Critics and audiences all over the world have praised Earl Wild's virtuosity and musicality. In a continuing celebration of his 85th birthday, Ivory Classics is re-issuing some of his most collectible and most admired performances of Franz Liszt's masterpieces. Available for the first time in remastered 24-bit high definition HDCD encoded sound!
Earl Wild is a premier Lisztian, one of the great Romantic pianists of our age, claims easily confirmed by this two-disc set of major Liszt piano works recorded in 1985 and issued here in splendid sound. The attributes of Wild's playing are all present on these discs--a big, burnished tone, the technique to make even the most difficult works sound easy, and mastery of both subtle rubato and grandiloquent rhetoric, both indispensable for satisfying Liszt playing. We hear these immediately in the Dante Sonata, where Wild's brazen colorings and wide dynamic range capture Liszt's depiction of the poet's Inferno
. And we hear those pianistic virtues at the end of the recital as well, with a gently flowing, poetic Consolation No. 3. The Sonata has been recorded by most of the century's great pianists, but Wild's interpretation is compelling by virtue of its flowing narrative approach--you feel he's telling a dramatic story that seethes with passion and has long chapters of philosophic reflection. Perhaps it's that storytelling aspect of Wild's Liszt that makes it so individual and at the same time so true to the Lisztian spirit. Everything on these discs is played at the highest level. Miss it at your peril. --Dan Davis