A favorite composer/pianist of mine, Rzewski, is reviewed by the Boston Globe's Richard Dyer. Most interesting, at least to me, is his description of Rzewski at the piano. It's so how I've imagined it:
"He doesn't conform to the image of a concert artist, appearing onstage in a red shirt with his pens clipped to its breast pocket; his way of acknowledging applause is to scratch his ear. He made a point of welcoming latecomers (''let them in . . . but don't let them out," he quipped). He does not appear to be interested at all in the piano's historic ability to imitate other instruments, even a full orchestra, or the creamiest legato of an opera singer. Instead he revels in the piano's identity as the most complex and varied of all percussion instruments. Flights of finger-filigree lacework are not for him, but he is almost unrivaled in his range of attack, articulation, and dynamics, all propelled by a sense of rhythm as strong and flexible as a healthy spine. And while he is assaulting the keyboard, some of his music simultaneously requires him to pound patterns on the wooden parts of the instrument, grunt, moan, growl, shout words, whistle, even recite a nursery rhyme.
read the rest
Still hoping to see him perform live one day. Even more so after reading the above.
For those of you interested here's a link to the scores for some of his music courtesy the composer and Jenny Lin.