Es bildet ein Talent sich in der Stille,
Sich ein Charakter in dem Strom der Welt.

(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Torquato Tasso)

I’m not into virtuoso music in general, but I have about ten recordings of this guy and I’m just floored by each one of them. His fireworks can get boring after a while, but his musical invention is unmatched. Everything gets a spin, rhythm, harmony, colour, dynamics, key changes, and it happens all so fast and spontaneously. If a piano could play itself, I’m sure this is what it would sound like.

I enjoy Erroll Garner’s playing even more than Art Tatum’s. Both were undeniably great. Garner was largely self-taught, could not read music, but could play incredibly fast and incredibly lyrically as well. Too bad young people don’t listen to and appreciate this stuff instead of that horrific, dehumanizing gangsta rap hip hop crap.

I almost forgot … R.I.P. Earl Wild, who died last week. Who now can be bothered to bang out all that Liszt? A sad loss.

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