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DOHNÁNYI • MENDELSSOHN • DOHNÁNYI • MENDELSSOHN • DALBER ALBERT DOHNÁNYI • MENDELSSOHN • DOHNÁNYI • MENDELSSOHN • DALBER ALBERT LISZT • TCHAIKOVSKY LISZT • TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI • CHOPIN LISZT • TCHAIKOVSKY LISZT • TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI • CHOPIN DOHNÁNYI • MENDELSSOHN • DOHNÁNYI • MENDELSSOHN • DALBER ALBERT LISZT • TCHAIKOVSKY LISZT • TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI • CHOPIN DOHNÁNYI • MENDELSSOHN • D’ALBERT LISZT • TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI • CHOPIN 2 CD Set

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  • DOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DALBERALBERTDOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DALBERALBERTLISZT TCHAIKOVSKY LISZT TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI CHOPINLISZT TCHAIKOVSKY LISZT TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI CHOPIN

    DOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DALBERALBERTLISZT TCHAIKOVSKY LISZT TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI CHOPIN

    DOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DALBERTLISZT TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI CHOPIN

    2 CD Set

  • The Virtuosity of Earl WildIntroduction

    A somewhat academic definition of a virtuoso would refer to an instrumentalist (usuallypianist or violinist) as having an exceptional technical facility and extraordinary musical prowess.That person is one who bedazzles us with their musical abilities even the most difficult passagesare easy, the most mind-numbing, knuckle-cracking music is tossed-off with aplomb and a smile.However, a virtuoso in not a mere marathon runner or trained seal. The virtuoso is simply takingthe music to its highest performance level. Similarly, the music composed for the virtuoso requiresmore of everything technique, musicianship, dexterity and confidence. Perhaps FerruccioBusoni said it best when he wrote that In order to get beyond the virtuoso level, one must first bea virtuoso: one arrives at something more, not something different. In this two disc set, Earl Wildis the consummate virtuoso he transforms complex and difficult piano compositions into rivet-ing, exciting, and scintillating listening experiences. He dazzles us with his keyboard pyrotechnics.Although something dangerous happens at every turn, Earl Wild manages to always charm us withhis tasteful musicianship and impresses us with the lan that defines his performances. So, sit backand enjoy the ride!

    The Music

    Franz Liszt (1811-1886)During his three quarters of a century, Franz Liszt lived a life of incredible accomplishments.

    Liszt was a child prodigy, a dazzling virtuoso, a highly original composer, a successfulHofkapellmeister, an idolized teacher, and a musical philanthropist. He was also a most active DonJuan, an anxious father, an ecclesiastic, a patriot, and a mentor, even in old age, to the young andtalented. Despite the colossal egos which often accompanied their own artistry, such pianists asAnton Rubinstein and Carl Tausig readily admitted Liszts superiority to themselves. Rubinstein in1873 stated: Put all the rest of us together and we would not make one Liszt. Carl Tausig agreed:No mortal can compete with Liszt. He dwells upon a solitary height. When the Russian com-poser Alexander Borodin heard Liszt play, he wrote: Liszt was literally all over the whole piano atonce, without missing a note, and how he did play. With grandeur, beauty, genius, and uniquecomprehension. I think I laughed, laughed like an idiot. Liszt, according to all accounts, was thevirtuoso pianist of all time. Liszt the composer was not really that different from Liszt the pianist.

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  • He was an extreme Romanticist in his devotion tocolor and poetic content in music. He had a flu-ent gift for melody. In the variety and virility of hisrhythms few other composers could compare. Hecomposed all his life, and when he wasnt writingsomething original, he was paraphrasing, remi-niscing, or transcribing someone elses works.Nineteen of Liszts pianistic gems are played byEarl Wild, beginning with the Grand GalopChromatique (S219/R41) (1838) [Disc 1 n ], alively dance, once popular in 19th century ball-rooms. When danced, the partners would holdeach other, both facing the line of dance, and pro-ceed rapidly with springing steps down the room.

