Remembering the great American pianist Earl Wild
The weekend brought news about Earl Wild, who died at the age of 94 Saturday in Palm Springs, where he lived with his partner of nearly 40 years, Michael Rolland Davis. Remarkably, Mr. Wild continued to perform into his 90s.
This extraordinary American pianist had a musical lineage that stretched right back to Liszt -- two of Mr. Wild's teachers studied with pupils of Liszt. And, like Liszt, Wild had a terrific, fearless technique. He could play just about anything, with exceptional technical skill, abundant tone coloring and musical taste. He also wrote his own transcriptions (another Lisztian trait).
The much-recorded pianist communicated not just the notes of a score, but the expressive essence of it and, perhaps above all else, the sheer joy of making music.
Mr. Wild was the last in a glorious line of keyboard virtuosos. He will be sorely missed. Here are a few souvenirs of his artistry: