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“A Dramatic Duo Worth Noting”: Review of Asier Polo and Daniel del Pino’s recital in Newport

“The Newport recital debut of Spanish cellist Asier Polo enticingly promised a chance to hear the Shostakovich Cello Sonata for the second time in as many weeks, as well as an opportunity to check out an artist who has made a significant name for himself in Europe but not that much in the US. We were rewarded on both counts.”

You can read the full review in the Boston Musical Intelligencer here.

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“The Basque shone in Elgar”: reviews for the opening concert of the Quincena Musical

Asier Polo received glowing reviews for his performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto which opened the 2017 Quincena Musical in San Sebastián, with the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Juanjo Mena.

“The highlight of the evening was without doubt Asier Polo’s performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto. One of the most famous works of the British repertoire, it’s also the work with which Polo made his professional debut as a soloist, when he was just 21. His profound knowledge of the score could be seen in so many details of his interpretation, and especially in the elegant manner with which Polo unified the contrasting passages of the concerto, that varied from lyrical passion to almost mystic intimacy.

It was a great performance that lasted right up to the encore, the “Preludio-Fantasia” by Cassadó, which he played with incredible beauty.”

(Mikel Chamizo, Gara)

You can read translations of all the reviews here.

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Asier Polo y Marta Zabaleta release a new disc of works by Rachmaninov y Franck

Together with the magnificent pianist and regular recital partner Marta Zabaleta, Asier Polo has released a new album, which is a beautiful selection of romantic repertoire for cello and piano. Together, Asier and Marta perform four works that display technical and emotional virtuosity.

The two most substantial works on the disc are Sergei Rachmaninov’s Sonata Op. 19 in G minor and César Franck’s Sonata in A minor, and these are paired with Alexander Glazunov’s Chant du Menestrel and Maurice Ravel’s Vocalise-Etude. They are four outstanding works of great interest that demonstrate the richness of colours, ideas and sound worlds that opened the 20th century.

The CD, released on the Ibs Classical label, was recorded last October in the Auditorio Manuel de Falla, one of the most emblematic musical venues in Granada. The sleeve notes are by Blanca Calvo and include a detailed explanation of the pieces and of the artists’ interpretation, and this is illustrated with photographs by Pablo Axpe.

With an extensive discography of 14 CDs, Asier Polo returns with this new production, which is his second with Marta Zabaleta, and which promises to be a “journey to the bottom of the soul”. The CD is already on sale through the Ibs Classical website.

You can download a press kit, which features interviews with Asier Polo and favorable reviews of the disc in Spanish here.

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“This man is a magician of music”: review of Asier Polo’s concert with the OSPA

“Variations on a Rococo theme for cello and orchestra” by Tchaikovsky uncovered the sheer insurmountable talent of Asier Polo. The work itself was beautiful with moments of shuddering lyricism, as in the Andante variation, but I take my hat off to [Asier Polo] – he absolutely shone. He displayed both sensitivity and technique, he is a magician of music; he is music, he breathes it, drinks it, radiates it. It was wonderful, and he was greatly applauded.”

(Cuca Alonso, La Nueva España, 20.3.15)

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Recording of Ginastera’s Second Cello Concerto

Asier Polo will record the Argentinean composer Alberto Ginastera’s beautiful and poetic Cello Concerto Nº2 for the first time. This concerto was dedicated to his wife, Aurora Nátola-Ginastera, and in addition to this, the composer decided to block the performing rights, so that only she could perform it. A true “present” for her! Later in life, Aurora Nátola-Ginastera decided to waive these restrictions so that other cellists could perform the work.

Asier Polo had the great honour of knowing Aurora personally, and through this friendship he had the opportunity to work with her on various works by Ginastera, thus gaining first-hand insight into the works. Asier Polo now owns a F.X. Tourte bow that belonged to Aurora Nátola-Ginastera, who was a pupil of Pablo Casals, and was one of the great cellists of the 20th century.

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Asier Polo’s debut at the Biennale de Venecia (Italy)

Asier Polo makes his debut in the renowned contemporary music festival, La Biennale de Venecia, performing “Frondoso Misterio”, the Cello Concerto by Luis de Pablo, which was dedicated to Asier Polo in 2001. José Ramón Encinar conducts the Basque National Orchestra.

The disc will be released next year on the Spanish National Orchestra’s own label.