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Rzewski Plays Rzewski: Piano Works, 1975-1999

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    Emerging in the 1960s with the improv collective Music Elettronica Viva, expatriate American composer Frederic Rzewski has spent his entire career apart from what he has described as the “elitist contemporary music establishment,” and has established his own unique compositional style in which improvisation and composition are inextricably linked.

    Nonesuch Records celebrates Rzewski’s distinctive body of work with the release of a 7-CD, 25-year retrospective of the composer’s piano-based work, Rzewski Plays Rzewski: Piano Works 1975-1999, on September 24, 2002. The discs feature all new recordings performed by the composer of such classic works as The People United Will Never Be Defeated! and De Profundis, a dramatic work incorporating the Oscar Wilde letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, spoken by the pianist. Also included are Mayn Yingele, inspired by the verse of Morris Rosenfeld, poet of the New York sweatshops; the Piano Sonata, with variations on “L’Homme Armé”; the Fantasia; and four of eight parts of The Road, a seven-hour work he has been assembling since 1995, conceptualized as being “like an epic Russian novel in the tradition of Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky.”

    He was a student of Charles Mackey in the 1950s; at Harvard and Princeton he met valued kindred spirits such as Christian Wolff and David Behrman. Moving to Rome with a Fullbright Scholarship in 1960, he found his unique voice, felt freed from academia, and he settled there to create his own brand of provocative music. Rzewski currently resides in Brussels, where he has been Professor of Composition at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège, Belgium, since 1977.

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Frederic Rzewski, piano

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced and edited by Marc-Henri Cykiert
    Recorded March 1998-March 2001 at Odéon 120/The Right Place, Brussels
    Sound Engineer: Michaël W. Huon
    Piano: Steinway D274 (Pianos Maene, Brussels)

    Design by John Gall
    Photography by Michael Wilson

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

on October 7, 2009 - 5:49pm
Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 24, 2002 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79623

Number of Discs in Set: 
7discs
Artist Name: 
Frederic Rzewski
genre: 
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597962321BUN
Price: 
0.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
603497079063
Price: 
40.00
Label: 
MP3
Description: 

Emerging in the 1960s with the improv collective Music Elettronica Viva, expatriate American composer Frederic Rzewski has spent his entire career apart from what he has described as the “elitist contemporary music establishment,” and has established his own unique compositional style in which improvisation and composition are inextricably linked.

Nonesuch Records celebrates Rzewski’s distinctive body of work with the release of a 7-CD, 25-year retrospective of the composer’s piano-based work, Rzewski Plays Rzewski: Piano Works 1975-1999, on September 24, 2002. The discs feature all new recordings performed by the composer of such classic works as The People United Will Never Be Defeated! and De Profundis, a dramatic work incorporating the Oscar Wilde letter to Lord Alfred Douglas, spoken by the pianist. Also included are Mayn Yingele, inspired by the verse of Morris Rosenfeld, poet of the New York sweatshops; the Piano Sonata, with variations on “L’Homme Armé”; the Fantasia; and four of eight parts of The Road, a seven-hour work he has been assembling since 1995, conceptualized as being “like an epic Russian novel in the tradition of Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky.”

He was a student of Charles Mackey in the 1950s; at Harvard and Princeton he met valued kindred spirits such as Christian Wolff and David Behrman. Moving to Rome with a Fullbright Scholarship in 1960, he found his unique voice, felt freed from academia, and he settled there to create his own brand of provocative music. Rzewski currently resides in Brussels, where he has been Professor of Composition at the Conservatoire Royal de Musique in Liège, Belgium, since 1977.

DescriptionExcerpt: 

This seven-CD retrospective celebrates 25 years of solo-piano compositions by American composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski, his provocative style, and marriage of composition with improvisation. The New York Times called his performances here “very much worth hearing,” saying “there is a brilliance here, a blinding intensity, that is thrilling in itself.”

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Frederic Rzewski, piano

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced and edited by Marc-Henri Cykiert
Recorded March 1998-March 2001 at Odéon 120/The Right Place, Brussels
Sound Engineer: Michaël W. Huon
Piano: Steinway D274 (Pianos Maene, Brussels)

Design by John Gall
Photography by Michael Wilson

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz