Saturday, April 01, 2006

Security scare changes Condoleezza's concert

On Thursday I reported on the upcoming Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra's concert for US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The concert in Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall went ahead last night, but a last minute security scare stopped performers reaching the hall, and it looked as though the concert would have to be cancelled.

But in a dramatic eleventh hour development a piano student from the Royal Northern College of Music who was in the audience stepped in with a new programme. Instead of Bernstein and Elgar, Condoleezza Rice, the UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and their respective retinues were treated to a masterpiece by an American composer for solo piano that incorporates popular songs. The composer was Frederic Rzewski and the work, which received a standing ovation, was the hour long The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

Frederic Rzewski (left) is a pianist and composer whose early reputation was made by championing the avant-garde, and performing everything from Cage to Boulez. In the '70s his own compositions took a much more populist turn as his political beliefs drove him to find a more accessible language. His best known works are tonal, and use quotations from popular music. The People United Will Never Be Defeated! comprises 36 Variations on the Chilean protest song ¡El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido!

If you don't know Rzewski's work it is well worth exploring. Here is a 3'21" sample from the highly recommended Hyperion recording played by Marc André Hamelin -

For a full review of the Liverpool concert follow this link.

CDs featured in this article are available from Prelude Records. Audio sample from Hyperion. Image credits: Ms Rice - Moveleft.com, Rzewski - Sherpa.be. Image owners - if you do not want your picture used in this article please contact me and it will be removed. Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
If you enjoyed this post take An Overgrown Path to Size does matter

7 comments:

Daniel said...

Blimey! Is this true? Its a bit ironic. Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated! is a fantastic piece and the Hamelin recording is highly recommendable.

Pliable said...

And good to see Condoleezza Rice News running the story - with a link to Frederic Rzewski as well.

richard friedman said...

Oh, if only this were true. I could see the "retinue" stomping out in disgust .. or would they be forced to sit thru the whole thing ?

We can dream, can't we.

How many times have we daydreamed that we could put some world leader in a room, in chains, while we try to explain to them why they are such idiots!

Thanks for the day dream!

Pliable said...

'Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition' also enjoyed the article.

Daniel said...

D'oh!:D

Of course its April Fools !

Pliable said...

Daniel, thanks for being so good humoured about the spoof.

And I will admit I was fooled by the wonderful Borders Bookshops spoof on American Digest.

Pliable said...

And a very predictable visitor ...

wall3-pub.fda.gov ( Parklawn Computer Center / Dimes Hq )

Maryland, Gaithersburg, United States, 24 returning visits

Date Time WebPage
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