    Liszt conceived the Hungarian Rhapsodies, asa kind of collective national epic. He composedthe first in 1846 at the age of 35, and his last in1885 at the age of 74. Most of his HungarianRhapsodies are in the sectional slow-fast form of the Gypsy dance known as the czardas.Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 in C-sharp minor(S244/R106) (1847) [Disc 1 n ] is the bestknown of the nineteen rhapsodies. Dedicated tothe politician and patriot, Count Lszl Teleky,the rhapsody begins grandly and heroically. Liszt converts the piano at one point into the likenessof a pulsating, many stringed cimbalon (dulcimer), at others into a suggestion of a brilliant,impetuous Gypsy violin. By the word Rhapsody, wrote Liszt, the intention has been to desig-nate the fantastically epic element which we deem this music to contain... The qualificationHungarian which we have applied to these Rhapsodies is due to our feeling that it would not havebeen just to separate in the future what has never been separated in the past. It was the Magyarswho adopted the Bohemians as national musicians; it was they who identified themselves as muchwith their proudly fierce enthusiasm as with the poignant sorrows they know so well how to express.For it was not only with the Friska (that is to say, with the joy of their banquets) that they associated

    Franz Liszt

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  • themselves, but also with the Lassan of their sorrows the pathos of which has often moved themto tears. The nomad Zygani, though straggling to diverse countries and cultivating their music else-where, never gave it a value equal to that which it attained upon Hungarian soil. The HungarianRhapsody No.4 in E-flat Major (S244/R106) (1853) [Disc 1 n ] is dedicated to Count KasimirEsterhzy. The extent to which Liszt was able to make the piano sound orchestral is graphicallyrevealed in this rhapsody, with its rich chords, dazzling runs and leaping patterns which cover theentire keyboard range. Hungarian Rhapsody No.12 in C-sharp minor (S244/R106) (1853) [Disc1 n ], was dedicated to one of the foremost violinists of his time, Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), whocomposed a Hungarian Concerto, and was intimately associated with Brahms Hungarian Dances.This Liszt rhapsody is one of the most pianistically spectacular and contains a series of beautifulHungarian tunes, woven elaborately and leading to a virtuosic coda.

    Mephisto, the spirit of eternal negation, was a kind of symbolic pseudonym for Liszt in his oldage, enabling him to give artistic expression to irony, sarcasm, despair, and aggression in a mannerthat legitimized musical ugliness, i.e. dissonance and the departure from traditional tonality. Afterwriting the first Mephisto Waltz in 1860, Liszt wrote another five compositions in the 1880s withthe Mephisto theme. Liszts published score of Mephisto Waltz No.1 (The Dance at the Innfrom Lenaus Faust) (S514/R181) (1859-60) [Disc 1 n ] is printed with a section of Lenauspoem, paraphrased here in English: There is a wedding feast in progress in the village inn, withmusic, dancing, carousing. Mephistopheles and Faust pass by, and Mephistopheles induces Faust toenter and take part in the festivities. Mephistopheles snatches the instrument from the hands of thelethargic fiddler, and draws from it indescribably seductive and intoxicating strains. The amorousFaust whirls about with a full-blooded village beauty in a wild dance; they waltz in mad abandon-ment, out of the room, into the woods. The sounds of the fiddle grow softer and softer, and thenightingale warbles his love laden song. Frederick Niecks described Liszts brilliant music as thene plus ultra of weirdness and unbridled sensuality in the whole domain of music, and one of themost remarkable tours de force of imagination.

    Liszts two Polonaises were written in 1851, and were possibly intended as tributes to the Polishcomposer, Chopin. What we hear in the Polonaise No.2 in E Major (with Ferruccio Busoni coda)(S223/R44) (1851) [Disc 1 n ] is Lisztian heroics in the grand manner.

    Franz Liszt was an inveterate transcriber. Whether the melody was a simple folk song, a com-plex symphonic work, a lengthy chamber piece, an operatic aria, or a beautiful art-song, Lisztcould not resist the urge to lovingly transform it into a piano work. More than half of his com-positions are transcriptions, paraphrases, reminiscences, or fantasies on other composers music. Liszt

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  • was also an arch supporter of Schumanns piano music. He introduced Schumanns operaGenoveva in Weimar, in addition to his less accepted musical hybrids for voice and orchestra,Faust, Manfred and Paradise and the Peri. In all, Liszt made transcriptions of twelve Schumannsongs (Widmung appeared in two different versions). Frhlingsnacht (Spring Night), Opus 39,No.12 (S568/R256) (1872) [Disc 2 n ] is an exquisite piece of pianistic writing. Published byLiszt in 1872, it is a joyful and dreamlike love song. The breezes wandering through the woodsare pianistically translated into a repeated chordal accompaniment bringing us to the glad refrainwhen the nightingale declares She is yours, all yours again!

    The six tudes dExcution Transcendante daprs Paganini, as they were called originally, datefrom 1838. In 1851 Liszt supplanted the first edition of these compositions with what was adver-tised as the seule dition authentique, entirement revue et corrige par lauteur (the only authenticedition, completely revised and corrected by the composer). The new edition bore the titleGrandes tudes de Paganini. The tude No.3 in G-sharp minor (La Campanella) (S141/R3b)(1851) [Disc 2 n ] is the highlight of the set. Based on the second movement of Paganinis ViolinConcerto No.2 in B minor, Opus 7. The little bell (La Campanella) is evoked in a persistentintricacy of filigree, with fantastic leaps and stretches and total exploitation of the highest octave.The tude No.2 in E-flat Major (La Capricciosa) (S141/R3b) (1851) [Disc 2 n ] is a brilliantstudy based on Paganinis Caprice No.17, Opus 1. In Liszts hands it becomes a challenging arrayof cadenza-like pages full of chromatic sixths for alternating hands and scales in tenths for crossedhands. The tude No.5 in E Major (La Chasse) (S141/R3b) (1851) [Disc 2 n ] is based onPaganinis Caprice No.9, Opus 1 and is appropriately subtitled The Hunt. We hear the huntershorn-calls in this charming up-hill and down-dale piano tude.

    Liszts compositional years, 1835-1839, were spent mainly on the tudes dexcution transcen-dante [Transcendental Studies], the tudes dexcution transcendante daprs Paganini [PaganiniStudies] and the first two books of Annes de plerinage [Years of Pilgrimage]. However, theTranscendental Studies had the longest history. There are actually three different versions of thesetudes. The first, published under the title tude en douze exercices in 1826, was apparentlyplanned as a set of forty-eight pieces. It was published originally as Opus 6 and later as Opus 1.These were clearly youthful works (Liszt was only fifteen when these were published). In 1837,the new edition of the twelve studies, this time without opus number, appeared in print almost atthe same time in Paris, Vienna and Milan. Ferruccio Busoni, writing in his introduction to thesepieces in 1910 wrote, The Liszt whom we meet here has shot up to an unexpected height.Apparently without transition, Liszt surpassed all available and imaginable possibilities of the

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  • piano. The technical prolixity of this secondversion must have been quite vexing for mostpianists of the time, leading Liszt to onceagain rewrite his tudes for the third time. Hepublished the final version in 1852. It is theversion most often performed today. TheTranscendental tude No.2 (Molto vivace) inA minor (S139/R2b) (1851) [Disc 2 n ], Busonibelieves is, one of those Paganini devilries simi-lar to those in the Fantaisie sur la Clochette andthe Rondo Fantastique sue un Thme Espagnol.The indication of this tude, a capriccio indi-cates its fantasy-like character, shimmering andradiant. The Transcendental tude No.7(Eroica) in E-flat Major (S139/R2b) (1851)[Disc 2 n ] is more defiant than heroic. As awork, it is a march of Titans, celebrating a some-what youthful conception of a heroism whichknows no doubts. The Transcendental tudeNo.10 (Allegro agitato molto) in F minor(S139/R2b) (1851) [Disc 2 n ] is a violent andtarantella-like study clearly deserving the title,appassionata.

