A Walk on the Wild Side: A Memoir by Virtuoso Pianist Earl Wild

 
9780578074696: A Walk on the Wild Side: A Memoir by Virtuoso Pianist Earl Wild

A memoir by the esteemed American pianist Earl Wild who died in January of 2010 at the age of 94. He began working on this memoir in the 1970s - it has 886 pages and includes 19 interesting chapters, a complete recorded discography, over 200 photographs, several pages of interesting limericks and a 78 minute audio CD with never before released live performances as well as a personal interview with Earl Wild. An informative book that covers the beginning of early radio from the 1920s and 30s and the beginning of early television which began in the late 1930s by someone who was there and experienced it. It also covers almost all of the major musicians and composers in the 20th century. There is an in-depth master class chapter which explains the proper performing technique as well as chapters that deal with the art of improvisation, performing, composing (including piano transcriptions) and music criticism. The book is a major addition to the study of classical music along with personal anecdotes and amusing stories about the colorful and famous names of the 20th century told by one of the great pianists and wits of the century - Earl Wild. This book is a who's who of most of the important individuals and artists who lived in the 20th century. A must read by both musicians and non-musicians alike!

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About the Author:

Pianist Earl Wild died on January 23, 2010 at the age of 94. Since then he has been widely lamented as the last of the Romantic virtuosos. 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.

Review:

A Walk on the Wild Side Ivory Classics Foundation 886 pages, $45.95 plus postage (760) 327-5826 It took me a week to read this (I read about two hours a day). That is partly because it is a long book and partly because it is just so interesting - but also partly because I knew and liked Earl Wild and reading this was like having pleasant evenings together talking about music and musicians - like old times. It's not just 'and then I did this'. It is full of ideas as well as stories and gossip and memories. He says a great deal abut playing the piano, interpreting music, giving concerts, making recordings. For those chapters alone I recommend it. But above all I recommend it to you because this man was a great conversationalist and teacher as well as a great pianist. He is a good observer of life and sees its ridiculous side, rather than making pompous pronouncements from a lofty height. He is frank about how he rates other pianists (he hates all the same ones I do), but he isn't writing this to hit at them. He also talks about critics--there's a great deal about Harold Schonberg, for example, and of course Virgil Thomson--but he can talk about them without bile. I like all his ideas; we always did agree on everything musical. He hated the musical purists, from period-instrument sorts to people who think we should seek out the original versions of things and people who insist that we dare not change anything. 'Musicologists have frightened everyone into uniformity. There is no such thing as a great performance by an artist who observes only the composer's wishes; without the artist's personality and sound you have only bare bones. Music has to be an emotional event. Poetic musical interpretation has gone out of fashion.' 'When playing old music on the piano you should use everything the modern piano has to offer, including pedals. Music must have flow and should sound relaxed, not tense. Tone and elegance are essential. Classical music is not a visual art; the pianist should sit calmly at the keyboard and not grimace or shake his head or stare ecstatically at the ceiling.' He was not a teetotaler, but he never drank a thing before a performance. It would affect his memory and coordination. I have heard this from other pianists, but it's also true that some musicians were actually better with a drink or two under their belt. There is a CD with the book--about 77 minutes. It includes music by Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt and an interview. The interview is a bit unnecessary if you have read the book - it lasts 50 minutes. The pictures in this book (about 50 pages of them) are amazing. But everything about Earl Wild was amazing. Thanks to Michael Rolland Davis for seeing this thru to publication after Earl Wild died. Don Vroon, American Record Guide July/Aug. 2011 --American Record Guide July/Aug. 2011

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Earl Wild
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Earl Wild
Editore: Ivory Classics Foundation (2011)
ISBN 10: 0578074699 ISBN 13: 9780578074696
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(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Descrizione libro Ivory Classics Foundation, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0578074699

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