Above All, Women
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New chamber music from distinguished composer Robert Xavier Rodríguez.

Composer Robert Xavier Rodríguez has been hailed as "one of the major American composers of his generation." His music has been performed by organizations such as the New York City Opera, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Seattle, Houston Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Boston, and Chicago Symphonies, among many others. His numerous awards include a Gugggenheim Fellowship and the Goddard Lieberson Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has served as composer-in-residence with the San Antonio Symphony and the Dallas Symphony. He is on the faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas and conducts its Musica Nova Ensemble. His sixth recording for Albany Records includes two works for string quartet and a work for violin and piano.
Contents:
Robert Xavier Rodríguez, composer
Above All, Women: Four Images of Gustav Klimt
Amernet Quartet

Robert Xavier Rodríguez, composer
Xochiquetzal
Chloé Trevor, violin; Jeff Lankov, piano

Robert Xavier Rodríguez, composer
Meta 4
Amernet Quartet

Review:
“At long last – Maestro Rodriguez
As an unabashedly heterosexual male, I found the title of this offering---Above all, Women---more than merely intriguing, and, as I perused the liner notes and saw how Robert Xavier Rodriguez has used Gustav Klimt’s haunting and vividly reproduced paintings of the female form as his musical jumping- off place, I was drawn ever further into this most satisfying confluence of visual and musical art. But before I continue in this vein, I must confess that though Texas-born (in 1946) Rodriguez has composed well over 100 works in every genre and has deservedly achieved critical acclaim, this disc has provided my very first exposure to his music…and I hope it won’t be my last… The string quartet, Above all, Women, was composed in 2016 and is the most recent offering on this disc.… The next piece, titled Xochiquetzal is a splendid piece for violin and piano, and my favorite on this release.… The disc concludes with “Meta 4” for string quartet. It was originally commissioned in 1993 as music for a ballet choreographed by Bella Lewitsky.… Transcendental music, brilliantly performed and recorded. Ignore it at your own peril.“ (William Zagorski, Fanfare)
“Not to be Missed
Texan composer Robert Xavier Rodríguez writes expressively and approachably. His music is satisfyingly complex, both texturally and emotionally. Albany has previously released a full disc of Rodríguez’ piano music, performed by Jeff Lankov… The first piece, Above, All, Women is subtitled “Four Images of Gustav Klimt.” The four Klimt paintings of women are helpfully reproduced in the booklet. The title comes from a Klimt postcard to his lover about his choice of subjects.… The Amermet Quartet realises the score brilliantly, and fervently.… To set up his harmonic space for his piece Xochiquetzal, Rodríguez utilizes pentatonics to invoke an imaginary folk world, while actually quoting an ancient Mayan dance song in the finale… The piece is heard here in the 2015 version for violin and piano (the original, 2014, score was for violin and percussion sextet: how fascinating it would have been to have the luxury of both).… Chloé Trevor’s violin line sinuous and seductive, while Jeff Lankov’s piano provides a subtle, mobile backdrop… This is a superb performance from both protagonists.… The title Meta 4 certainly appeals to this writer’s penchant for wordplay. This 1993 piece is scored for string quartet, returning us to the world of the Klimt pieces. Actually commissioned for a dance performance, Meta 4 uses the prefix “meta” as the catalyst. “Meta” means “change,” or “beyond,” and the work plays with the number four (four movements, four players, a four-note cell).… The recording throughout is top drawer; performances are, essentially, beyond criticism. Rodríguez is clearly a major voice; his music demands exploration.” (Colin Clarke, Fanfare)
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