    Liszts Concert tude No.2 in F minor (LaLeggierezza) (S144/R5) (1848) [Disc 2 n ] waspublished as part of a set of three tudes. A plain-tive melody runs through the work which mightbe the sound of the Autumn wind as it stirs thedead leaves and whistles through the branches.The Concert tude No.1 Waldesrauschen(Forest murmurs) (S145/R6) (1862/3) [Disc2 n ] is one of Liszts most successful descriptivepieces. Suggested by a poem of Carmen SylvaCaricatures of Franz Liszt

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  • (pen name of Queen Elizabeth of Romania) it bristles with technical difficulties. Exquisite in theplay of light and shade, and lovely in the suggestion of the various sounds of the forest this minia-ture tone poem remains one of Liszts most memorable works. The Concert tude No.2Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes) (S145/R6) (1862/3) [Disc 2 n ] is a sinister rondodemanding the utmost virtuosity. Liszts gnomes, cavorting by moonlight, are obviously inspiredby demonic forces. Although Liszt marks one section of the piece giocoso (joyous), this is nothumans laughing but rather monsters cackling. Throughout the piece there is supernatural mal-ice in the air and an atmosphere of alarm. At the end, the creatures scurry across the keyboard andaway, giving us a sense of relief that they are doing their dastardly deeds elsewhere! The ValseOublie No.1 (S215/R37) (1881) [Disc 2 n ] is one of Liszts last piano compositions. Accordingto Earl Wild: The elusive quality of this waltz is derived from an irresistible return to whatappears to be unanswered questions: the final bars are those of Liszt the visionary a glimpse into the impressionism of Debussy.

    No composer was as prolific in the art of transcription as Franz Liszt. If one were to play onlyLiszts paraphrases, reminiscences, transcriptions, free arrangements or improvisations, it wouldtake at least sixty hours non-stop! The imagination with which he imbued his pianistic excursionsfrom the realm of opera, in particular, show a composer who was keenly aware of dramatic effects,orchestral color and appropriate sonorities. The Spinning Song from The Flying Dutchman(S440/R273) (1860) [Disc 2 n ] is Liszts paraphrase of the Spinning Chorus from Act 2 ofWagners Romantic opera based on Heines legend. Driven by a gale, a phantom ship approachesthe shore. The ship of Van der Decken, who after trying vainly to sail the Cape of Good Hope,swore he would not give up, even if it meant his being condemned to sail the ocean for an Eternity.To punish his blasphemy, he is forced to live these very words in a phantom ship with a phantomcrew. The Dutchmans redemption will come to him through a womans true soul. Senta, thedaughter of Norwegian sea captain, Daland, is the chosen one. As Act 2 opens we are in a roomin Dalands home, where Senta and her women friends are spinning, singing, laughing, and chat-ting among themselves. They sing Wagners beautiful light tripping melody with its whirringaccompaniment .

    As musical material for the Rigoletto: Paraphrase de Concert (S434/R267) (1859) [Disc 2 n ]Liszt takes the famous Quartet from the final act of Giuseppe Verdis operatic masterpiece,Rigoletto. The libretto is taken from Victor Hugos play, Le Roi sAmuse. The Quartet, Bella figliadellamore (Fairest Daughter of the Graces) takes place at the Inn of Sparafucile (a hired assassin).The faithless Duke of Mantua is pledging his love to his latest fancy, Maddalena (the assassins

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  • sister). Outside, Gilda (daughter of Rigoletto) and her father (Rigoletto, hunchback jester to theDuke of Mantua) are witnesses to the latest treachery of the Duke. The music expresses the emo-tions of each character: the light love-making of the Duke, the coquetry of Maddalena, thevengeful wrath of Rigoletto, the outraged father, and the weeping disillusionment of Gilda, whosees for herself this evidence of faithlessness in the man for whom she has sacrificed all. The chro-matically colored transcription of Verdis Quartet is bracketed by an introduction and coda ofLiszts own design.

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)Tchaikovsky was most comfortable writing music for the ballet, opera, and symphony orches-

