1 800 222 6872

Xiayin Wang plays the Piano Music of Wild & Gershwin

> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - Introduction -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - I. Jasbo Brown Blues -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - II. Summertime -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - III. Oh, I can't sit down -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - IV. My man's gone now -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - V. I got plenty o' nuttin' -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - VI. Buzzard song -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - VII. It ain't necessarily so -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - VIII. Bess, you is my woman now -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - IX. I loves you, Porgy - Bess, you is my woman now -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - X. There's a boat dat's leavin' soon for New York -
> Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess - XI. Oh Lawd, I'm on my way
> 7 Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin - No. 3. Liza
> 7 Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin - No. 5. Somebody Loves Me
> 7 Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin - No. 7. The Man I Love
> 7 Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin - No. 4. Embraceable You
> 7 Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin - No. 2. Oh, Lady, Be Good!
> 7 Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin - No. 1. I Got Rhythm
> 7 Virtuoso Etudes after Gershwin - No. 6. Fascinating Rhythm
> Improvisation in the form of a Theme and Variations on Gershwin's Someone to watch over me - Theme
> Improvisation in the form of a Theme and Variations on Gershwin's Someone to watch over me - Variation 1: Barcarole
> Improvisation in the form of a Theme and Variations on Gershwin's Someone to watch over me - Variation 2: Brazilian Dance
> Improvisation in the form of a Theme and Variations on Gershwin's Someone to watch over me - Variation 3: Tango
> Piano Sonata - I. March: Allegro
> Piano Sonata - II. Adagio
> Piano Sonata - III. Toccata (a la Ricky Martin)

Album Summary

>Wild, Earl [Piano] : Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess, for piano (after Gershwin)
>Wild, Earl [Piano] : Virtuoso Etudes (7) on Gershwin Songs, for piano
>Wild, Earl [Piano] : Improvisation in the Form of a Theme and Three Variations on "Someone to watch over me", for piano
>Wild, Earl [Piano] : Piano Sonata
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"She has clearly internalized the work’s essential spirit: the sections inspired by 20th-century classicism were hard-driven, sometimes with a steely edge, and the more rhythmically supple jazz passages put a spotlight on the relationship between jazz and contemporary classical approaches to dissonance. Take away the occasional blue note and you are in territory to which Bartok and Ravel had staked claims." -New York TImes

"Call me a heretic, but I generally prefer Wang's interpretation to the composer's. Her faster tempo and more agile dotted rhythms in the first movement better convey the music's marching urgency, while her fingerwork in the Ricky Martin-inspired Toccata finale is altogether lighter, more playful and sharply accented.” -Gramophone

"Every so often, a new CD seems to come spinning out of left field straight to the heart; Xiayin Wang's The Piano Music of Earl Wild is just such a disc." -NZ Herald

Earl Wild the legendary piano virtuoso who died in January 2010 aged 94 was fondly known as the Peter Pan of pianists on account of his amazing youthfulness and stamina. He will perhaps be best remembered for the great romantic blockbuster concertos that formed the centerpiece of his repertoire. Throughout his life, Wild composed a large quantity of music, from television scores to ballet music, and many piano transcriptions of other composers' works which he imbued with his own distinct voice. This CD comprises Earl Wild arrangements of well-known Gershwin tunes, as well as the Piano Sonata, an original composition dating from 2000, which carried strong imprints of jazz, blues, rag and American folk music, whilst still remaining firmly rooted in the classical form. The Grand Fantasy on 'Porgy and Bess' is of particular note exploring well-known songs in a free-flowing way. The works are performed by the young American pianist Xiayin Wang, who with her consummate technical brilliance and fine musicianship has already achieved a high level of recognition for her commanding performances.

"Wang plays not only with commendable dexterity but also much softness and affection...she is very persuasive and, moreover, is excellently recorded, with presence and fullness: a really top-notch piano sound." -International Record Review

All Music Guide - James Manheim
Trained in China and the U.S., Xiayin Wang is a rapidly rising star, having moved quickly from the small Marquis label to Naxos, and then onto a gorgeously engineered disc from Chandos, whose technicians do as spectacular a job at the recital-ideal American Academy of Arts and Letters as they do on home turf. Wang has not yet, as the old book by Laurence Peter had it, reached her level of incompetence; this album is breathtaking. Most of it is devoted to works by American pianist-composer Earl Wild that are based on music of Gershwin, and one of the few complaints one might make here is that the booklet notes say nothing about how a young recent immigrant happened to decide to record music that is not well known in America, to say nothing of China. There are three works in this vein, one elaborating a set of tunes from Porgy and Bess, one treating individual songs as what Wild calls Virtuoso Etudes, and one devoted to improvisations (really variations) on a single song, "Someone to Watch Over Me." They are all cut from the same cloth. Beginning with Gershwin's music reproduced straight, Wild created bone-crushingly virtuosic treatments that one might think of as technically idealized versions of the music in the Gershwin Song-Book. The basic thematic material is never far away, but every possible space is filled with counterpoint, arpeggios, and ornaments of every possible kind. Think of what would have happened if Busoni had become enamored of Gershwin, and then kick it up a notch.

Wang's control over this material is extraordinary, and the raw power of this slight young woman at the keyboard is not to be believed; check out the string-shattering accents in the finale of the Grand Fantasy on "Porgy and Bess" (track 12), or in many of the Virtuoso Etudes. Wild was a formidable interpreter of most of this music himself (he never performed the Improvisation on "Someone to Watch Over Me"), but it may be that in places Wang outdoes the performances he recorded toward the end of his long life. Wild remained active as a composer himself, and a nice bonus here is the inclusion of the more strictly jazz-influenced Piano Sonata he wrote at the age of 85. A total crowd-pleaser, an extraordinary major-label debut, and an absolute tour de force.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/24/2010-06/25/2010).



Reviews

There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review
 

Also Purchased



Previous


Next


Works Details

>Wild, Earl [Piano] : Grand Fantasy on Porgy and Bess, for piano (after Gershwin)
  • Performer: Xiayin Wang (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/24/2010-06/25/2010)
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1973

>Wild, Earl [Piano] : Virtuoso Etudes (7) on Gershwin Songs, for piano
  • Performer: Xiayin Wang (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/24/2010-06/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1973

>Wild, Earl [Piano] : Improvisation in the Form of a Theme and Three Variations on "Someone to watch over me", for piano
  • Performer: Xiayin Wang (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/24/2010-06/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1989

>Wild, Earl [Piano] : Piano Sonata
  • Performer: Xiayin Wang (Piano)
  • Notes: American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City (06/24/2010-06/25/2010)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2000