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Earl Wild

Scharwenka: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 32; Polish Dance Op. 3, No.. 1
Paderewski: Piano Concerto Op. 17; Fantaisie Polonaise, Op. 19

Earl Wild, piano. Boston Symphony Orchestra & London Symphony Orchestra. Erich Leinsdorf & Arthur Fiedler, conductors.
Label Ivory Classics
Format 2 CDs
Runtime/Release Date 60'25,32'03/2007
UPC 644057700324
Daedalus Item Code 37066
This item is not available.
Earl Wild's groundbreaking 1970 recording of the Paderewski Concerto Op. 17 with Arthur Fiedler and the LSO is released here in a high-resolution remastering. The set also includes a spectacular performance of Paderewski's lively Fantaisie Polonaise for piano and orchestra Op. 19 and his Theme and Variations Op. 16, No. 3, for solo piano. On the other disc is the equally famous 1969 recording of the Scharwenka Concerto No. 1 with Leinsdorf and the BSO, along with the Polish Dance Op. 3, No. 1, for solo piano. This Ivory Classics disc is part of a career overview of Earl Wild, born in 1915, whose playing was already "a source of wonder" by the time he turned six, according to Time magazine. A concert hall veteran as a teenager, Wild joined Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony and performed a breakout radio broadcast of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with that orchestra in 1942. Two years later, he gave the first piano recital on American television. From his vast repertoire, Wild made more than 100 recordings reflecting "not only lofty technical standards but a striking musical sophistication," wrote LA Times music critic Daniel Cariaga. The Chicago Tribune marveled that Wild's "polished pianism, knowing application of color and refined poetic sensibility make every piece come alive." We treasure these masterful and thoroughly enjoyable performances of the late, great American virtuoso, and hope you will too.

"The concerto is a period piece—a bravura work in the late 19th-century rhetoric ... [and] one can have fun tracing the various composers who play a part…. It is a wing-ding of a romp, one in which the pianist starts with a great splurge and scarcely removes his hands from the keys for the next half hour. It has pretty melodies, and it has a fiendishly difficult solo part.... Period composers do reflect their age, and Scharwenka did, completely. It was a comfortable age, an age when the virtuoso was king, an age where sentiment ruled.... And so the Scharwenka B flat minor Concerto was a charming, lightweight and exhibitionistic work.... The way Mr. Wild played it was actually startling. It was sheer control all the way through with a feathery touch, minimum pedal and absolute clear articulation.... Wild played it like a romantic hero of the keyboard, and he had a fine accompaniment from Mr. Leinsdorf."—Harold C. Schonberg, NYTimes

"Wild plays ... with the flash and glitter and the sense of indomitable panache that would surely have pleased the composer, and he is exuberantly accompanied by Fiedler and the LSO."—Gramophone

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