    tra. Although he composed for the piano extensively and throughout all of his creative life, thebulk of the music over one hundred pieces consists of collections of morceaux, mostlywaltzes, scherzi and other short pieces intended for the piano enthusiast performing in a familysalon. Tchaikovsky, even in the larger forms, was never completely at ease writing for the piano.This may be because he always considered himself a piano player rather than a pianist. Thedistinction is important, in that, for Tchaikovsky the piano was a means to an end an instru-ment to try out ideas, audition symphonic works on, or accompany the voice. If we were to judgehis piano music by the pieces on this recording, we would find the inherent charm and typicallyTchaikovskian melodic invention irresistible. The Scherzo la Russe in B-flat Major, Opus 1,No.1 (1867) [Disc 1 n ] was dedicated to Nikolai Rubinstein. In this piece Tchaikovsky uses afolk tune he heard often at his sisters estate in Kamenka, in the Kiev province. The melody evi-dently was a special favorite of his, for he had earlier arranged it for chorus and also used it in hisstudent work, the one-movement String Quartet in B flat two years earlier. Earl Wilds own tran-scription of Tchaikovskys Dance of the Four Swans (Pas de Quatre, Act 2) from Swan Lake,Opus 20 (1875/76) [Disc 1 n ] is a pure delight. Not to be mistaken for the Dance of the LittleSwans which occurs in Act 4 of the ballet, the Dance of the Four Swans takes place in Act 2,just prior to the Pas daction. Swan Lake is one of the greatest ballets of all time a Germanicfairy tale, in which Prince Siegfried woos Odette, Queen of the Swan Maidens. The Swan Maidensare swans only by day, being transformed back to their original state at night by the magicianRotbart, under whose spell they exist. Naturally, Siegfried has a hard time winning Odette awayfrom Rotbarts magic power, but at the end he finally succeeds.

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  • Ern Dohnnyi (1877-1960)Dohnnyi was for a long time Hungarys pre-

    eminent musical force. He was an internationallyacclaimed pianist, world renowned composer,and conductor of the Budapest PhilharmonicOrchestra for a quarter of a century, with whomhe performed more than one hundred programseach season. Dohnnyi championed youngercomposers, such as Bartk and Kodly, was thedirector of Hungarian Radio, concertized all overthe world promoting Hungarian music, andpresided over the Budapest Academy, where hetaught piano and composition for many years.From 1949 until his death in 1960, Dohnnyilived in the United States, thanks in great part tothe foresight and largess of Florida StateUniversity in Tallahassee, which provided himwith a faculty position in its music department.

    Dohnnyis musical career got off very auspi-ciously. His Op.1, the Piano Quintet No.1 in Cminor, was warmly praised by Johannes Brahms. In 1896, Dohnnyi was awarded the Kings Prizein composition by the Hungarian government. In 1899, his Piano Concerto No.1, Op.5, won thevon Blow (Bsendorfer) Prize in Vienna, beating more than sixty other competing compositions.In 1954, Ohio State University awarded Dohnnyi an honorary doctorate. In his waning years, hecomposed and performed much less. His last public recital was in Tallahassee in 1959. The SixConcert tudes, Opus 28 are bravura pieces for steel fingers and marathon stamina, from start tofinish there is no time to catch a breath. The tude de Concert No.6 in F minor (Capriccio),Opus 28, No.6 (1916) [Disc 1 n ], is the best known of the set, one of Dohnnyis most popularpiano solo compositions, and an enduring, favorite encore of virtuoso pianists everywhere. The ear-lier Capriccio in B minor, Opus 2, No.4 (1896/7) [Disc 2 n ] is dedicated To Elsa who laterbecame his first wife. It is a fiendishly difficult work. Marked Presto agitato, it also shows influencesof Brahms and is full of sardonic humor.

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    Ern Dohnnyi

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  • Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925)Moszkowski was equally distinguished as pianist and composer. His debut in Berlin at the age

    of 19 was sensational, prompting Franz Liszt to write admiringly of him. Highly influential as ateacher, Moszkowski taught at the Kullak Conservatory in Berlin and later in Paris. ManyAmericans flocked to Europe to study with him. Illustrious pianists such as Josef Hofmann wereamong his pupils. Although he was a gifted orchestrator, he is best remembered for his delightfulpiano compositions. The most often performed of these is tincelles (Sparks), Opus 36, No.6[Disc 1 n ]. It is a brilliant piece of descriptive writing, painting a musical picture of the rush ofbrilliant sparks up the chimney or rising in the heated air dont blink, or you will miss theiridescent play of color Moszkowski creates with his pianistic palette.

