Kuusisto's approach to these works is unusually lively. The pairing of Muhly and Glass is fresh and intelligent. The opening Shrink, with its three movements titled "Ninths," "Sixths," and "Turns," repeats figures and intervals in a very Glass-like way, even as the nervous mode of expression is different. Kuusisto contributes his own orchestration of the Glass String Quartet No. 3, which works very well in orchestral guise. As an entr'acte, there is a short piece by Glass, "The Orchard," performed remotely in 2020 by Kuusisto (violin) and Glass (piano) during the coronavirus pandemic. An enjoyable release of music by two American composers whose popularity in Europe seems only to be increasing.
Muhly's Shrink is an energetic, driven concerto, played with intensity by Kuusisto on violin. Although not dissonant in character, it is not a piece that lingers over lilting melodies. Then comes Glass's The Orchard, performed here as a duet for piano and violin, and the mood completely changes, becoming soothing and almost therapeutic. Following the frenetic forward motion of Shrink, to arrive in such a pleasant, peaceful, musical grove is a refreshing respite. The arrangement for string orchestra of Glass's String Quartet No. 3, "Mishima" that closes the program adds some weight and texture to Glass's minimalist creation. With excellent engineering and informative liner notes, this is a solid release of contemporary music from Pentatone.
– Classical Candor