Asier Polo Cello Concertos
This CD covers approximately five decades of literature for violoncello and orchestra. The fifty years between the two concertos by Vivaldi (ca. 1720), Haydn (ca. 1763) and Boccherini (publ. 1770). The Concerto for violoncello and strings in C minor RV 401 by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) is a beautiful and enigmatic work. The autograph is written on an unusual type of paper, and virtually all the features of the document stand out from the rest of the 27 concerts for cello written by the Venetian author. Its dating around 1720 is still a hypothesis, as well as its purpose. What relationship could there be between the Concerto in C major Hob VIIb 1 by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), a work written around 1763 in his secluded residence of Eisenstadt (about 60 km. from Vienna), and the Concerto in D major G. 479 by Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805), edited in 1770 in Paris by a composer who was already living in Spain serving as a chamber musician and composer to the Infante Don Luis de Borbón? Unexpectedly more than we could imagine…
Asier Polo has worked with many of the major international orchestras, such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionalle della RAI, Dresdner Philharmonie, Orchestre de Paris, BBC Philharmonic, Bergen Filharmoniske Orkester, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Symphoniker, Orquesta Nacional de México, Orquesta Sinfónica de Sao Paulo, Louisiana Philharmonic, Spanish National Orchestra and the Basel Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of distinguished conductors such as John Axelrod, Pinchas Steinberg, Christian Badea, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Claus Peter Flor, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Günther Herbig, Juanjo Mena, Antoni Wit and Anne Manson. He is a regular guest at prestigious festivals, such as those held in Schleswig-Holstein, Nantes, Ohrid, Biennale di Venezia, Rome, Lisbon, Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Morelia, Granada and the Quincena Musical in San Sebastián. He has appeared with great artists such as Silvia Marcovici, Nicolás Chumachenco, Sol Gabetta, Maxim Rysanov, Isabelle van Keulen, Josep Colom, Eldar Nebolsin, Gerard Caussé, Cuarteto Janácek, Cuartetto Casals and Alfredo Kraus. He has recorded Rachmaninov and C. Frank’s Sonatas with the pianist Marta Zabaleta and Brahms’ Cello Sonatas with the pianist Eldar Nebolsin (IBS Classical label). Asier Polo studied in Bilbao, Madrid, Cologne and Basel with Elisa Pascu, María Kliegel and Ivan Monighetti, and also received guidance from János Starker, Natalia Gutman and M. Rostropovich. Asier Polo has been awarded numerous prizes, and amongst others, the “Ojo Crítico” by Radio Nacional de España (2002), the Fundación CEOE Prize for Musical Interpretation (2004) and the National Music Award by the Ministry for Culture and Sports of Spain (2019). In 2009 he was appointed “Ilustre de Bilbao” (Bilbao being his native city). Asier Polo plays a Francesco Ruggeri cello (Cremona, 1689) purchased in collaboration with the Fundación Banco Santander.
The Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla stands unquestionably among the top level of Spanish ensembles dedicated to the interpretación of early music with historicist criterion. It was founded in 1995 by Barry Sargent and Ventura Rico, and Pedro Gandía Martín has served as its artistic director since 2001. International figures that have led the orchestra, some of which are of mythical standing, include Gustav Leonhardt, Christophe Coin, Sigiswald Kuijken, Jordi Savall, Christophe Rousset, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Monica Huggett, Harry Christophers, Andreas Spering, Alfredo Bernardini, Diego Fasolis, Juanjo Mena, Eduardo López Banzo, Pablo Valetti, Fabio Bonizzoni, Enrico Onofri, Andoni Mercero, Maxim Emelyanychev, Hiro Kurosaki, Dmitry Sinkovsky, Riccardo Minasi and Ivor Bolton. In addition to its intense activity in Seville, with its regular season, and the rest of Andalusia, the orchestra performs at major Spanish (Auditorio Nacional, Teatro Real, Teatro Arriaga, Teatro de la Maestranza…) and European venues (Thüringer Bachwochen and Brühler Haydn Festival in Germany; Festival ‘Musiques des Lumières’ in Sorèze, Salle Gaveau in Paris and Festival Baroque de Pontoise, in France; and others in Italy, Switzerland…). Having recorded for labels such as Harmonia Mundi, Lindoro and Almaviva, the Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla has created its own label: OBS-Prometeo, and has received distinctions such as ‘Editor’s Choice’ from Gramophone magazine, ‘exceptional’ from Scherzo and Ritmo Parade reviews, ‘recommended’ from Cd Compact and AudioClásica magazines, ‘5 starts’ from Goldberg magazine and ‘Melómano GOLD’ from Melómano magazine. Recent releases by the label include La música en la catedral de Sevilla, conducted by Enrico Onofri, and Adonde infiel dragón, with Vanni Moretto. In recent years the OBS has released with the label Passacaille a CD/DVD with the first complete recording of the C. P. E. Bach’s Cello concertos, with Christophe Coin, and Trauermusik. Haydn in Sevilla, devoted to the recovery of Andalusian musical heritage and conducted by Enrico Onofri. In 2011, the orchestra won the National Music Award from the Spanish Ministry of Culture. It also won the 2010 Manuel de Falla award from the Regional Government of Andalusia, the 2011 FestClásica award, and an Honorary Distinction from the Seville City Council. The OBS enjoys the support and collaboration of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, Seville City Council and University of Seville.