    Franz Schubert (1797-1828)Spontaneity is characteristic of all of Schuberts compositions. With him there were no sketch-

    es, no delay, no anxious period of preparation. It was as if his music literally sang itself into being,and once written down he seldom changed a note. Schubert loved the small ensemble, whether ofvoices or instruments. No composer has equaled him in writing for voices or in unusual and effec-tive combinations of voice and instruments. With Schubert, works for orchestra sang as well.Schumann speaks of the resemblance to the human voice in Schuberts orchestral works. Dvoraksaid, What is perhaps most characteristic about Schuberts symphonic works is the songlikemelody pervading them. But the magic of Schubert transcends any mere musical beauty. It lies inhis power to express in tones those varied emotions which make the whole world kin. This powerwas the secret of that circle of brilliant young Viennese who boasted their friendship for a poor,homely, inarticulate little schoolmaster; and it is the secret of a world circle of music lovers whotoday might well be called Schubertians. In the whole range of composers, wrote Sir GeorgeGrove, it may truly be said that no one is so dearly loved as he, no one has the happy power of socompletely attracting both the admiration and the affection of his hearers. To each one he is notonly a great musician, not only a great enchanter, but a dear personal friend.

    Piano four-hands was an especially popular and fashionable form of music making in theVienna of Schuberts time. Schubert wrote an exceptionally large number of pieces in this style thirty-two works in all ranging from marches and dances to sonatas. The Marche Militaire inD Major, Opus 51, No.1 (D.733) (1818) [Disc 1 n ] is certainly the most famous of Schubertspiano duets. It has been orchestrated for many combinations from kindergarten rhythm band tofull orchestra. Earl Wild plays this rousing march in a transcription by the celebrated piano virtu-

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  • oso Carl Tausig (1841-1871). Tausig studied withLiszt and made his public dbut in 1858. His lifeand career were tragically cut short when he diedof typhoid fever. Musicians and critics agreed thatTausig was almost Liszts equal in grandeur ofinterpretation and in technique.

    Eugen dAlbert (1864-1932)DAlbert was born in Scotland, of a French

    father and a German mother. He studied inLondon with Ernst Pauer and with Sir ArthurSullivan. The famed conductor, Hans Richterintroduced dAlbert to Franz Liszt, and soon afterhe became one of Liszts favorite pupils. DAlbertbecame in every way intensely German, evenchanging his first name to the German spelling.He composed in every genre, including twentyoperas, of which Tiefland is the best and most-often performed. Eugen dAlbert was consideredat the turn of this century to be the greatest pianist since Liszt, and the successor to the Master. Allwho heard dAlbert were stunned and impressed by his musical power, grace, and beauty of tone.The Scherzo in F-sharp Major, Opus 16, No.2 (1898) [Disc 2 n ] is one of dAlberts most pop-ular piano compositions. A fiery work, requiring from the interpreter breathtaking accuracy anddigital whirlwind speed, it leaves the listener in a sweat.

    Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)A polonaise is a stately dance of Polish origin. Sir George Grove provided the following proba-

    ble origin of the polonaise: In 1573, Henry III of Anjou was elected to the Polish throne and inthe following year held a great reception at Cracow, at which the wives of the nobles marched inprocession, past the throne, to the sound of stately music. It is said that after this, whenever a for-eign prince was elected to the throne, the same ceremony was repeated, and that out of this customthe polonaise has gradually developed as the opening dance at court festivities. The Polonaise inA-flat Major, Opus 53 (1842) [Disc 2 n ] gives us Chopin in his most majestic and glorious.

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    Eugen dAlbert

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  • Legend has it, that Chopin, enfeebled with illness was feverishly composing, when suddenly heimagined that the walls of his room opened and there came riding in from the night a cavalcade ofarmored heroes and the ancient personages of his musical dream. So vivid was the hallucinationthat he fled from the room in terror and for several days could not be persuaded to return andresume work on this magnificent composition. Who knows whether the story is true or not, how-ever, the music is definitely one of Chopins greatest works.

    Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)Mendelssohn was born a year before Schumann and Chopin; but the path of his life was far too

    smooth for a romantic biography. He was one of the few celebrated composers who did not haveto struggle for a living. His grandfather was a philosopher, but his father was a banker; and it wasthe banker who made Mendelssohns life easy. From the philosopher, Mendelssohn inherited pierc-ing intellectual eyes. From the banker he acquired his quiet and assured manner of life.

