DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Album review: Brooklyn Rider violist Nicholas Cords steps confidently to the fore

By John Terauds on March 23, 2013

(Jimmy Asnes photo)
(Jimmy Asnes photo)

American violist Nicholas Cords has boldly stepped into the spotlight with his first solo album, a rich, diverse and deeply satisfying showcase of everything his instrument and his artistry are capable of — even without the benefit of accompaniment.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

 

The member of Brooklyn Rider and the Silk Road Ensemble has titled his album Recursions in reference to his penchant for music with repetitive structures — a choice that gives him tremendous leeway. The album was released last week by Brooklyn Rider’s label, In a Circle Records.

He starts dramatically with a transcription of a solo Passacaglia Heinrich Biber wrote for his Rosary Sonatas for violin, from 1676. Cords segues into his own arrangement of an Irish tune, before tackling hypnotic Meditations on a Byzantine Hymn ‘O Quance e cruce’ written by English composer Edmund Rubbra in 1964.

There’s more mesmerizing work: Elegie, written by Igor Stravinsky in 1944, and the 1923 Sonata No. 5 for solo viola by Paul Hindemith, a composer who is sadly underappreciated outside music schools.

Right in the middle is Cords’ own outing as a composer. It’s a cycle of short pieces he wrote last year, Five Migrations, where he has done some clever work in overlaying different sounds he was able to create on his five-year-old, Brooklyn-made viola.

This is one of those rare albums that compels in all styles, and can make people who fear new music forget that they are listening to recent creations. Cords has incredible control over his bow, coaxing out a remarkable range of dynamics and timbres. There isn’t a dull moment on this album.

You can read up on him and the album, as well as listen to audio samples, here.

John Terauds

 

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

SCRUTINY | A Night Of Opera Shenanigans With Loose Tea's “Whose Opera Is It Anyway?”

By Matthew Timmermans on December 21, 2017

A Verdi aria sung in the style of Madonna? Don Giovanni serenading about flying cats in space? Loose Tea Music Theatre takes improv opera to a whole new level.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

SCRUTINY | Toronto Operetta Theatre’s Candide Kicks Off the Bernstein Centenary

By Robin Roger on December 29, 2017

Technically speaking, Leonard Bernstein’s centenary year begins at midnight Sunday night, but by then Toronto Operetta Theatre will be well ahead of the pack of homage-payers, after three performances of Bernstein’s idiosyncratic work of genius, Candide.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

LEBRECHT LISTENS | A Cello Rush With Laura Van Der Heijden Leading The Pack

By Norman Lebrecht on January 5, 2018

Album of the week is, outstandingly, a record debut by BBC Young Musician winner Laura Van Der Heijden with pianist Petr Limonov (Champs Hill ★★★★)
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.