FREDERIC RZEWSKI: Night Crossing with Fisherman for two pianos (1994); Ludes, Book 1 (Nos. 1-12) (1990); Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues (1980), arr. for two pianos from work by same title (1979), No. 4 of North American Ballads; Ludes, Book 2 (Nos. 13-24) (1991). Total time: 67:18. (DDD) UPC # 0-17685-09882.
Buzz: Frederic Rzewski (b. 1938) is one of the seminal masters of contemporary American music. Although as a composer he has been active in live electronics and improvisation as well as large forms like his 1987/88 two-hour oratorio, The Triumph of Death, he has returned again and again to writing for the piano, and performing his own piano music. His coveted solo recordings of his own works include The People United, North American Ballads, and Squares (on hat ART) and Four Pieces on Vanguard. Continually expanding her repertoire of music from the classics to new commissions, Ursula Oppens has worked to create a better understanding of contemporary music. Rzewski and Oppens have been friends for two decades. Oppens received the 1979 Record World Award for her recording of Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. Her world premiere recording of Rzewski’s solo piano variations Mayn Yingele was featured on the Music & Arts recording Piano American II (CD-699, now incorporated in CD-862) in 1992; it received rave reviews in Time magazine, several major record journals and a special BBC program on new music
.“All art is politics, but all politics is not art” said George Orwell. Frederick Rzewski’s music manages to be both—by no means a common phenomenon in our politically correct age. Ursula Oppens is sensationally virtuosic, as always—a gift to contemporary music—and Rzewski is a formidable interpreter of his own works. For anyone interested in a relatively non-forbidding entrée into the avant-garde, these are attractive, adventurous recordings.” —Jack Sullivan, American Record Guide
“…a must have for Rzewski’s fans…” —Mike Silverton, Fanfare"