overture for organ from 1895, the patriotic song, Hail Canada from 1911and (from the same year): Tintamarre, Morceau de Salon a Debussy inspired piano piece which imitates the ringing of bells with an early example of tone clusters (f.ex. F, G, A, B).
Anger also wrote about music: Church Music (Toronto 1893), Form in Music (Toronto 1898), Elements of Harmony (Toronto 1902), A Treatise on Harmony (Toronto 1905), The Modern Enharmonic Scale (Boston 1907) and A Key to the Exercises in Part I and II of A Treatise on Harmony (Boston 1909, 1913)

Impromptu, a study for the left hand, for piano  ( London , England :  Weekes & Co., 1887)

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(No portrait)

 

Michael  J. Appleton

Born ?

Sonata in G minor for viola and piano (left hand)  1973 (Thames Publishing)

Source: National Library of Australia

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Georg [György] Arányi-Aschner  Hungarian-Austrian composer

Born: Budapest, Hungary, 16.03.1923

Arányi-Aschner started his musical education at the age of ten when he got his first piano lessons. At the age of twelve he entered the Musical High School of Budapest as a pupil of Pál Kadosa (harmony and counterpoint), conducting (János Ferencsik), Peregrin Turry (oboe), Andreas Pehl (bass tuba), Wilmos Rubányi (percussion), Franz Wilhelm (cello). Besides instruction in composition this was indeed a very versatile education, which ended with final exams in 1949.
Since then Arányi-Aschner has worked as teacher at the conservatory and the musical school of Székesfehérvar and a private music school. In 1967 he was appointed choir master at the  Raimundtheater in Vienna besides teaching at the Prayner Conservatory and from 1969 at the Musical High School in Graz. 
Among this Arányi-Aschner has been an active member of KIBU (Composers and Interpreters in Burgenland).
Among his most important works are 5 symphonies, Several concertos and concert pieces for for violin, cello, flute, bassoon, oboe, clarinet and piano with both string orchestra and and full symphonic orchestra. His chamber works include 3 piano trios, 2 string quartets a duo for harp and flute, suites for flute and piano, viola and organ and for winds.
Of solo works the most important are 6 piano sonatas, several pieces for piano four hand and a solo fantasy on the name B.A.C.H.. Furthermore he has written a Requiem, five Masses, Motets and a great amount of works with educational purposes.  

Ballade für die linke Hand allein  (1967)

II Ballade für das Klavier für die linke Hand  (2000-2004) MS.

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Alfred Arbiter 

(1877 - 1936)

Konzert-Etude für die linke Hand allein op. 66. (MS)
Located in the Wittgenstein Archive, The Octavian Society, Hong Kong.

 

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Jean-Michel Arneaud   

Born: 1928

Prélude pour main gauche seule. 1975 in Le Piano Ouvert. Salabert, Paris 1993

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Franchine Aubin   

Born: 1938

La Belliqueuse pour la main gauche, La Souriante pour la main gauche. Nr.6 u. 7 from Sept Études pour le piano. 1907 (Zurflug, Bourg-la-Reine)

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Pierre Augiéras  French pianist and composer

Born: ?
Augiéras signature

For several years Augiéras taught at the Rochester School of Music which was founded back in 1918 by George Eastman.

25 studies for the left hand alo on the piano. 1917 (New York: Schirmer - ca. 1924)

Photo and signature: Copyright Statens musikbibliotek, Sweden

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(No portrait)

 

Ange Marie Auzende 

(1850 - 1940

Exercise pour la lecture de la clé de fa et pour la main gauche seule - Etude de Rythme  (Maison J. Hamelle, Paris)
25 pieces of one or two pages at a rather difficult level - but hardly great music.

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