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Frederic Rzewski: Rzewski Plays Rzewski – Piano works 1975-1999

Frederic Rzewski, composer, experimenter, improviser and provocateur, calls the music found on his new seven-CD Nonesuch retrospective, Rzewski Plays Rzewski: Piano Works, 1975-1999, “traditional” music. This is a more radical statement than it might at first seem.

Most contemporary composers embrace movements that deny that classical music has a past. Serialism, neoromanticism and minimalism each in their own way aspire to sweep away what has come before rather than build upon it. Great works of centuries ago become sites for reference rather than springboards for invention. Occasionally, composers figure out how to reconcile their systems and their antecedents to create something brilliant; too often, they do not, creating music related to nothing, including its audience.

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