Earl Wild: Gershwin: Doo-Dah Variations, Concerto in F
Chesky Records CD 98, DDD
Variations on a Theme of Stephen Foster for Piano and Orchestra (“Doo-Dah”)
Piano Concerto in F
II. Adagio; Andante con moto
III. Allegro agitato
Earl Wild piano
Des Moines Symphony Orchestra
Joseph Giunta conductor
January 25th and 26th, 1993 in the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, piano: Baldwin
Michael Rolland Davis
This has to be one of the most important piano releases of the year. The Twenty Variations on Stephen Foster’s “Camptown Races” (hence the subtitle “Doo-Dah Variations”) cover the gamut from a barn dance to blues to a revivalist march to a final Hollywood-cum-Rachmaninov windup. There is much more besides, not least the extremely brilliant, extroverted piano part and the major role of the orchestra. Wild handles the familiar theme with a quite fascinating combination of respect and tongue-in-cheek irreverence, yet with an overriding cleverness and imagination. These variations are a major addition to the repertoire.
Donald Manildi, American Record Guide, January-February 1994.