Rachlin had a vast orchestral repertoire which also included an extensive number of contemporary works. But it was the list of over 85 operas that he could conduct from memory at a moment’s notice that was truly astounding.
He also translated many operas into English. Many of his English translations are still currently used worldwide, the most popular being ‘Angelique’ by Ibert, published by Heugel (Paris).
PIANO REVIEWS FROM CHILDHOOD TO YOUNG MAN
(*translated from the German)
Pianists! a prize for a poor pianist! There are only good ones! So much higher does the extraordinary stand out……. But there is an 11 year old boy, Ezra Rachlin from California who has an accuracy of technique, an infallibility of musical feeling, a natural intelligence of intonation and phrasing in Bach and Scarlatti that I ask myself how does the playing of this boy differ from the grown up artist? The natural instinct supplants all knowledge. how will it be when the developing stage is passed? For the present let us be happy with this phenomenon.
Adolf Weissmann 4 April 1928 Germany
*No, Ezra Rachlin is not a wonderchild – so much the better for him. But a remarkably noticeable musical child with an equally remarkable pianistic talent. His playing is free from all nervous restlessness, every affectation, astonishing quick and accurate sure does he change to the various formations, art cultivated by proper training, yet which can only obey a natural disposition so freely. Rhythmically the boy plays like a little “Dirigent”. A Phenomenon whose great promise we accompany along the road to fulfilment.
Vossissche Zeitung 5 April 1928
California Boy Acclaimed
Ezra Rachlin, an eleven year old boy from California, gave a piano recital with an extraordinary – even sensational success. As a child prodigy he must be compared with Jascha Heifetz. Nature has given him everything required for a great reproductive artist; he plays very difficult compositions with an astounding ease and correctness as well as with emotional intensity and a strong feeling for style.
Hugo Leichentritt Musical Courier May 17, 1928
*From California, land of film paradise, comes an 11 year old boy with knee breeches and bare knees but with characteristic artist’s head and gives us (thank God not with absolute ripeness) but with remarkable intuition, a piano evening entirely of the classics and romantics, alongside of Bach, Scarlatti and Beethoven, his program bears works of Chopin, Mendelssohn and Liszt – a task that would mean a great one for even the grown up concert performer.
*Ezra Rachlin, the name of the new wonder child, is a pupil of Professor Mayer Mahr, who would not have put out the child, had he not considered him ripe enough. In the rendition of complicated figurations, long drawn out scale passages, accelerated tempi, where flawless technique is demanded, he is especially at the top. He is also a master of a lightness of touch that shows to remarkable advantage, for example when he wants to bring out a theme in base octaves. Uncommonly impressive is the wholly earnest spirit, with which he gives of himself to his work, the plainly evident love for his art, two qualities that may accompany him for all time, since after all, he has still to work and to achieve ere the end will be gained.
Börsenzeitung 7 April 1928
*Astonishing how this 11 year old pianist magnetically holds the interest of his public at his piano recital at the Bechsteinsaal!
Ezra Rachlin is without a doubt the possessor of an extraordinary genuine and healthy musical talent which is in connection with his remarkable technique and sense of rhythm which makes his achievement especially noticeable. The Scarlatti sonatas were charmingly played; in the Beethoven G major Sonata his nuances, tone-colours and astonishing maturity of rendition was especially noteworthy. The Chopin Etudes brought the young artist ovations. We must watch with tense interest the further development of Ezra Rachlin.
Neue Zeit Berliner Morgenblatt 30 March 1928
RACHLIN IS HAILED IN PIANO RECITAL
Brilliance of Form, Color and Tone noted”
Headline in New York Times
Ezra Rachlin gave a recital that stamped him as one of the biggest talents to appear here in many a day. It is indeed a rarity for a young artist to play with the authority, sweep, brilliance and rightness of form, color and tone that he revealed. He should become one of our ranking virtuosos in the next few years.
New York Times
Ezra Rachlin demonstrated by his accomplishments that he must henceforth be numbered in the first rank of our younger pianists. One has seldom heard a performance in which the intricacies, mechanical and rhythmical, were conquered with such ease and brilliance. Nor were the purely musical aspects of the music neglected. This was a felicitous amalgam of virtuosity and innate musicality. The audience were justly enthusiastic.
Jerome D Bohm, New York Herald Tribune
Piano playing in many respects amazing was done by the recitalist. He has a wonderful pair of hands (especially the left) and he uses them with a fleetness and dexterity which have been surpassed in these regions only by those royal technicians of the Golden Era of pianism, Godowsky and Rosenthal. He played the complete two volumes of Brahms Variations and some of them were stupendous feats of virtuosity.”
Leonard Liebling, New York American
Rachlin exhibited uncommon pianistic gifts. Even in these days of phenomenal technique this young pianist has enough of it to burn. Nor is his technique one of superficial brilliance. His fingers engage the keys squarely and his passages and runs are so honestly achieved that they could bear the scrutiny of a slow motion camera. In addition, he brings to the keyboard strength and precision, a feeling for rhythm and a pleasant straightforward tone. Unpretentious masculinity characterises his playing as a whole.”
Samuel Chotzinoff, New York Post
Ezra Rachlin proved himself to be one of the finest conductors we have ever heard here!
Munchner Tageblatt, Munich Germany
The magnificent concert was enhanced by the deep impression made by the American conductor, Ezra Rachlin, who showed enormous insight, dynamic force and complete control over the orchestra. The audience stood up and cheered.
Heidelbertg Courier, Germany
He is a great conductor with a maturity and understanding not easily found. The orchestra outdid itself, playing with more beauty of tone and precision than for a long time.
B.Z. Am Mittag, Berlin Germany
Rachlin displayed great artistry in his conducting and was loudly acclaimed by the audience.
Copenhagen Nationaltidende, Denmark
Ezra Rachlin showed clearly last night that he is a man greatly gifted. The Liverpool Philharmonic played for him with zest.
The Telegraph, London
Conductor Ezra Rachlin and the BBC Orchestra filled the enormous Albert Hall with splendid sound. Rachlin again showed himself an uncommonly fine conductor.
Daily Express, London
His interpretations were concise, full of spirit, carried through with fine rhythmic urge.
Vancouver, BC Canada
Of all the guest conductors we have performed with this orchestra, Maestro Rachlin is the best we have ever had. (Figaro and Don Juan)
Universal Grafico, Mexico
His work was marvellous in the Figaro Overture. Great precision, comprehensive phrasing, meticulous attention to sound, and with it all a baton technique which leaves nothing to be desired.
Tempo, Mexico DF
Like Toscanini, he is an intensifier and vitaliser. He showed Beethoven in all his blazing creativeness.
Adelaide Advertiser, Australia
Ezra Rachlin is of that breed who can galvanise an orchestra and lift an audience out of its seat.
Adelaide News, Australiia
Never before has the orchestra achieved the heights of musical expression that it attained last night. It is obvious that Ezra Rachlin exercises a masterly dynamic control at all times.
The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
The first concert was outstanding (Bach, Brahms, Stravinksy) but the second has surpassed even that. Rachlin played the dual role of pianist and conductor in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 4 and always the maestro, appeared to conduct infallibly with at times only body movements and facial expression.
Daily Texan, Austin.
The finest performance of the evening where Mr Rachlin showed his quality as vivacious director and experienced co-ordinator was Hindemith’s “Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes by Weber”. This is a showpiece and the orchestra responded to the challenge with playing of great verve and delicacy, particularly admirable in the wind sections.
Martin Cooper, The Daily Telegraph, London
Hands down, Ezra Rachlin is a fine conductor!
Sydney Daily Telegraph