Rzewski plays his magnum opus (Video)

Reading the news this AM was sobering and affecting. Scenes of brutality unfolding in Egypt’s struggle for democracy, and concurrent acts of bravery from protestors struggling for basic human rights, are replacing those of peaceful protest. It appears that the struggle for change in Egypt will be harder than many around the world had hoped. I’m reminded me of how fortunate I am to live in a country where I can speak freely, assemble peacefully, and have the right to vote. No matter how the crisis in Egypt ultimately is resolved, I earnestly wish that the same opportunities will be afforded to the Egyptian people.

In light of the recent events in the Middle East, my thoughts turned to politically engaged music. I couldn’t help but hear Frederic Rzewski’s imposing series of variations on The People Who are United Will Never Be Defeated, a Chilean song, as a piece that remains equally relevant today.

Here is an excerpt of the work, performed by the composer in 2007.

3 thoughts on “Rzewski plays his magnum opus (Video)

  1. I agree, this piece is amazing. It gives to that song “El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido” a permanent place in the piano repertoire.
    I just want to correct something about this anthem. It was not an anthem to solidarity of Chileans against Allende’s government. He was deposed by the Pinochet’s coup d’├ętat in the 70′s. President Allende died in that coup assessinated by the military. This song later became the Anthem of most struggles in Latin America against military dictatorships.

    The song still has relevance against totalitarian governments.

  2. In one newsclip from Cairo last night, I clearly heard the crowd chanting in the familiar cadence of “El pueblo unido.” Not only is the song still relevant, but it still actively functions as an expression of protest.

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