Liszt: The Virtuoso

Disk Number:
Etcetera CD KTC 2010, DDD

Franz Liszt:
The Virtuoso
Earl Wild piano

Recorded Date:
1985, piano: Baldwin
Michael Rolland Davis
Kelly Higgins
Piano Technician:
Alexander Ostrovsky

Among the numerous pianists who have been celebrating the Liszt heritage, probably none has been so comprehensive in his approach as Earl Wild, one of the chief Liszt exponents around. Having coincidentally turned 70, the perennially youthful Mr. Wild marked this dual jubilee by recording this rich store of literature for the Etcetera label in a three-volume anthology, the first volume of which is now available in the shops. Included here are the B-minor Sonata and the buoyant Polonaise No. 2 in E Major, as well as five Transcendetal Etudes, four Etudes de Concert, and three Hungarian Rhapsodies. In these sweeping performances, Mr. Wild maintains his pre-eminence in the field, blending scholarship and showmanship to achieve power without bombast. Moreover, Mr. Wild’s lyricism is not merely a matter of touch but of infinitesimal gradations of tempo rubato that impart a remarkable flexibility to the musical statement. To paraphrase Wanda Landowska, others play Liszt their way; Mr. Wild plays him Liszt’s way.

Barrymore Laurence Scherer, Wall Street Journal, December 1, 1986


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