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The People United Will Never Be Defeated! by the left-wing composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski is a landmark in American piano literature. The work comprises 36 variations on a protest song of the same name by the Chilean composer Sergio Ortega. Almost every bar is laden with pianistic virtuosity, yet the listener is carried through some very complex music in a wholly natural way. The variations themselves all symbolize the different phases and aspects of a struggle: from angry, highly-energized modernism, via melancholic references to blues, calculated dense polyphony and nostalgic folk-music to written-out free jazz passages. Rzewski’s popular Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, written in 1979 as part of the set North American Ballads, forms a fitting counterpart.