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Thread: Exploring Contemporary Composers

  1. #121
    Tulse
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    Here are the red tunes that formed the basis of his work:

    Das Einheitsfrontlied




    Bandiera Rossa




    El pueblo unido




    The lyrics are mostly there. You can sing along if you wish.

    Viva la socialismo !

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  3. #122
    Senior Member PeterFromLA's Avatar
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    Listening now to Rzewski's newish Piano Concerto (2013), his first foray into the form.

    Last edited by PeterFromLA; Feb-06-2018 at 19:46.

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  5. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterFromLA View Post
    Last name is pronounched "Chevsky," in case anyone is wondering.

    Saw him play "The People United" variations, and perform the narrator role in the work, "Coming Together." He was wonderfully animated and impassioned in both. Ensemble was the SF Contemporary Music Players. I recommend also Coming Together's pendant, "Attica."

    Rzewski was a piano virtuoso in his own right. He gave many of the earliest performances of Stockhausen's Klavierstucken. He's an interesting figure in that he bridges Darmstadt era modernism and American minimalism. He was one of those Rome Fellows back in the 1950s, which seems to account for his European connections.

    The Dance Theater of Harlem recently staged Coming Together. It must have been something.
    Coming Together is an amazing work. I listened to the eight blackbird's recording. Tension and anticipation accumulate throughout the piece toward the terrifying culmination.

  6. #124
    Senior Member PeterFromLA's Avatar
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    After the Attica uprising (which resulted in the death of the man who wrote the text that was used in Coming Together), another inmate who actually survived the uprising, and was released from the prison, was asked by a New York Times' reporter, How does it feel to leave Attica behind you? His response constitutes the sole text for Rzewski's work, "Attica."

    The original recording features Rzewski on piano. Jon Gibson, alto sax. Composer Alvin Curran on synthesizer. Garrett List, trombone. Karl Berger, vibes. Joan Kalisch, viola. Richard Youngstein, bass. Steve Ben Israel, speaker. (The same ensemble is heard on the original recording of Coming Together, though with Curran on piccolo trumpet instead of synthesizer.) Here it is on youtube:



    A more recent performance, from Oklahoma! Rzewski himself apparently endorsed their effort.

    Last edited by PeterFromLA; Feb-10-2018 at 23:48.

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  8. #125
    Senior Member Melvin's Avatar
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    I've gotten a couple chances to listen to some Rzewski this week, though I've been busy. I'm well enjoying this music.

    "The Turtle and the Crane"
    I love this piece, it seems to paint such vivid images of a natural pond setting. The activities that are playing out in this remote and serene place, miles away from any human eyes.


    I also like the Scratch Symphony. It is soothing.

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  10. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterFromLA View Post
    After the Attica uprising (which resulted in the death of the man who wrote the text that was used in Coming Together), another inmate who actually survived the uprising, and was released from the prison, was asked by a New York Times' reporter, How does it feel to leave Attica behind you? His response constitutes the sole text for Rzewski's work, "Attica."

    The original recording features Rzewski on piano. Jon Gibson, alto sax. Composer Alvin Curran on synthesizer. Garrett List, trombone. Karl Berger, vibes. Joan Kalisch, viola. Richard Youngstein, bass. Steve Ben Israel, speaker. (The same ensemble is heard on the original recording of Coming Together, though with Curran on piccolo trumpet instead of synthesizer.) Here it is on youtube:
    Thanks for uploading that Peter. A powerful work. Reading wikipedia, the response of the US government and media is barely credible. Killing the protesters and torturing them is bad enough, but to randomly kill the hostages too is remarkable.

  11. #127
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    Here is the link to Coming Together. Also essential.



    "I think the combination of age and a greater coming together is responsible for the speed of the passing time. It's six months now, and I can tell you truthfully few periods in my life have passed so quickly. I am in excellent physical and emotional health. There are doubtless subtle surprises ahead, but I feel secure and ready. As lovers will contrast their emotions in times of crisis, so am I dealing with my environment. In the indifferent brutality, the incessant noise, the experimental chemistry of food, the ravings of lost hysterical men, I can act with clarity and meaning. I am deliberate, sometimes even calculating, seldom employing histrionics except as a test of the reactions of others. I read much, exercise, talk to guards and inmates, feeling for the inevitable direction of my life."

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  13. #128
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    Normally I dislike spoken words with music. I like the music of Copland's Lincoln Portrait, but I've never wanted to listen to it because of the spoken words. I heard Coming Together (or at least the beginning) awhile ago and dismissed it as another work with spoken words. Well, I listened to Coming Together several times in the past week and every time it grew on me. I now view it as a powerful work that I want to get. I also listened to Attica and enjoyed it. Maybe I'll be more open to other spoken works.

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  15. #129
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    I listened to Book VI of Rzewski's nanosonatas. He wrote 8 books totaling 56 nanosonatas. They're quite fun. They seem to simply end all of a sudden as though Rzewski thought, "OK that's enough."

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  17. #130
    Senior Member Melvin's Avatar
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    Just got a bunch of Rzewski CDs from the library. Now I remember that I've heard his "Pocket Symphonies" on the radio before.

  18. #131
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  19. #132
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    Rzewski is a member of a free improvisation ensemble called "Musica Elettronica Viva" (MEV) which was formed in Rome in the late '60s.
    Last edited by Melvin; Feb-16-2018 at 02:45.

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  21. #133
    Senior Member Melvin's Avatar
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    Finally I got a lot of good listening time in today.

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  23. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterFromLA View Post
    Listening now to Rzewski's newish Piano Concerto...
    Good choice of a fine modern American virtuoso. I saw him with Musica eletronica viva about 8-10 years ago. It was (is?) a three-man ensemble of Rzeswki, Richard Teitalbaum, and Alvin Curran (another Yalie and keyboard phenomenon). Very different from most of his own compositions, but well worth seeing. Teitalbaum and Curran played electronic instruments, but Rzewski played a Steinway concert grand. And boy, did he play it.

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  25. #135
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    Composer: Kalevi Aho (1949-)
    Last edited by mmsbls; Feb-18-2018 at 17:08.

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