© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Three New Releases Make Perfect Stocking Stuffers

New Music is a great gift!

John Clare has been listening to a lot of new releases lately - these three recordings really stood out.

Robert Xavier Rodriguez might not be a new name for TPR listeners, he was composer in residence for the San Antonio Symphony years ago, and his operas are often produced in Austin, Houston and Dallas (besides in the world's opera houses.)

His latest releasespans music he wrote for the cello between 1979 and 2006. Husband and wife team Cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi and pianist Gloria Lin, who are both on the faculty at Texas Christian University, play with great sensitivity and fun!

Here is a selection from the new disc:

John also had a chance to talk with Robert about this new release.

One can truly be happy with pianist Jenny Lin and her Get Happy release now out from Steinway and Sons. The disk features arrangements by prominent pianists of "show tunes" ranging from Gershwin and Berlin, to Sondheim and Raskin. Arrangers include legendary pianists Earl Wild and Alexis Weissenberg to current virtuosos Marc-Andre Hamelin and Stephen Hough.

Jenny spoke to John about how "classical" this new release really is:

Pianist Jenny Lin talks about Get Happy

Composer Derek Bermel has composed works that draw from a rich variety of musical genres, including classical, jazz, pop, rock, blues, folk, and gospel. Bermel currently serves as artist-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and as creative advisor to the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He has received commissions from orchestras, ensembles, and soloists worldwide, and his many awards include the Rome Prize, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, and the Alpert Award in the Arts.

His latest recording features "Alarm Will Sound" in works Bermel wrote from 1996 to 2010. TPR listeners will recognize singer Timothy Jones on this release, as well as the poet Naomi Shihab Nye!

Bermel and John Clare had a good conversation about the new disc:

Canzonas Americanas is the focus with Derek Bermel

All three releases are delightful and will make your music lover happy!

John Clare is comfortable behind a microphone, streaming video or playing violin. A former broadcaster for NPR, John has previously worked with Voice of America, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and stations in Kansas, Nevada, California, and Pennsylvania.