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Earl Wild in Concert (1973-1987)
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
Rondo Brillante 'La Gaité' Op. 62 (1819) [5:12]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Mazurka in C major, Op. 56, No. 2 [1:38]
Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op. 63, No. 3 [1:52]
Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op. 50, No. 3 (1842) [5:25]
Eugen D’ALBERT (1864-1932)
Scherzo in F sharp major, Op. 16, No. 2 [4:42]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Pavane pour une Infante défunte (1899) [6:02]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847):
Song without Words in C major ('Spinning Song') Op. 67, No. 4 [1:37]
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
Barcarolle No. 3 in G flat major, Op. 42 (1885) [6:42]
Moritz MOSZKOWSKI (1854-1925)
Étincelles, Op. 36, No. 6 [2:30]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Barcarolle in F sharp major Op. 60 [7:55]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Tarentelle styrienne 'Danse' (1890) [4:40]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 in C sharp minor (S244/R106) [9:47]
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 4 in E flat major (S244/R106) [5:05]
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C sharp minor (S244/R106) [9:30]
Earl Wild (piano)
rec; Track 1 recorded in Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto - March 1985, Tracks 2-4 recorded in YMHA, New York City - November 1977, Tracks 5, 7 & 9 recorded in Queen Elisabeth Hall, London - October 1973, Tracks 6 & 10 recorded at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio - Jan. 1987, Track 8 recorded at University of Maryland - July 1982, Track 11 recorded in Bunka Kaikan Tokyo - March 1983, Tracks 12, 13 & 14 recorded in Wigmore Hall, London - March 1986
IVORY CLASSICS 77001 [74:00]

 

Experience Classicsonline


This is a far-flung conspectus of Earl Wild in concert. Recorded between 1973 and 1987 we range variously to London, Tokyo, Ohio, Maryland, New York and Toronto. As a result there is obviously a change in recording quality, though I can’t say it perturbed me greatly, if at all. And Wild, as they say, is Wild, a giant of the keyboard, one whose discs are like single malt, to be sipped, to be savoured – not guzzled.

It’s best to treat this as a super-recital, edited through time and space to form a Wildean whole. And with what better way to start than the Weber Rondo brilliante – so full of panache and verve, superfine digital clarity and lashings of cordon bleu élan. The three Chopin Mazurkas offer their own rich rewards  - the pick is the Op.50 No.3 C sharp minor where Wild steps up the chordal dance imperatives with tremendous assurance. He always flew the flag for d’Albert’s Scherzo in F sharp which he once again dispenses with bravura perception. It’s through deft articulation that Wild, though never over-quick when judged against the crudities of the stopwatch, keeps Pavane pour une Infante défunte deftly moving forward. His unsentimental approach, sparing of pedal, contrasts obviously with Gieseking..

His sole Fauré here – one doesn’t especially associate him with the composer but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a master Fauréan – is the G flat Barcarolle. This is an interesting performance. He plays with almost capricious lightness – it’s bright, sun-dazzled Fauré – but this, combined with the high level recording means that it lacks intimacy and the lyrical warmth that the best Fauré players (Thyssens-Valentin, Collard etc) find in it. Similarly I do find his Chopin Barcarolle impatiently fast – certainly along side such as, say, Rubinstein, Horowitz and Moravec. Perhaps Wild’s conception of the Barcarolle as a genre precludes reflective warmth?

But by the time we reach the three Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies we are assuredly on home ground. There is some simply scintillating playing here. Those brief moments of less than perfect execution are as nothing when one is confronted with playing as incendiary, provoking and magnificent as this.

The main constituency for this disc will be Wild’s legion of admirers, who will know whether they need to add this world travelling disc to their collections.

Jonathan Woolf


 




 


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