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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

San Antonio Native 'Bears' His Creative Soul In New Release

Robert Xavier Rodriguez combines cello music on new recording

The latest release of Robert Xavier Rodriguez on Albany Records spans several years, and includes all the cello and piano works, plus a work for solo cello.

"It's wonderful to have quality recordings out, you can show what a piece is supposed to sound like. It is, of course, always great to  have live performances, but I hope recordings will help generate more live performances of my music," says Rodriguez.

This release includes the husband and wife team of cellist Jesús Castro-Balbi and pianist Gloria Lin. They perform works written between 1979 and 2006: Tentado por la samba, MáscarasUrsaFavola I, and Lull-A-Bear.

"I called it Ursa because the double bass looks like a bear, it's a big brown bear. I decided to base it on the four seasons of what a baby bear goes through in his life: being born in the summer and learning to copy Mother. After summer comes fall, when the bears eat, they stuff themselves, so there is a lot of gobbling music. In the winter they sleep, so there is a Lull-A-Bear, which is what I call a Bear-ceuse. And finally there is spring, when they wake up and play!"

RXR references a work that SOLI Chamber Ensemblepremiered, "Musica, por un Tiempo," a few years ago. Here is their performance:

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.