American Highways

When the revolution comes, they’ll be playing drums and singing in the streets. No pianos. When the revolution comes, won’t they throw the pianos out the window? Well, maybe not. Livingston finds political piano music of all styles for today’s show.

In this episode of American Highways, we find that classical music does have a role to play in political discourse, more than you would expect. Philip Glass and Charles Ives took stands on war and freedom, and Frederick Rzewski devotes his career to fighting social injustice – with music.

Theme Music:
Steve Reich. The Desert Music (1984):
First Movement (Fast).
Chorus of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Members of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Michael Tilson Thomas & William Carlos Williams.
Nonesuch Records 79101.
1. The Bad Plus. Super America.
The Bad Plus.
[EmArcy 0602527457581]
2. Donal Fox. Star Spangled Fractured.
Donal Fox, pianist.
[unpublished recording]
3. Philip Glass. Song #6 from Wichita Vortex Sutra.
The Philip Glass Ensemble
[Elektra Nonesuch 7559-79286-2]
4. Charles Ives. The Anti-Abolitionist Riots.
Roger Shields, pianist.
[VoxBox 3027]
5. Laurie Anderson. Night In Baghdad.
Laurie Anderson, vocals.
[Warner Brothers Records 9362 45534-2]
6. Frederick Rzewski. Coming Together.
Eighth Blackbird.
[Cedille CDR 90000 084]
7. Frederick Rzewski. Whose side are you on?
Frederick Rzewski.
[Vanguard Classics 08-9199-71]
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