Earl Wild plays Rachmaninov Song Transcriptions
There aren't really many great pianists around who could vie with Earl Wild as an improviser and transcriber; these reworkings of Rachmaninov songs are brimming over with elegance and subtly blended harmonies. Perhaps he has slightly prettified the composer's style, with modulations sounding a little over-gratifying on the ear, but he retains the expressive character of the originals with directness. Nor is it only the sumptuous virtuosity of the bigger numbers that makes an impact—the shimmering waves that encircle The isle and the delicately twitching movements from On the death of a linnet are extraordinarily picturesque. A pity that the piano sound is unexceptional, with a restricted range of colour.'