Friday, September 5, 2014

A Transcendent Gift to the Piano - Earl Wild...

I last wrote a blog about the miraculous American pianist Earl Wild back in March of 2006(do refer to that blog by way of the archive list on the right side of the page). This man was still with us, and   in his 80's continuing his career at a dizzying pace.
When he passed away at age 94, I recalled some of his most important and pertinent addenda to the glorious history of piano performances captured in recordings. I, at the same time,  realized  just today that I had totally forgotten to relay to you on the day of his passing, some time ago,  one of his most notable and fabled endeavors; that is, his transcriptions of several of Gershwin's immortal tunes.
They are in the styles of  transcriptions written by several students of Liszt, straddling the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They are exceedingly difficult and marvelously conceived - I  feel that Gershwin himself would have embraced these incarnations, being a strong pianist himself, and at the same time, of course, a quite wonderful writer of music for the instrument.
Some of the tunes Wild transmogrified on behalf of the piano are:
Liza; Somebody Loves Me; Lady, Be Good; The Man I Love; Fascinatin' Rhythm; Embraceable You; I Got Rhythm.
If you have not heard Wild, let alone these formidable  piano transcriptions of his;  you are in for a unique experience...

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