Nadia Sirota is the violist of choice for the New York contemporary-classical scene, and on Baroque, she follows up her astoundingly assured debut, First Things First, with fresh works from many of the composers who contributed to that recording. Judd Greenstein’s piece for seven violas (all of them multitracked by Sirota), “In Teaching Others We Teach Ourselves,” employs a variety of dizzying riffs, separated by episodes of subtle pizzicato, in order to evoke the many stages of cosmos-crossing undertaken by the famous “Golden Record” shot into deep space by NASA back in 1977. It’s also a tour de force opportunity for Sirota to show off her otherworldly chops and a variety of techniques: Nico Muhly’s jaunty “Etude 3″ is as memorable as the two others in his series, which he gave Sirota the first time around, and is a showcase for Sirota the player.
But there are new composers this time as well, even if they are generally familiar to the New Amsterdam coterie. Shara Worden’s “From the Invisible to the Visible” is a brief, attractive offering that introduces keyboards and organs into the mix to considered effect. Missy Mazzoli’s “Tooth and Nail” continues the electronic theme and is the album’s standout, featuring some exciting hyper-glitch programming by the composer in during its opening minutes. Solid pieces from Paul Corley and Daniel Bjarnason complete this satisfying program, which, while more tricked-out electronically than Sirota’s first offering, retains her aesthetic imprint.