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Frederic Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated! (Takahashi, 1978)


“The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” is a piano composition composed in 1975 by Frederic Rzewski, a Polish-American composer and pianist.

Piano performed by Japanese composer and pianist Yūji Takahashi. This album was recorded in 1978 and was released by the ALM Records label of Kojima Rokuon.


“The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” is a set of 36 variations for solo piano. It is based on the theme from the Chilean revolutionary song “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!” (composed by Sergio Ortega and written by Quilapayún).

Though it is a composition of contemporary music which requires virtuoso technique to play, and it is pretty long (usually it takes over one hour, though this recording has about 58 minutes), it includes not only contemporary music techniques, such as pandiatonicism (using the diatonic scale without the limitations of tonality) and serialism, but also the elements of popular songs, Chilean folk music, the Romantics, and jazz, so it is relatively accessible and popular for a contemporary music composition.

It also includes the quotations of “Bandiera Rossa/Red Flag”, a song of the Italian labour movement, and “Solidaritätslied/Solidarity Song”, a song composed by Hanns Eisler and written by Bertolt Brecht.

Silent Tone Record/ジェフスキー:「不屈の民」変奏曲/高橋悠治/日コジマ録音:ALM 19/クラシックLP専門店サイレント・トーン・レコード