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#2111286 - 07/02/13 12:32 AM Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated!  
Joined: May 2001
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Brendan Online content
Brendan  Online Content


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,586
McAllen, TX
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...

This is on my recital program for the coming season (along with Bach's Aria Variata and a new variation set that a friend is writing for me). I've always wanted to learn this but was intimidated by its length, difficulty, and the possibility that it would take forever to get into my fingers. After beginning to work on it seriously in March, I was happily surprised to discover that it's actually quite pianistic - most of the figuration is repetitive and pretty much everything can be overcome by some good ol' slow practice.

That being said, this is my "work in progress" version. The first public outing is in October, so there's still time to work a few things out.

It's a really, really amazing piece - enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54f_dvBaDd4&feature=youtu.be


The "mad" emoticon represents the overall mood of the piece smile

#2111408 - 07/02/13 07:42 AM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
Joined: Jun 2005
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CanCakmur Offline
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CanCakmur  Offline
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Weimar, Germany

I didn't listen all of them yet but BRAVO.

Rzewski is so special for me, and let this piece goes to support all emancipatory (for peace, freedom, liberty and fraternity) resistance movements against oppression and violance in the world, and especially in my country (Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul Turkey).

Thanks for sharing.



"Schubert's music brings tears to our eyes, without any questioning of the soul: this is how stark and real is the way that the music strikes us."
Adorno
#2111488 - 07/02/13 10:41 AM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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Wow!!! That's pretty awesome! Thanks a ton for sharing. smile

#2111517 - 07/02/13 11:22 AM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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pianoloverus Online content
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Your performance is quite thrilling both in terms of your playing and obvious involvement with the music.

#2111630 - 07/02/13 02:21 PM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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Hakki Offline
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Bravo ! Especially for such an undertaking.

Thanks for sharing.

#2112154 - 07/03/13 11:46 AM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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pianoloverus Online content
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pianoloverus  Online Content
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Brendan: Can you comment a bit on how studying a contemporary work by a composer who is also a terrific pianist and who has also recorded the work is different from learning a piece without all those conditions present? To me this is kind of like studying a Liszt piece where one has access to a recording of the piece by Liszt.

#2112227 - 07/03/13 02:17 PM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Brendan Online content
Brendan  Online Content


Joined: May 2001
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McAllen, TX
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
To me this is kind of like studying a Liszt piece where one has access to a recording of the piece by Liszt.


Indeed. I have the DVD of him playing it at the Miami Piano Festival; it's interesting to hear how different his take on it is vs. Oppens, Hamelin, and Drury (most notably in tempi, he lets everything breathe a little more). He really brings out the improvisatory nature of the piece without losing sight of the form. While it might not be as clean as some other interpretations, I still find it incredibly powerful.

The real gem is his improvisation. The more I play the piece, I feel that it needs a cadenza/improv before the recap of the theme.

#2113019 - 07/04/13 10:40 PM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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Kuanpiano Offline
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Canada
You know it's good when datruzepp is the first one to post a comment :P

Awesome playing!


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

#2113047 - 07/05/13 12:26 AM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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Nikolas Offline
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UK
The recap of the theme in the end was so brilliant! It had (I think) an extra romantic feeling there, which wasn't there in the beginning and that made it even better!

And I'm surprised that after 54:40 minutes of performing this beast, you actually had enough energy to stand up and close the video! Kudos! grin

EDIT: Just noticed McAllen, TX. Is that close to Arlington? Cause I'm coming over on Monday (in a couple of days that is)...sorry for derailing the thread a little!

EDITx2: Ok. It seems to be some 300 miles away? Or something... Oh well...

Last edited by Nikolas; 07/05/13 12:29 AM.
#2113226 - 07/05/13 12:31 PM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Kuanpiano]  
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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
You know it's good when datruzepp is the first one to post a comment :P


He is so hilarious, haha!!

#2113277 - 07/05/13 02:14 PM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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Calgary
What is that with Airturn and everything?! Very nicely done!


Bad spellers of the world untie!
#2113400 - 07/05/13 07:14 PM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: wower]  
Joined: May 2001
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Brendan Online content
Brendan  Online Content


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,586
McAllen, TX
Originally Posted by wower
What is that with Airturn and everything?! Very nicely done!


Sure is. It's been very useful so far - no complaints at all about the tablet/AirTurn combo!

#2113409 - 07/05/13 07:34 PM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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Helsinki, Finland
havent managed to listen the whole thing through, but the way it sounds so far you're doing great with this monster! makes me wanna learn some Rzewski.

#2113673 - 07/06/13 10:09 AM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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wower Offline
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Calgary
I came back for a second listen. I could really geek out over this video with you but will instead just say again very nicely done!


Bad spellers of the world untie!
#2115449 - 07/10/13 12:15 AM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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Arghhh Offline
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I enjoyed listening, and am looking forward to the next recording to hear how it's evolved (you will be posting others here?)

Originally Posted by Brendan

The "mad" emoticon represents the overall mood of the piece smile


Since I don't have the score, are there markings in the score that indicate anger, or is that your interpretation? My thought is that it would be more pride/defiant than mad, based on the lyrics of the song. Just curious...


#2116062 - 07/11/13 10:12 AM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
Joined: May 2001
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Brendan Online content
Brendan  Online Content


Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,586
McAllen, TX
There are a few markings in there that indicate anger and frustration: "like a cry"; "in a militant manner"; "relentless, uncompromising," etc. On the other hand, there is hope in some of the variations. Rzewski said that the point of the piece was for the pianist to "win" in the end after a long and bitter struggle, so merely getting through it seems to be accomplishment enough in some ways!

#2121620 - 07/22/13 06:15 PM Re: Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! [Re: Brendan]  
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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Hi, Brendan! Well, as promised, I listened to the entire work. It's not my first exposure to it, but it's been awhile. A few comments:

1 Your performance DID hold my interest throughout, which is really an accomplishment with a piece of this length. It's just a magnificent panorama of 20th century pianistic innovations and varying styles of expression.

2 In both Beethoven's Diabelli Variations and Rzewski's work, I've read commentary to the effect that the Themes themselves are trite and boring. Personally, I strongly disagree in both cases -- the Diabelli Theme is a sparkling "oompah" beer hall tune, and the Rzewski Theme is for me a very moving Chilean folk song. For me, this is quite important because I look forward to hearing it through all the ingenious transformations that Beethoven and Rzewski used.

3 I agree with your observation that Rzewski, like Chopin, just knows how to write for the piano -- a lot of his effects simply "work", and are brilliantly effective. Maybe I'll take a peek at the work he wrote for the Carnegie Hall Millennium compilation of solo piano works.


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