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The People United Will Never Be Defeated! By the left-wing composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski is a landmark in American piano literature. The work comprises 36 variations on a protest song of the same name by the Chilean composer Sergio Ortega. Almost every bar is laden with pianistic virtuosity, yet the listener is carried through some very complex music in a wholly natural way. The variations themselves all symbolize the different phases and aspects of a struggle: from angry, highly-energized modernism, via melancholic references to blues, calculated dense polyphony and nostalgic folk-music to written-out free jazz passages.
Frederic Rzewski: The People United will never be Defeated
The People United will never be Defeated
Frederic Rzewski: 4 North American Ballads
4 North American Ballads: No. 4. Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues
“Here we have a budget-price contender from Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat, whose seasoned new-music credentials, virtuoso technique and natural affinity for Rzewski's multi-faceted keyboard-writing are evident in nearly every section.”
“Frederic Rzewski's sequence of 36 variations on the song by Chilean composer Sergio Ortega, was composed in 1975 for his own wonderful pianism. Ralph van Raat responds to these demands in impressive style. His delivery of Winsboro Cotton Mill Blues, too, legitimately links this eruptive piece to the driving toccata style of Prokofiev.”