On-Demand Audio: Pekka Kuusisto and Nico Muhly Perform Glass, Pärt, Muhly and Bach

Recorded Live at (Le) Poisson Rouge on January 3, 2014

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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto (Maija Tammi)

Friday, Jan. 3, composer-pianist Nico Muhly joined powerhouse Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto for a joint show at (Le) Poisson Rouge featuring music by Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt, J.S. Bach and Muhly himself.

The Guardian writes of Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto, "[His] rare gift is to become rather than perform the music he plays." Though still in his 30s, Kuusisto has earned impressive - and sometimes provocative - credentials for his commitment to new music – he gave the world premiere of Sebastian Fagerlund’s Violin Concerto – and his high-profile performances alongside the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonietta, Finnish Radio Symphony and Toronto Symphony. 

Fresh off the US premiere of his first opera Two Boys at the Metropolitan Opera, New York-based Nico Muhly has cemented his position at the forefront of vibrant, sophisticated young compositional voices.


J.S. Bach: Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Allemande
Arvo Pärt: Fratres
J.S. Bach: Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Courante
Phillip Glass: The Screens
J.S. Bach: Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Sarabande

Nico Muhly - Drones and Violin

J.S. Bach: Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Gigue

Nico Muhly - Drones and Piano: 1

J.S. Bach: Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004: Chaconne
Traditional: Improvisations upon Finnish traditional songs

Comments [7]

Robert St.Onge from Cochiti Lake,NM

Mr. Fischbein, I second DuckDeadeye! Your posts are at best scattershot and opinionated thoughts unfiltered by any sort of review.

Jan. 12 2014 01:38 PM

Re. "I wonder who paid WQXR to write that Nico Mulhy" ...

Even if you're going to slam a composer, you should spell his name right. You're a former journalist, correct? Messages on a message board lose impact quickly when care is not taken with the language. You blew it every time you referred to him.

How much faith should we put in the rest of your post?


Jan. 12 2014 01:40 AM
Craig from San Francisco

I'm so glad that WQXR has made this concert available. I'm a fan of Muhly, think his choral work is amazing, and liked "Two Boys" even though I could only hear it on the radio. I think opera should be seen as well as heard, but thought "Two Boys" was strong enough to be gripping and moving as an audio-only experience.

Jan. 10 2014 05:49 PM

Charles, you said that Muhly is "is no Verdi or Puccini, far from it." And you're right. He is far from it. About 170 years from Verdi and and 130 from Puccini.

I'm sorry that you think that "young hipster urban fan" and "serious classcial music aficionado" are mutually exclusive. I consider myself both. I hope you'll enjoy continuing to hear the same 50 or so standard rep operas over and over again. I will too, while also buying tickets for exciting new works, some of which will become beloved classics while others no doubt be major flops, but I'll be happy to take that risk and I hope companies like the Met will be willing to take that risk too.

Jan. 10 2014 01:24 PM
R.W. from New York, NY

Saw this concert live and was transfixed, and transformed, by the passion and vigor of the performances. A magical evening, and so happy to be able to relive it here. I can practically see the flying bow strings! Thanks for this.

Jan. 09 2014 09:24 PM
Charles Fischbein from Front Royal, Va

I wonder who paid WQXR to write that Nico Mulhy "is cemented in his position at the forefront of vibrant, sophisticated young compositional voices."
Bloomberg reviews of Two Boys " Internet Creep Gets Stabbed at Met Premier"
Intemezzo/World Press review " Two Boys may be the biggest flop in Met history. Its sales were so bad that the Met is giving away orchestra seats for $30 and then literally could not give seats away."
The Wall Street Journal, "The flop that was far ahead of itself"
Most other reviews were mixed, at best, and "Two Boy's" cost the Met a lot of money, and major losses for its United States Premier.
This experimental opera should be performed in small venues before risking money trying to fill a major house. There is just not the audience there to fill a three thousand plus seat house with this music.
Mulhy has a number of young hipster urban fans, however most serious classical music aficionados pay little attention to him. It will be interesting to see where he is ten years from now, maybe he can write blogs for WQXR to pay his rent. I know some will say Verdi and Puccini et al had box office failures but I listen to Verdi, and Puccini constantly and I can tell you Mr. Mulhy is no Verdi or Puccini, far from it. God Speed, Charles Fischbein

Jan. 09 2014 04:30 PM
gina ballinger from graz, austia

patiently waited for this concert! even if i couldn't enjoy it live. its still SO! A-Live - life itself : ) thank you!

Jan. 08 2014 11:37 AM

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