Andrés Gabetta is regarded as one of the most promising baroque violinists of his generation. The French-Argentinean musician with Russian roots started studying the instrument at the age of four in his native Argentina and then pursued an education at the prestigious Escuela de Musica Superior Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain, completing his studies at the Musikhochschule and Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland. His extensive repertoire ranges from modern and romantic played together with the Sinfonieorchester Basel to baroque and classical performed on period instruments. In 2011 the violin virtuoso made a lifelong dream come true: to lead his own baroque orchestra together with his sister and cellist Sol Gabetta. With Cappella Gabetta, Andrés Gabetta shares the stage as soloist and conductor with musical personalities such as Sol Gabetta, Giuliano Carmignola, Vivica Genaux, Simone Kermes, Gabor Boldoczki, Baiba Skride, Patricia Kopatchinskaia, Sergei Nakariekov, Maurice Steger and Christophe Coin. Andrés Gabetta appears frequently at major international music festivals such as the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Haydn Festtage, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival and the Bachwoche Ansbach. As a soloist and chamber musician, Andrés Gabetta performs at prestigious European concert halls, for instance KKL Luzern, Tonhalle Zürich, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Berliner Philharmonie, Leiz Halle Hamburg, Salle Gaveau, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and Musikverein und Konzerthaus Wien among others. Gabetta’s discography includes virtuoso searches for unknown composers and musical pieces. Many of the recordings have been awarded with important prizes and distinctions such as a nomination for the 2008 Grammy Award for an interpretation of the Bach Brandenburg Concertos as well as the Choc du Monde de la Musique prize for Haydn’s Octet and Nocturnes performed together with regular musical partner Christophe Coin and his Mosaique Quartett. Further recordings include Quintets and Trios by Felicien David, Böelly’s String Sextet and different Octets by Albresberger. Andrés Gabetta records under the label Sony Classical. The latest CD “Rival Queens”, featuring soprano Vivica Genaux and Simone Kermes, explores through works by Johann Adolph Hasse and Nicola Antonio Porpora and other world premiere recordings the rivalry between powerhouse prime donne Faustina Bordoni and Francesca Cuzzoni. Gabetta holds a teaching position as professor at the Conservatoire de Montbéliard, France. He performs on a Venetian Petrus Guarnerius violin from 1727.
Mercedes was introduced to historical performance by Roel Dieltiens, and since 1998 she works with prestigious ensembles such as Concerto Köln, Freiburger Barockorchester, Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Capella Augustina (Cologne), Das Neue Orchester, Al Ayre Español, El Concierto Español, La Real Cámara, Le Concert des Nations, The Grand Tour Orchestra (New York), Academia 1750, Musica Boscareccia, Das BachCollektiv Köthen and La Hispaniola, which she founded. She has played in tours throughout Europe, Asia and America in the most important festivals, like those of Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, “La Folle Journée”, Ambronay, Vézelay, Budapest, Prague, Paris, Oude Muziek Brügge and Antwerp, or “Festival de Chiquitos” (Bolivia), among others. As continuo player she has performed in numerous opera productions at Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Teatro de la Maestranza of Seville and Teatro Real of Madrid. Through her career she has worked with conductors like Philippe Herreweghe, Ivor Bolton, Jordi Savall, Gustav Leonhardt, Andreas Spering, Christophe Coin, Enrico Onofri, Marcus Creed, Daniel Reuss, Alfredo Bernardini, Hervé Niquet, Manfredo Kraemer, Monica Huggett, Christophe Rousset, Andrea Marcon and Alan Curtis, many times as soloist. With the German trio with fortepiano “Trio 1790”, in which she played between 1998 and 2004, she has recorded with CPO label the integral collection of J. Haydn’s trios. She has also played at recordings by orchestras and ensembles already mentioned, with labels Harmonia Mundi, EMI, Teldec, Alia Vox, OBS-Prometeo, Glossa or CPO. She has teached violoncello at “Aula de Música Antigua” of Girona, and in various young orchestras, naming among them Joven Orquesta Barroca de Sevilla, Joven Orquesta Barroca de Andalucía or Joven Orquesta Nacional de España.