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Rick Anderson
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, November 2016

[This] album surveys contemporary works by Mario Davidovsky, Steve Reich, David Fulmer, Annie Gosfield, Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, and Jaime E. Oliver La Rosa—a diverse bunch of composers, to be sure, and as a result the program showcases a great variety of stylistic approaches and a rich diversity of aural experiences. One of the initial “transitions” the listener experiences is that from Davidovsky’s spikily thrilling Synchronisms No. 3 into Reich’s defiantly tonal Cello Counterpoint, and the concept of transition is extensively unpacked throughout the rest of the album. Three of the seven selections featured here are world-premiere recordings. © 2016 Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist Read complete review



Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, October 2016

…Brooklyn Rider’s new cellist Michael Nicolas integrates classical music’s 20th-century roots into his championing of new composition. The timing of the tracks, too, seems entirely symbolic of musical continuity: 61’16”. Armed with a résumé that ranges from touring with South Korea’s classical boy-band Ensemble Ditto to playing with the International Contemporary Ensemble (and directing a residency at the 2015 Havana Contemporary Music Festival), Nicolas displays an international variety of sources, hair-raising chops and a tendency to exaggerate with amazing sensitivity. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, August 2016

[Nicolas’] playing and extended techniques are outstanding, and the works are beautifully recorded. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review



Bruce Reader
The Classical Reviewer, July 2016

This is a particularly fine work, quite brilliantly performed.

Michael Nicolas’ debut disc is a remarkable achievement. He has a terrific technique as well as an ear for subtle beauty, texture and colour, shaping these works so well. This is adventurous programming that works brilliantly. © 2016 The Classical Reviewer Read complete review



Jonathan Blumhofer
The Arts Fuse, July 2016

Nicolas’ performances in each is brilliant and assured. He’s capable of some fearsomely aggressive playing—just listen to how he digs into the opening of Flexura, with its terrifying attacks and glissandi—but also extraordinary delicacy and introspection.

Overall, with Transitions Nicolas proves himself a major cellist of his generation, a musician of great technical skill but also one capable of—and willing—to make strong, thoughtful artistic statements. In other words, he’s precisely the kind of musician we need to be hearing from these days. © 2016 The Arts Fuse Read complete review



Stephen Smoliar
Examiner.com, May 2016

…Reich has composed these pieces with a strong sense of “live” performance in mind. As a result, they differ radically from Davidovsky’s compositions, in which performers must subject themselves to the “dictates” of the recorded material. Reich’s pieces almost always work very well in a concert setting, no matter how many of the voices are involved. © 2016 Examiner.com Read complete review



Doyle Armbrust
WQXR (New York), May 2016

Annie Gosfield’s overtone playground, Four Roses, is captivating in its cavorting, vision-warping groove between de-tuned piano and scordatura cello. Nicolas’s microtonal chops are on display as well for Gosfield’s …and a Five-Spot, a similarly groove-oriented nugget living in more sinister landscape, where whirly tubes dare to tread. © 2016 WQXR (New York) Read complete review





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