Though music from south of the equator is not often found at the forefront of New York's music scene, Marilyn Nonken thrusts the sounds of Chile into the spotlight in this Cued Up on Q2. The program features Chilean-American composer Miguel Chuaqui's Blues en el Corazon and Frederic Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated! Never one to miss an opportunity to stir things up, Nonken's version of Rzewski's monstrous work includes a cadenza by jazz pianist and composer Ethan Iverson.
Rzewski's The People United Will Never Be Defeated! is a set of 36 variations on the Chilean song of the same title, composed by Sergio Ortega and Quilapayún. This work was originally written as a tribute to the struggle of the Chilean people against the opressive regime of General Augusto Pinochet's government. Teeming with nationalist references, it includes quotations from other nationalist songs like Italy's Bandiera Rossa and Brecht-Eisler's Solidarity Song, which was born out of the left-wing politics of the 1930s Weimar Republic.
Known for her passionate style, fitting for a recital of such emotional gravity, Marilyn Nonken has long been an admired champion of modern piano repertoire. She is the Director of Piano Studies at NYU and Artistic Director of the New Music groups Ensemble 21 and Elision. Firmly committed to forging strong collaborations with composers, she has worked closely with the likes of Milton Babbitt, Tristan Murail, Pascal Dusapin, Jason Eckhardt, and Drew Baker.
Hear excerpts and the complete, unedited performance from (Le) Poisson Rouge as originally recorded by Q2 or listen this Sunday, January 30 at 2 p.m. for host and pianist Conor Hanick's guided tour.