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Robert Xavier Rodríguez

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Meta 4 (1994)
G Schirmer Inc
Small Ensemble (2-6 players)
Sub Category
String Quartet
Year Composed
17 Minutes
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Programme Note
Meta 4 was created with choreographer Bella Lewitzky and is intended for performance as either a ballet or as a concert piece. The title refers to the Greek prefix for "change" or "beyond" as in "metamorphosis" and "metaphysics." The music evolves from a florid Bach-like quasi-religious exaltation (I. Soliloquy and Canon) to a playful sonatina (II. Scherzo) to a lyrical intermezzo with a rhythmic, canonic trio (III. Arioso) and, finally, to a brilliant moto perpetuo finale (IV. Toccata).

Sample Pages

  • Albany:
  • Ensemble
    Amernet Quartet
    Chloe Trevor, violin; Jeff Lankov, piano
    Albany Records:
Transcendental music, brilliantly performed and recorded. Ignore it at your own peril.
William Zagorski, Fanfare ,01/09/2018
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 ,01/09/2018
…the piece which for me is the stunner is the 1994 string quartet Meta 4 (the composer obviously loves puns!). This piece fascinates me on several levels. First, its melodic material is florid, ornamented, and always singing. Second, the opening movement, which takes this melody from a cyclic unison section into increasingly rich counterpoint, is great structural drama. Third, the succeeding three movements are each a variation on that theme, giving the entire piece great cohesion. And finally, the music uses more repetition to enhance textures than might be the case for an earlier post-Impressionist composer; in other words, there is a fluid blend of post-minimalist with neo-Romantic technique.
Fanfare, ,01/01/0001
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