Robert Xavier Rodríguez: Musical Theater Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR824     Release Date: 1999-01-01
Angelina Réaux, soprano; Rafael Alvarez, tenor; Voices of Change; Maria Schleuning, violin; Barbara Hustis, viola; Peter Steffens, cello; Dwight Shambley, bass; Harvey, Boatwright, flute; Ross Powell, clarinet; John Holt, trumpet; Ron Wilson, trombone; Mary Medrick, accordion; Jo Boatright, piano; Deborah Mashburn, percussion; Robert Xavier Rodríguez, Conductor

Founded in 1974, Voices Of Change is one of the best known and well-established new music ensembles in the United States. The group has championed twentieth-century classics as well as works by living composers, including more than 40 world premieres, of which more than half have been Voices of Change commissions. A half dozen of those premières and commissions have been compositions by Robert Xavier Rodriguez, including Tango, which is recorded here for the first time. Rodriguez has worked closely with Voices of Change since 1975, when he joined the faculty at University of Texas at Dallas. The collaboration has been fruitful. During its first quarter-century, Voices of Change performed nearly two dozen Rodriguez works and recorded five of his pieces prior to the present recording. Voices of Change’s most recent CD on CRI, Voces Americanas, leads with Rodriguez’ Les Niais Amoureux for violin, clarinet, cello and piano. The recording, which features works by four other Hispanic composers, received a Grammy nomination in 1999 for best performance by a small ensemble.

The present recording brings together two theatrically-based chamber works by Rodriguez, who has a strong interest in opera. Opera may not initially seem like the logical forum for a chamber ensemble. Opera can be an intimate musical genre, however, and that is the premise on which Voices of Change has based its occasional forays into the world of musical drama. These have comprised staged performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King and Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot, both mono-dramas for voice and chamber ensemble that were conceived as song cycles, but lent themselves to full dramatization as quasi-chamber operas.

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Voices of Change

Robert Xavier Rodríguez: Musical Theater Works

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Tango: I. News clippings, 1913-14
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Tango: II. Letters and sermons of clerics in Italy and The U.S., 1913-14
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Tango: III. News clippings, 1914
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