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Pekka Kuusisto, 'Shrink'

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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Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.