Comme le vent by Charles-Valentin Alkan


'''''Comme le vent''''' (''Like the wind'') is the first of the Études in the minor keys, Op. 39 for solo piano by the French composer Charles-Valentin Alkan. It is in A minor. The tempo marking is ''prestissimamente'' ( = 160), and the unusual time signature further encourages a fast performance. The piece is mostly quiet, but is interrupted by short loud outbursts.

The piece is technically demanding, requiring digital velocity and dexterity, as well as stamina: lasting on average four and a half minutes, its 23 pages contains long passages of perpetual triplet-32nd notes (triplet demisemiquavers) for the right hand.

The piece is not to be confused with Alkan's earlier ''Le vent'', one of the ''Trois morceaux'' op. 15. Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji considered the earlier piece to be better, making the later piece 'rather anticlimactic and redundant.'K. Sorabji, ''Around Music'', (1932), p. 217

The piece was in the repertoire of Sergei Rachmaninoff in the 1919/1920 concert season.[ "Performance diary October 1919"] on Rachmaninoff Society Performance Diary website, accessed 30 March 2015.