Two guest pianists were on hand with works written for them in 2020. Rzewski cultivated the reputation of a curmudgeon, but as Lisa Moore showed in “Amoramaro” and Ursula Oppens in “Friendship,” the composer lovingly captured feistiness in the former and profound strength and musicality in the latter. A longtime champion of Rzewski, Oppens made the classic first recording of “People United.”
“I don’t think there is a serious pianist around who hasn’t played Rzewski,” Moore said to the audience, describing her devotion to the composer. As a former pianist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, she was also well qualified to speak about the impact Andriessen had on contemporary music.
Part of a larger article/review by Mark Swed on six composers we’ve lost over the past 9 months: