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This is a reissue from a 1996 Ivory Classics original. Earl Wild, better known for his pyrotechnics at the keyboard, plays on a sonorous Baldwin to deliver readings of real integrity which absolutely stand comparison with the finest in this repertoire (Pollini, Pires, Barenboim and Arrau perhaps top the list). The Nocturnes are not played in chronological order, but as a recital programme. The result is that the time flies by. Wild clearly sees drama as an intrinisic part of these pieces, yet he can sustain an intimate line (see Op 9 No 2). The E minor Nocturne (Op 72 No 1) is heady, almost Scriabinesque, while Wild finds what Hunecker described as the ‘troubled lyricism’ of Op 62 No 2 perfectly. Issued at super-budget price, this is a steal.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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