Frederic Rzewski: No place to go but around

Lisa Moore

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Frederic Rzewski: No place to go but around Review

by James Manheim

Pianist Lisa Moore has recorded the music of Frederic Rzewski in the past, but this 2022 release, recorded not long after Rzewski's too-little-remarked death, makes a fine memorial to the composer. For one thing, it contains a work, Amoramaro, that was commissioned for Moore and turned out to be one of the last things he composed. Furthermore, the notes by Moore contain terrific material about her long creative relationship with Rzewski; for fans of the composer, and even for those new to him, they convey a great deal about the essence of his music. In general, Moore's playing is beautifully attuned to Rzewski's music, which has a kinship to minimalism in its use of repeated material but deploys it in such a way as to produce tension. This tension may, as in Coming Together (based on a fragment from a prison diary), be linked to social justice concerns but may equally easily be turned lyrical. On Coming Together and in the opening song setting of Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress, listeners get to hear Moore's voice, which is ideal, slightly deadpan but not inexpressive. She has the chops to handle Rzewski's eruptions of virtuosity as well. These are somewhat neglected Rzewski pieces; the substantial title work is probably the best known, but Moore makes a strong connection with each one, and this shows signs of being a Rzewski recording that will last.

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