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Earl Wild plays Gershwin

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 10, 1997
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$16.10
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$16.10 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 5 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This historic Gershwin recording includes the first complete "Rhapsody in Blue" recorded in 1945 with Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra. Also on the disc are Mr. Wild's legendary 1976 performances of his popular piano transcriptions, "Grande Fantasy on Porgy and Bess" and "Seven Virtuoso Etudes". Completing this historic recording are the "Three Preludes" recorded in 1964.

Review

Can't get more authentic than Wild's Rhapsody in Blue. This 1945 recording conducted by Whiteman is a revelation. -- BBC Music Magazine, August 1999

Greatest praise for Earl Wild’s piano transcriptions. They’re a marvel, as good as anything Liszt might have written. -- ARG, July/Aug. 1998

This disc is a collector’s piece. Whiteman and Wild’s reading of the 'Rhapsody‚' is extraordinarily vigorous and alive. -- Classics CD, July 1998

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue
  2. The Man I Love
  3. I Got Rhythm
  4. Embraceable You
  5. Fascinatin' Rhythm
  6. Somebody Loves Me
  7. Liza
  8. Lady Be Good
  9. Earl Wild - 'Grande Fantasy on Porgy and Bess'
  10. Prelude No.1
  11. Prelude No.2
  12. Prelude No.3


Product Details

  • Performer: Earl Wild
  • Conductor: Paul Whiteman
  • Composer: Earl Wild, George Gershwin
  • Audio CD (December 10, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ivory Classics
  • Run Time: 67 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000DFPR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,211 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Remastered in 1997, this amazing recording displays Earl Wild at his very best.

The Programme includes: Rhapsody in Blue (recorded 1945), Earl Wild 's fantastically stunning 'Seven Virtuoso Etudes' (1976), Wild's 'Grande Fantasy on Porgy and Bess' (1976) and Gershwin's Three Prerludes for Piano (1964).

I'm learnng a few of the Virtuoso Etudes at the moment (which, by the way are his famous transcriptions of: The Man I Love, I Got Rhythm, Embracable You, Fascinating Rhythm, Somebody Loves Me, Liza & Lady Be Good) and finding them the biggest challenge I've ever had. I'm also having lot's of FUN as well!

But I was astonished when I heard Earl Wild play them Double the speed I though physically possible...!

Earl Wild is known as the last of the great Virtuostic pianis-composers. At a grand age of 90 now, he is still stunning.

The greatest recording of Earl Wild playing George Gershwin you'll ever hope to have. A fantastic listen. I spend hours listening.

Fantastic for the pianist, the aspiring pianist, the Gershwin-lover and/or the enthusiastic listener - It doesn't matter.

A historic and virtuostic delight!
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This CD seems to overlap with another CD on the Chesky label. Both contain Earl Wild's Fantasy on Porgy and Bess and the seven Etudes based on Gershwin's music. This disc also has Rhapsody in Blue and Gershwin's Preludes.

Wild's pianistic facility is absolutely astonishing. He does some wonderful things with Gershwin's music. Highlights include "Embraceable You" and some of the sections of the Porgy and Bess Fantasy ("Summertime", "Bess, you is my woman now" and "It aint necessarily so" come to mind). He also plays the three Preludes with conviction and panache. However, Gershwin is not Chopin, and there is only so much one can mine from this music. If one tries to listen to this entire CD in one sitting, one can become aware of the piano as a percussion instrument. I am not certain if this is a function of the music (Gershwin), the pianist (Wild) or the recording (AAD). So often when I listen to a great pianist play solo work by Chopin, Liszt or Ravel, for example, I can lose myself in the music and virtually forget the medium. That doesn't happen with this recording for me.

Still, in small doses, this is an extraordinary disc, and I'm glad to own it.
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I wanted to buy this cd because it shows Wild is equally good with an American composer as well as a master of the timeless classics of another style often referred to as
'long-haired" in contrasst with the more down-to -earth Gershwin tunes featured here. I have learned that an earl Wild cd is never a disappointment.
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By HURBRET on August 12, 2012
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Earl Wild lives up to his surname, as a pianist and a composer on this marvelous CD. Rhapsody in Blue is possibly the only weak point on it, as the choir puts the performance way over the top, and no matter how amazing Wild's performance is, and as always how beautiful Gershwin's composition, the arranger should never have been hired. The virtuoso etudes are the highlight of the CD, as they really are full of flash and show-offy techniques but are still beautiful, amazing works of music that have never been performed better than here. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Wild's performance here is the best performance of this work that I have ever heard him or anyone else play. It's very crisp, played on a good piano for the work, played with little pedal thus minimal muddiness, and he keeps a strict tempo only sticking to rubato when he needs to. It truly is a faithful jazz performance of these works. Oscar Peterson would be proud. I fear the Grande Fantasy on Porgy and Bess may be subject to my bias as it's the first piece that made me realize how beautiful Porgy and Bess is in general. It's basically a compact arrangement of all the songs from Porgy and Bess, and sure is one epic rocker, clocking in at over 20 minutes. It is, however, a beautiful arrangement. The Three Preludes are brilliant as always, and Wild's performance is, as always, likewise. He continues to make a tasteful use of the damper pedal rather than just keeping it down for half the piece, which is unfortunately what can happen sometimes. In short, this CD is a must for jazz fans who like classical music, or people who like the music of Nikolai Kapustin. It's also a must for pretty much everyone else, who doesn't hate jazz with a passion.
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Finally! Someone who doesn't play the Rhapsody in Blue like they are beating this old, tired, warhorse to death! Except that this is not a new recording, but a very-well-remastered old recording from 1945, directed by the original conductor of Rhapsody in Blue, Paul Whiteman, and played by the incredible virtuoso pianist (and composer) Earl Wild, who heard George Gershwin himself perform this any others of his works many times.

This is a wonderful recording and record of not only George Gershwin's original sensation and his Three Preludes, but also Earl Wild's own incredible and complex concert works based upon Gershwin's songs and his opera Porgy and Bess.

Wonderful music, wonderfully played.
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