Coviello Music Productions is proud to present the world premiere recording of Frederic Rzewski’s Songs of Insurrection (2016) with Los Angeles based pianist/composer Thomas Kotcheff. Thomas’ playing is a founding member of the piano duo HOCKET who are currently a Piano Spheres core artist. Songs of Insurrection is a timely, personal, and virtuosic meditation on protests across human cultures and histories. Each of the seven movements takes up a protest song from a particular time and place, upon which Rzewski composes variations, often inviting the pianist to conclude the movement with their own improvation (which Thomas does on movements 1, 3, 4 and 5):
- Die Moorsoldaten (Germany)
- Katyusha (Russia)
- Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around (USA)
- Foggy Dew (Ireland)
- Grândola, Vila Morena (Portugal)
- Los Cuatro Generales (Spain)
- Oh Bird, Oh Bird, Oh Roller (Korea)
This CD was reviewed by Frederic Rzewski before its release, and he commented:
Thank you so much for sending me this. It’s superb…I love your improvisations!
The album artwork was created in collaboration with the photographers Chaz Niell, Julien James, and J Pinder. Chaz Niell and Julien James are both high-profile arts and culture photographers based in Washington, D.C. and J Pinder is a filmmaker and photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. All three artists documented the Black Lives Matter protests in their respective cities for the album artwork.
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Liner notes and essays were written by Zak Cheney-Rice, Kristi Brown-Montesano, and Ted Hearne. Zak Cheney-Rice is a features writer for New York Magazine and reports on race, politics, and the criminal justice system, Kristi Brown-Montesano is the chair of the musicology department at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA, and Ted Hearne is a composer, singer, and recording artist “known for his topical, politically sharp-edged works.” (New York Times)