With her latest album, Viola Borealis, violist Marina Thibeault explores the musical links between several northern cultures. From the 2016 concerto by Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks to solo works by Anishinaabe composer Melody McKiver to the very first viola concerto—composed around 1716 by Telemann—the elections on this album showcase the spellbinding talent of Thibeault, who is joined by Orchestre de l’Agora under Nicolas Ellis.
Of special note are two pieces for solo viola by Melody McKiver. “Ningodwaaswi” and “Niizh” are part of Reckoning, a larger work dedicated to the memory of the composer’s grandmother, a residential school survivor.
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