Debussy, Hindemith, Villa-Rojo, Martinu, Erkoreka, Rueda, Piazzola
Year of release: 2008.
Artists: Marta Zabaleta and Asier Polo
CD Review in the “CD Compact” Magazine
Here’s an album starring two home-grown performers, and whichever way you look at it, you can only see virtues: greatness which primarily comes from the stunning and sensitive interpretation of the works, and the delivery in the hands of Asier Polo and Marta Zabaleta. They understand the personality of each piece, approaching them with fresh perspective, finding and showing off their true hallmarks. The two musicians tackle this repertoire without any complications, displaying an impressive sense of security, with communication that sets the standard for chamber music. The high level of playing of both soloists remains impressive throughout the disc; the music feels spontaneous and effortless….
CD Review in the “Música y Educación” Magazine
The recording was made in the Musigrama studio, last April and May. Produced by Jesus Villa-Rojo, one of the composers presented on this wonderful album, the disc also features two top performers: cellist Asier Polo and pianist Marta Zabaleta. Other composers on the disc are Debussy, Hindemith and Martinů, Erkoreka, Rueda and Piazzolla. Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, which was composed in the summer of 1915, introduces the disc, and it’s followed by Hindemith’s ‘Scherzo’, in which the clear influences of Brahms and even Beethoven can be heard. One of the most lyrical of all of Villa-Rojo’s works is his ‘Expresiones’ – seven fragments, the titles of which make reference to the life of San Juan de la Cruz (St John of the Cross, who was a major figure of the Counter-Reformation), and two of these fragments are performed on this disc: ‘Mis sentidos suspendia’ and ‘En la noche dichosa’. Martinů composed many works for cello, but it’s only his ‘Variations on a Theme by Rossini’ that have really stood the test of time. From Gabriel Erkoreka’s friendship with Asier Polo the ‘Dipolo’ for Cello and Piano was born, which you will also find on this album, alongside the three songs ‘Love Song’ by Jesús Rueda and the ‘Grand Tango’ for cello and piano by Astor Piazzolla
Review of the CD in ‘RITMO’ Magazine
This album, produced by BBK, shouldn’t go un-noticed for a variety of reasons, but for two in particular: the repertoire that was chosen, which is wonderful from start to finish, and the performers featured on the disc, two young stars who masterfully interpret everything that they do. How many more reasons do you need to make a disc stand out like this? Asier Polo and Marta Zabaleta tackle music as diverse as Hindemith’s Scherzo and Martinu’s Variations on a Theme by Rossini, ‘friendly music’ (as Carlos Villasol writes in his excellent sleeve notes), and the wonderful Sonata by Debussy, all with equal conviction. They get the tone of Piazzolla’s Gran Tango just right – a good balance between playfulness and melancholy, and they put their soul into the other three extraordinary works on the disc: the substantial Expresiones by Vila-Rojo, the meditative Love Song by Jesús Rueda and ‘Dipolo’, a solid work by Gabriel Erkoreka. In short, a terrific album.
CD Review in ‘Scherzo’ magazine, by Enrique Pérez Adrián
Asier Polo and Marta Zabaleta, both of whom are excellent performers (of which there has never been any doubt), opt for an interpretation of the Debussy which is at times dramatic yet restrained when appropriate, displaying clear modernity and perhaps more innovative than many other performances. It could therefore be thought of as an unusual accompaniment to the playful, fanciful Hindemith on this disc, which is the polar opposite to the Debussy in style...