Rzewski: 'The People United'
Frederic Rzewski's monumental piano solo, based on a Chilean worker's song (The People United will Never be Defeated), also quotes the Italian revolutionary song Bandiera Rossa, in referring to the Italians, who opened their doors to refugees from Chile, and to Hans Eisler's 1932 antifascist Solidaritätslied. Frederic Rzewski reminds us "that parallels to present threats exist in the past and that it is important to learn from them." He also comments that "The extended length of the composition may be an allusion to the idea that the unification of the people is a long story and that nothing worth winning is acquired without effort." This is a new recording of one of the acknowledged masterpieces of 20th century piano music, performed by one of Denmark's leading virtuosi, Ole Kiilerich.
“Listening to Frederic Rzewski’s large scale piano solo piece is almost comparable to being witness to a few demonstrations of experimental physics. Ole Kiilerich manages to make the listener feel this song’s long and arduous history. He makes the listener realize for himself the potential that Frederic Rzewski saw within this simple melody. Ole Kiilerich reaches in and displays the impetus behind each note, within each idea. Something far too rare these days.” - Classical Music Sentinel“Kiilerich’s performance is right up there with Ralph van Raat’s magnificent verison on Naxos. Kiilerich has the full measure of this music under his fingertips. A good disc!” - Fanfare
“Kiilerich is a Danish pianist with the technical prowess to bring this work off magnificently. He lets the music thunder where necessary, but his approach is rather more introspective than most, and the lingering memory is of the persistent, overbearing optimism Rzewski’s music implies. This is one of the cornerstones of 20th century piano literature, worthy to stand alongside such other monumental sets of variations such as Bach’s ‘Goldberg’ and Beethoven’s ‘Diabelli.’” - The Buffalo News
36 Variations on the Chilean folk song El pueblo unido jamás será vencido.