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Press Reviews for Baroque

The violist Nadia Sirota is both a member of the industrious, always-fascinating yMusic and a one-woman contemporary-classical commissioning machine: Her first album, First Things First, brought together new works from indie-classical mainstays like Nico Muhly, Judd Greenstein, and Marcos Balter. Her follow-up, Baroque, includes an étude written for her by Muhly.

Usually, an étude is a functional piece, written to highlight a single isolated musical gesture in hopes of imprinting it forever into the player's muscle memory. The gesture for this étude is off-beat sforzandos (sudden, forceful attacks), and the result feels like a jig that has caught Tourette's syndrome. Muhly sets Sirota's sharp, startling attacks against a serenely murmuring church organ, evoking a sensation of clamminess in the midst of serenity. If you've ever sat through a religious service on six cups of coffee, smoothing your sweaty hands on your pants and wondering desperately when you might be able to escape to the bathroom, you might recognize the mood.

Pitchfork (March 19th 2013)

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