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Robert Xavier Rodríguez

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Piñata (for orchestra) (1991)
G Schirmer Inc
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
5 Minutes

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Score Score

Programme Note
Robert Xavier Rodríguez Piñata (for orchestra) (1991)
Related works:
   Piñata (for wind ensemble)

Composer note:

A short, festive crowd-pleaser, Piñata — Concert Overture for Orchestra, blends Mexican folk music, samba rhythms, contemporary symphonic techniques, and American jazz. The score includes quotations of two actual Mexican piñata songs, Hora y fuego and En las noches de posadas, which are traditionally sung at fiestas, such as birthdays or at Christmas time.

After a bustling introduction, the music graphically depicts the swaying piñata, a brightly decorated clay pot filled with candy suspended on a string (in this case, two solo violins). As the excitement builds, there is a series of mighty orchestral whacks at the piñata, which eventually breaks open in a triumphant coda. The work may be presented in concert form or as a ballet.

— Robert X. Rodríguez
Jointly commissioned by the El Paso Symphony and the Dallas Symphony, Piñata is regularly performed on subscription, youth, and family concerts across the United States.

  • Ensemble
    San Antonio Symphony
    Christopher Wilkins
    Alamo Classics:
...the blockbuster of the concert, a kaleidoscope of color, rhythms, textures and dynamics, it elaborated on the hi-jinks of breaking a piñata. There [were] hints of Leonard Bernstein's jazzy show tunes, Latin Syncopation, massed brass, a riot of percussion with marimba, xylophone, blocks, bells, drums and a delicious violin duet in the strings that held the piñata. It left us wanting more.
Betty Ligon, El Paso Herald Post,1/1/0001
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