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Rzewski: Piano Music / Robert Satterlee

Rzewski / Satterlee
Release Date: 03/25/2014 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559760  
Composer:  Frederic Rzewski
Performer:  Robert Satterlee
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Frederic Rzewski is one of the most influential figures in contemporary music. In the composer’s own words, for this second, 1999 version of Fantasia, “I…changed the music to obscure the tune, putting in lots of wrong notes and kind of stomping on and smudging everything.” Second Hand, or Alone at Last was written for Robert Satterlee, the left hand “executing the most spectacular acrobatics.” Described by the composer as “melodramatic oratorio” for speaking pianist, De Profundis is a startlingly original work which uses an Oscar Wilde text written during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol and requires the pianist to recite, sing, hum, whistle, use a Harpo horn, and hit his own body and the piano while playing a score of considerable variety Read more and drama. Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Fantasia for Piano by Frederic Rzewski
Performer:  Robert Satterlee (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1999; USA 
2. Second Hand, or Alone at Last by Frederic Rzewski
Performer:  Robert Satterlee (Piano)
Written: 2005 
3. De profundis by Frederic Rzewski
Performer:  Robert Satterlee (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; USA 

Sound Samples

Fantasia
Second Hand, or, Alone at Last: No. 1. -
Second Hand, or, Alone at Last: No. 2. -
Second Hand, or, Alone at Last: No. 3. -
Second Hand, or, Alone at Last: No. 4. -
Second Hand, or, Alone at Last: No. 5. -
Second Hand, or, Alone at Last: No. 6. -
De Profundis

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Unusual contemporary work from Frederic Rzewski June 30, 2014 By Warren Harris See All My Reviews "This disc consists of 3 different works by Frederic Rzewski – Fantasia, Second Hand (Six Novelettes for piano, left hand), and De Profundis (for Speaking Pianist). The first piece (Fantasia) is rather rhythmic, but is most definitely contemporary – almost Charles Ives like -- and does not leave the listener walking away with a particular hummable tune. The short liner notes indicate that the composer revised the piece ten years after its inception and “…changed the music to obscure the tune, putting in lots of wrong notes and kind of stomping on and smudging everything.” Enough said there. Much more satisfying are the Six Novelettes for piano left hand, which are essentially studies for the left hand alone. These are interesting exercises that push the pianist through melodic and rhythmic digital gymnastics, but are pleasing nonetheless. As for the last piece (De Profundis for Speaking Pianist), has an interesting premise – that being to bring forth eight sections of text by Oscar Wilde (written while Wilde was imprisoned for homosexual offences) and accompany them all manner of painful chords and percussive sounds. Unfortunately for me, the work itself descended into the realm of performance art and I found myself sufficiently distracted by the vocal and non-vocal histrionics such that I looked forward to the end of the work. The pianist, Robert Satterlee, chose difficult material to perform and record, which is laudable. And if this sort of contemporary sound is what you gravitate toward, then you might find something of value here. But if you are the cadre of listeners that finds themselves wondering when the noise is going to stop, then I would avoid this particular recording." Report Abuse
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