Monday, April 05, 2010

Allan Kozinn on Earl Wild

"Earl Wild, an American pianist and composer who was renowned for his performances of the virtuoso showpieces of the grand Romantic tradition but whose enormous repertory included everything from Baroque works and Mozart concertos to contemporary scores, died Saturday. … Mr. Wild … could seem a flamboyant presence on the concert stage. But although he reveled in bravura works … his performances consistently combined a deeply considered interpretive approach and an ironclad technique. … Mr. Wild recorded copiously, starting in 1939, when he accompanied the oboist Robert Bloom in a set of Handel sonatas for RCA. All told, his discography includes more than 35 concertos, 26 chamber music recordings and more than 700 solo piano scores, including highly regarded accounts of the major works of Liszt, Chopin and Rachmaninoff, as well as music by Beethoven, Brahms, Copland, Gershwin and Debussy. … In 1997 he won a Grammy Award for 'Earl Wild: The Romantic Master,' with virtuoso transcriptions (including nine of his own) of works by Handel, Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and other composers" ("Earl Wild, Pianist, Dies at 94," New York Times, 1/24/10).


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