P0180. EARL WILD: Sonata #3 in e; Ballade in g; Intermezzi, etc., etc. (all Brahms). Ivory Classics 72008, recorded 1982-2002. [A glorious autumnal recital from this forever-teenager!] Final Copy! - 644057200824
"Of the great many recordings of Brahms' monumental f minor Sonata #3 that I have heard, Earl Wild's is far and away the most fully realized, the most musically satisfying, and the most breathtaking. His performance is simultaneously spacious and taut, orchestrally textured and utterly transparent, sweeping in feel and elegantly detailed. Wild's command of the Sonata is so complete and his playing (even at 86) so brilliantly captures its expansive tonal palette, volatile drama and its exquisite poetry, we are apt to forget that Brahms' writing teems with technical difficulties. Wild's Paganini Variations have irresistible flair - they are as brilliant musically as they are technically. The recording as a whole is unsurpassable. Piano lovers should certainly hear this disc."
- BBC Magazine, April, 2003
“Earl Wild's new recording of the Brahms f minor Sonata Op.5, #3 is by far the best version currently available on disc. It belongs in everyone's library.”
- BBC Radio 3, Mar. 2003, 'Building a CD Library'
“It’s funny how Brahms’ youthful, big-boned F minor sonata often proves to be a youth tonic for veteran pianists, who gleefully brave the work’s considerable challenges and survive miraculously unscathed. Harold Bauer’s recording is a good example, as is Etelka Freund’s; and then there’s the 72-year-old Arthur Rubinstein’s classic stereo version. At 86, Earl Wild may be the oldest pianist to have recorded this gnarly opus, but damned if he doesn’t sound like an unbridled young virtuoso. He digs into the opening movement’s massive chords and dauntingly unidiomatic octave passages with a kind of galvanizing assurance that makes his 50-something counterparts on disc - such as Daniel Barenboim and Vladimir Ashkenazy - sound arthritic by comparison.
A live 1982 performance of Brahms’ Paganini Variations finds Wild on more inspired and communicative form than his admirable though relatively straightlaced 1967 Vanguard studio recording, and his 66-year-old fingers prove more than up to the task. Invariably, the sonics change from venue to venue (a church in Buffalo, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, and of course, Wild’s Columbus, Ohio home studio), but not distractingly so. How many other pianists remain at the top of their game in their late 80s and continue to evolve as artists and musicians while remaining true to themselves? A remarkable disc.”
- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
“Pianist Earl Wild died on 23 January, 2010 at the age of 94. Since then he has been widely lamented as the last of the Romantic virtuosi. He devoted his entire life to his art music was his love from the age of four. He received extraordinary accolades over the years, being called a super virtuoso and one of the 20th century s greatest pianists. Earl Wild was an artist with the rare gift of being able to communicate serious ideas in an easy and elegant way that never took away from his own intellectualism. His ability to bring the tradition of the art of the transcription to a mid-20th and 21st century audience in a way that was uniquely his own garnered him the reputation as the finest transcriber of our time. He was an important and well-respected musician as well as a special individual who held true to his own integrity throughout his life. Mr. Wild also made many extraordinary contributions to the American musical scene. Whether it was in a concert or at a master class, Earl Wild held both his audiences and students spellbound with his abilities, his knowledge, his imagination, his musical intelligence, sensitivity and artistry, along with his tremendous sense of humor.“
- Ralph Lockwood, 18 Dec., 2011