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Pekka Kuusisto, 'Shrink'

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Courtesy of the artist

Does the world really need yet another violin concerto? The answer is a resounding "yes" when it comes from the pen of Nico Muhly, the resourceful American composer, and the bow of Pekka Kuusisto, the charismatic Finnish fiddler. Titled Shrink, the luminous music actually compresses as it unfolds, at first obsessed with the interval of ninths and later slimming down to sixths. Along the way, in this world premier recording, look out for hairpin turns and virtuosic cadenzas, backed by the rhythmically precise warmth of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra strings, led by Kuusisto himself. For his part, Muhly borrows from traditional forms yet makes the 400-year-old violin concerto recipe sound fresh and vital.

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