Rachmaninoff • Gershwin (transcriptions by Earl Wild)

Rachmaninoff • Gershwin (transcriptions by Earl Wild)


John Wilson, piano

Release Date:

15th September 2023

Cat No:



£13.49 (1CD deluxe | 20 page booklet)



“Wilson invests himself in a style of great fluidity, with an engaged lyricism, which is adorned with emotional colours … he eloquently highlights the beauty and quality of inspiration … this is a very beautiful piano record, coherent in its development, daring in its connections … and effective in its committed production” – Crescendo

“Wilson is at one with the music and is definitely no slouch when it comes to technical ability” – American Record Guide

Wilson plays the socks off these pieces … [his] playing is impressive throughout” – Fanfare

John Wilson does an excellent job of presenting several of these rethinkings by Wild … [he] does so well is to probe the inherent musicality of Wild’s transcriptions and of the underlying Rachmaninoff material, so that these works come across as wholly satisfying” – Infodad

“This release is one that should be right up there on your audition list” – Classical Candour


If the second solo album by young American pianist John Wilson had a title, it might well be “Virtuoso,” for that description permeates John’s musical selections as well as his dynamic interpretations. John follows in the footsteps of previous pianistic giants Sergei Rachmaninoff, George Gershwin and Earl Wild, all of whom have contributions on this new release – indeed the pedigree of these composer-arranger-pianists runs through John’s musical DNA. One of the first pieces John learned was Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, the work with which Earl Wild made a spectacular debut with Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra, a live broadcast that made front page news. Wild’s renowned re-workings of Gershwin’s music for the stage is represented here by the Fantasy on ‘Porgy and Bess’, alongside Gershwin’s own Three Preludes for solo piano. Wild also turned his hand to solo piano arrangements of Rachmaninoff’s soulful songs which John feels a close affinity for thanks to his frequent collaborations with singers.

This follow-up to John’s acclaimed recent solo debut, Upon Further Reflection which features music of his mentor Michael Tilson Thomas, Aaron Copland and Earl Wild arrangements of George Gershwin songs, is a stellar showcase for a vibrant young musician with his star rapidly in the ascendent.


Songs transcribed for the piano by Earl Wild
1. Dreams Op. 38 No. 5 3.36
2. Floods of Spring Op. 14 No. 1 3.48
3. The Little Island Op. 14 No. 2 1.58
4. Midsummer Nights Op. 14 No. 5 3.36
5. O, Cease Thy Singing Op. 4 No .4 4.21
6. On the Death of a Linnet Op. 21 No. 8 4.59
7. Do Not Grieve Op. 14 No. 8 3.30

Three Preludes
8. I. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso 1.25
9. II. Andante con moto e poco rubato 3.45
10. III. Allegro ben ritmato e deciso 1.09

EARL WILD (1915–2010)
Fantasy on Porgy and Bess
based on the opera Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin
Introduction 0.12
12. Jasbo Brown Blues 1.37
13. Summertime 3.03
14. Oh, I Can’t Sit Down 1.28
15. My Man’s Gone Now 3.25
16. I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’ 2.34
17. Buzzard Song 2.02
18. It Ain’t Necessarily So 3.35
19. Bess, You Is My Woman 2.34
20. I Loves You, Porgy/Bess, You Is My Woman 2.01
21. There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon for New York 2.26
22. Oh Lawd, I’m on My Way 1.23

John Wilson, piano

Recorded: 17–19 August 2022, Soka University, Aliso Viejo, California
Publisher: Michael Rolland Davis Productions (Rachmaninoff–Wild; Gershwin–Wild)
Recording Producers: Elaine Martone, Sonarc Music, John Wilson | Assistant Producer: Irina Osetinskaya
Recording Engineer, Editing, Mixing & Mastering: Sergey Parfenov
Steinway Piano Technician: Kathy Smith

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