    Mendelssohn was born in 1809 in Hamburg and died in 1847 in Leipzig. One scarcely realizesthat his life span was only three years longer than that of Mozart. As a youth, this composer had everyeducational advantage that a city like Berlin could offer. His instruction in music was superlative: hemastered the piano sufficiently to appear in public at the age of nine; he was an accomplished vio-linist; his early compositions furnished a large part of the program at the musical evenings at theMendelssohn home. At the age of seventeen, young Felix composed the Overture to A MidsummerNights Dream (1826). Between 1827 and 1835, Mendelssohns activity took him from city to cityon the Continent and in England. In 1829 he conducted the first performance, after Bachs death,of the great St. Matthew Passion. In 1835, Mendelssohn became the conductor of the GewandhausOrchestra in Leipzig, and eight years after that he helped to found the Leipzig Conservatory. WhenMendelssohn died in 1847, Germany mourned as if a king had died. After elaborate services inLeipzig, a special train carried the body to Berlin, stopping all through the night at different townswhere sad little groups, singing by torch light, bade farewell to a loved musician.

    Mendelssohn composed the Songs Without Words over a period of two decades, publishing themin eight sets. The Song Without Words in C Major (Spinning Song), Opus 67, No.4 (1845)[Disc 2 n ] is one of Mendelssohns happiest creation. Sigismund Stojowski calls it daintily viva-cious. It is a poetic picture of a maid at her spinning wheel, singing while she spins, a wistful lit-tle song, half humming it at times so that it seems to be a part of the whirring song of the spinningwheel itself.

    Notes by Marina and Victor Ledin, 1999

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  • Earl Wild

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  • Earl Wild

    Earl Wild is a pianist in the grand Romantic tradition. His legendary career, so distinguished andlong, has continued for over 70 years. Born in 1915, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Earl Wilds tech-nical accomplishments are often likened to what those of Liszt himself must have had. Born withabsolute pitch he started playing the piano at three. Having studied with great pianists such as EgonPetri, his lineage can be traced back to Scharwenka, Busoni, Ravel, dAlbert and Liszt himself.

    Earl Wilds career is dotted with musical legends. As a young pianist he was soloist with ArturoToscanini and the NBC Symphony. Since then he has performed with virtually every major con-ductor and symphony orchestra in the world. Rachmaninov was an important idol in his life. Itsbeen said of Earl Wild, Hes the incarnation of Rachmaninov, Lhevinne and Rosenthal rolled intoone! In 1986 after hearing him play three sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts, devoted to Liszt, hon-oring the centenary of that composers death, one critic said, I find it impossible to believe that heplayed those millions of notes with 70-year-old fingers, so fresh-sounding and precise were they.Perhaps he has a worn-out set up in his attic, a la Oscar Wildes Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Hes one of the few American pianists to have achieved international and domestic celebrity. Hehas performed for six Presidents of the United States, and in 1939, was the first classical pianist togive a recital on the new medium of Television. At fourteen he was performing in the PittsburghSymphony with Otto Klemperer as well as working at radio station KDKA, where he played manyof his own compositions. As a virtuoso pianist, composer, transcriber, conductor, editor andteacher, Mr. Wild continues in the style of the legendary great artists of the past.

    This eminent pianist has built an extensive repertoire over the years, which includes both thestandard and modern literature. He has become world renown in particular for his brilliant perfor-mances of the virtuoso Romantic works. Today at 83, Mr. Wild continues to record and performconcerts throughout the world. In 1997, he won a Grammy Award for his disc, The RomanticMaster thirteen piano transcriptions (nine of his own). When he was 79, he recorded a wellreceived Beethoven disc which included the very difficult Hammerklavier Sonata, as well as a discof Rachmaninov Preludes. As an Ivory Classics artist, his immediate plans are to record three 20thcentury piano sonatas by well known composers as well as a sonata of his own.

