"Dominant Curve”

10.01.10
Brooklyn Rider
Strings Magazine

By Greg Cahill

Forgive the hyperbole, but I’ve seen the future of chamber music and it is Brooklyn Rider, which is to say that this New York–based foursome has the musical ability, the good sense to select great new works, and the artistic vision required to place itself in the same league as the Kronos or Turtle Island quartets.

If this scintillating and imaginative follow up to their critically acclaimed 2008 debut Passport, as well as their celebrated collaboration that same year with Persian spike fiddle master Kayhan Kalhor, is any indication, Brooklyn Rider is going to drive chamber music well into the New Millennium—brothers Colin and Eric Jacobsen also have co-founded another major player, the Gotham City chamber orchestra the Knights (see Center Stage, p 29 of October 2010 issue).

The string quartet—Johnny Gandelsman and Colin Jacobsen, violins; Nicholas Cords, viola; and Eric Jacobsen, cello—has an uncanny ability to blend the old and the new. There is a potent and ultimately haunting take on Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10, and an equally engaging electro-acoustic rendition of John Cage’s landmark
1948 composition In a Landscape (with electronics and arrangement by Justin Messina).

The international influence can be felt in Brooklyn Riders’ cover of Uzbeki composer Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky’s alluring . . . al niente and Japanese composer and shakuhachi flute master Kojiro Umezaki’s
(Cycles) what falls must rise.

Colin Jacobsen contributes his own four-part Achille’s Heel, though it’s not clear at this point that Brooklyn Rider possesses any weaknesses."