Stand with Ukraine: The People United Will Never Be Defeated
Pianist Amy Simpson performs “The People United Will Never Be Defeated”: variations on Sergio Ortega’s “¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!” by Frederic Rzewski (1938-2021) and Variations, Opus 41 by Nikolai Kapustin (1937-2020). Her introduction to the program can be watched here. The Chilean tune, ¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!”, was written as an anthem of solidarity for the Chilean people by composer Sergio Ortega in 1973. In 1975, Frederic Rzewski, a close friend of Ortega, composed a stunning set of 36 variations on the song. Using a myriad of styles, you will hear everything from counterpoint to pointillism to jazzy elements, including brief singing and an outward cry. In this performance of 24 selected variations, you will notice elements of persistence, militance, desperation, questioning, and glimmers of hope. As the variations continue, thematic material is revisited, sometimes in seemingly erratic ways, until the final variation incorporates elements from the entire work. “Two songs,” Rzewski wrote, “aside from the theme itself, appear at various points: the Italian revolutionary song ‘Bandiera Rossa,’ in reference to the Italian people who in the ’70s opened their doors to so many refugees from Chilean fascism, and Hanns Eisler’s antifascist tune ‘Solidaritätslied’.
“Nikolai Kapustin, born in eastern Ukraine, has given the world a wealth of written music in the jazz idiom that he loved most. May his Opus 41 Variations, along with Rzewski’s set, stand today as a testament to unifying forces for good, and to the bravery and strength of the people of Ukraine.
If you missed this performance, you can watch it at this link.
This recital is part of the ‘Stand with Ukraine’ series. All donations will go to Brother’s Brother Foundation – 100% of the donations go to help Ukraine & BBF doesn’t keep anything. On the BBF website Donation page, please specify “UKRAINE CONCERT FUND” in the drop box. https://brothersbrother.org/