First Things First
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
first things first is the debut album from acclaimed violist Nadia Sirota, featuring new works by Marcos Balter, Judd Greenstein, and Nico Muhly.
Nadia Sirota: "First Things First" (New Amsterdam Records): The violist takes on new and recent works by three leading young composers, Nico Muhly, Marcos Balter and Judd Greenstein. The seven compositions are whimsical, pranksterish, lushly beautiful, heartbreakingly fragile, with every detail pushed forward by the disc's rock-style production values. With repeated listenings, "First Things First" has become, for me, something like a stroll through an exotic garden, with new species grabbing the eye with each go-round. -- San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin, January 2010
Top customer reviews
Track 1, a duet for Viola and Cello has some interesting interplay at times, but mostly just comes off as a lot of noodling for Viola. Way too lengthy.
Tracks 2 & 6 are almost identical. They have a beautiful melody at the beginning. The liner notes which are definitely lacking would have you think this was a piece for solo Viola, but there seems to be a keyboard instrument as well. Also, about 1/3 of the way into it an overly loud bass beat is inserted which pretty much ruins the compositions. I wouldn't know if it was intended to be so loud or is a recording error (doubtful), but you will find yourself having to adjust the volume down when the bass enters in. It's a shame because without the bass, this would be a fabulous example of how modern music has a lot to offer.
Track 3 seems to be a showcase for how you can make an unusual or bizarre sound out of a Viola. It is pretty boring and much of it comes across much too softly.
Track 4 is wonderful! It may be a bit long but it keeps my attention. It's almost like exercises for someone learning the Viola, but it slowly builds and becomes more complex throughout the piece. It is a great showcase piece for how beautiful a solo Viola can sound.
Track 5 is another disappointment as the piece is recorded very softly. There are some spoken words which are almost inaudible. Very boring.
Track 7 is a string sextet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, and 2 Cellos. By the title you might guess it is slow moving and you would be right. A bit melancholy but enjoyable. It could fit in as an andante movement for a longer piece.
Overall, the CD has its moments but leaves you feeling like it could have been so much better. A common assessment for modern music for a lot of us! If anyone out there knows what instruments are actually used on the Etudes I would greatly appreciate a written entry here to clarify it!