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Second Hand, or Alone at Last, a collection of works for the left hand, is of primary interest here, given the examination of left hand repertoire in the present issue. Composed in 2005 when Rzewski was experiencing some pain in his right hand, the pieces require speculatular acrobatics. Rzewski wrote: ‘I found that my left hand was capable of executing all kinds of complex maneuvers, of which I was dimly aware, but to which I had never paid much attention.’ The sextet of studies were written for Robert Satterlee, who performs here with astonishing flexibility. Elsewhere, the Fantasia, loosely based on a work of the same title commissioned by Aki Takahashi in 1989, recalls the style of Charles Ives. De Profundis (1992) was written for ‘speaking pianist’ and requires the performer to hum, sing, whistle and deliver a dramatic reading taken from an essay by Oscar Wilde, written to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas during Wilde’s imprisonment. The work – which includes prepared piano elements – is unsettling, original and worth exploring. Satterlee has an enivable internal metronome.

CLAIRE JACKSON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing