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Gershwin & Wild / Joanne Polk

Release Date: 09/15/2017
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30090
Composer:  Earl Wild Performer:  Joanne Polk Number of Discs: 1

Earl Wild’s Seven Virtuoso Etudes transform Gershwin’s simple popular songs into works that challenge the technical prowess of the best concert pianists without losing the underlying style of the originals. His Variations on “Someone to Watch Over Me” is a free pianistic realization of the tune, much the way that Liszt’s operatic “paraphrases” are free interpretations of vocal music popular in the mid-19th century, perhaps suggesting that the worlds of classical music and American popular song are not as far removed as we think. Wild’s Piano Sonata breathes the same pianistic air as the Gershwin transcriptions, where the influence of jazz and blues is everywhere apparent.

R E V I E W S:

"Two works by
Read more 20th-century American composer Earl Wild: the first, a set of variations on familiar themes of George Gershwin all transformed into lushly romantic and virtuosic études; the second a jazz-and-R&B-influenced original sonata...this is highly complex classical music that draws on influences from popular culture but in no way bows to them...Joanne Polk is a thrilling exponent of these works."

-- CDHotlist

"A new recording of any works of the underappreciated Wild is welcome, and from American pianist Joanne Polk you get much more than the minimum. First there is an easy familiarity with the jazz idiom that Wild exploits: sample The Man I Love, where real rhythmic flexibility shines through all the fireworks... Second is the presence of an original Wild work, the Sonata 2000... Finally, there is the consistently strong sound of the Steinway & Sons label...Recommended"

-- James Manheim, All Music Guide

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