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  • To place an order or to be included on mailing list:Ivory Classics P.O. Box 341068 Columbus, Ohio 43234-1068

    Phone: 888-40-IVORY or 614-761-8709 Fax: [email protected] Website: http://www.IvoryClassics.com

    Credits

    Disc One: Tracks n and n recorded on November 18, 1963 in New York City (ADD)Track n recorded in 1966 in New York City (ADD)

    Tracks n and n recorded in 1976 in New York City (ADD)Tracks n and n recorded in April 1967 in London (ADD)

    Track n recorded on October 3, 1978 in New York City (ADD)Track n recorded in April 1968 in London (ADD)

    Tracks n and n recorded in December 1985 in New York City (DDD)

    Disc Two: Track n recorded on June 9, 1969 in New York City (ADD)Tracks n n n n n n n n n n and n recorded in December 1985

    in New York City (DDD)Tracks n and n recorded in April 1967 in London (ADD)

    Track n recorded on October 14, 1964 in New York City (ADD)Track n recorded on October 3, 1978 in New York City (ADD)

    Track n recorded in April 1968 in London (ADD)

    Disc One Tracks n n n n n n n n and Disc Two Tracks n n n nunder license from Readers Digest Music, A Division of Readers Digest Association, Inc.

    Remastering Producer: Michael Rolland DavisHigh resolution digital remastering:

    Ed Thompson and Glenn Meadows at Masterfonics, NashvilleSpecial thanks to the Michael Palm Foundation

    Liner Notes: Marina and Victor Ledin Design: Communication GraphicsCover Photo: Earl Wild, 1997, by James Salzano Inside Tray Photo: Earl Wild, 1974

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  • DISC 1Liszt: Grand Galop Chromatique 3:53Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 9:29Tchaikovsky/Wild: Swan Lake Pas de Quatre 1:26Dohnnyi: Capriccio in F minor, Op.28, No.6 2:30Liszt: Mephisto Waltz No.1 10:23Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No.4 4:55Moszkowski: tincelles, Opus 36, No.6 2:34Tchaikovsky: Scherzo la Russe, Opus 1, No.1 5:15Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No.12 9:48Schubert/Tausig: Marche Militaire, Op.51, No.1 5:13Liszt: Polonaise No.2 in E Major (Busoni Coda) 9:00

    Total Playing Time: 65:13

    DISC 2dAlbert: Scherzo in F sharp Major, Opus 16, No.2 4:55Schumann/Liszt: Frhlingsnacht (Spring Night) 2:41Paganini/Liszt: tude No.3 (La Campanella) 4:41Paganini/Liszt: tude No.2 (La Capricciosa) 4:32Paganini/Liszt: tude No.5 (La Chasse) 2:44Chopin: Polonaise in A flat Major, Opus 53 6:13Liszt: Transcendental Etude No.10 in F minor 4:41Mendelssohn: Spinning Song, Opus 67, No.4 1:42Liszt: tude in F minor (La Leggierezza) 4:51Liszt: Transcendental tude No.2 in A minor 2:21Wagner/Liszt: Spinning Song

    (The Flying Dutchman) 5:43Verdi/Liszt: Rigoletto Paraphrase 6:55Liszt: Valse Oublie No.1 2:50Liszt: Gnomenreigen (Dance of the Gnomes) 2:49Liszt: Transcendental tude No.7 (Eroica) 4:07Liszt: Waldesrauschen (Forest murmurs) 3:52Dohnnyi: Capriccio in B minor, Opus 2, No.4 6:00

    Total Playing Time: 72:53

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    Remastering Producer: Michael Rolland DavisRemastering Engineer: Ed Thompson

    1999 Ivory Classics All Rights Reserved.Ivory Classics P.O. Box 341068

    Columbus, Ohio 43234-1068 U.S.A. Phone: 888-40-IVORY or 614-761-8709 Fax: [email protected] Website: www.IvoryClassics.com

    2 CD Set64405-70901 STEREO

    LISZT TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI CHOPINDOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DALBERT

    The Virtuosity of Earl Wild

    Tracks Disc 1 ( n n n n n n n n )and Disc 2 ( n n n n ) under licensefrom Readers Digest Music, A Division ofThe Readers Digest Association, Inc.

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    The Virtuosity of Earl WildLISZT TCHAIKOVSKY MOSZKOWSKI CHOPIN

    DOHNNYI MENDELSSOHN DALBERT