Piano music by
Frederic Rzewski -
'... a marvel of composition, enjoyable by anyone.'
The somewhat provocative title here is relevant: 'The people united' is one of those immensely powerful melodies which emerged from the desperate struggles between Right and Left in Southern America — most famously Argentina and Chile — during the 1970s and 80s. The song originated with the Chilean composer Sergio Ortega (1938-2003), sung by popular folk group Quilapayún, and expressed the determination of the common people not to knuckle under to the dictatorial, self-appointed military regimes which seized power, overthrowing legitimate governments such as that of Salvador Allende, with every intention of holding and clinging on to power for an indeterminate time.
Being a popular melody, it lends itself surprisingly effectively to a variation treatment. What Frederic Rzewski (born 1938) has done is to come up with a set of thirty-six keyboard variations, which can easily be likened to Bach's Goldberg Variations, or to give a later example, the Brahms variations on a theme by Handel...
Copyright © 24 June 2016