"Earl Wild Goes To The Movies"
RODGERS-WILD: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. STEINER: Symphonie
Moderne. LISZT: Un Sospiro. RÓZSA: Spellbound Concerto.
CHOPIN: Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22. MOZART: Piano Concerto
No. 21 in C, K. 467
Earl Wild, pianist/Various Orch & Cond.
Ivory Classics 70801 (M) (ADD) TT: 68:00
BUY NOW FROM AMAZON
This new label focuses on "The Art of the Piano" and "The Art of the
Pianist." They will be reissuing fine performances from the past, many
never before issued on CD, played by both well-known and unjustly-neglected
pianists. "Earl Wild Goes To The Movies," is a reissue of
recordings made from 1963-1983, licensed from Reader's Digest,
produced by Charles Gerhardt, and engineered by the legendary Kenneth
Wilkinson. These have been perfectly transferred to silver disc and
sound better than ever. The title of this CD is perhaps a bit misleading,
as some of the music never was featured specifically in movies, although
it well could have been; but it doesn't matter, what is here is superb.
The CD begins with Earl Wild's inventive arrangement of Richard
Rodgers' Slaughter on Tenth Avenue; just listen to the opening for
a sample of the wide-range, dazzling sonic quality to be heard throughout.
Two works written specifically for films are included, Symphonie
Moderne by Max Steiner (Four Wives, 1939), and Spellbound
Concerto by Miklos Rózsa (Spellbound, 1945,) are equally
spectacular in both performance and sonics, with the "Big Cinema Sound" always
apparent. Also included are Liszt's piano solo, Un Sospiro,
played with gentle added orchestral accompaniment, and Chopin's Grande
Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22, which has its own orchestral accompaniment
written by the composer although, to my knowledge, it has never been used
in a film. The featured music on this CD is Mozart's Piano Concerto No.
21 in C, K. 467, the second movement of which figured so prominently in
the 1967 Swedish film, Elvira Madigan. The entire concerto is played
here, and a high point is the inclusion of Wild's own appropriate,
elaborate cadenzas for the first and last movements. Wild is as stylish
in Mozart as he is in film music; this is a fine performance of polish and
character. The Royal Philharmonic and various pick-up orchestras provide
accompaniments under conductors Harry Rabinowitz, Eric Hammerstein,
Douglas Gamley, Russell Stanger, Anthony Randall and Charles Gerhardt. Recommended!
R.E.B. (Sept. 1999)