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MusicWeb International, January 2012

Villa-Rojo…does a fine job…performing throughout with great technical confidence and communicative commitment. There’s a sureness of touch about this playing and expressive insight into the depths of Villa-Rojo’s intelligent, memorable music. Both pianists also play their part commendably…

Sound quality is very good…© 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David W Moore
American Record Guide, January 2012

This is a fascinating collection by a fine composer, played with involvement. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2011

Belonging to the group of young Spanish composer who, in the 1960’s, set about arousing their national music from its slumbers, Jesus Villa-Rojo became one of its most influential. Born in 1940, the present disc dips into his considerable output since the turn of the century, opening with one of his most recent scores, the Sonata 2 for cello and piano, completed from 2009. It is characteristic of his fluidity that moves with such ease from atonality to tonality and defies either description. In three movements it is an abstract score, the pounding tempo setting the scene for a score of interesting and immediately attractive rhythmic concept. Far from easy for both performers, it sets the scene for the superb playing of the Spanish cellist, Asier Polo, a onetime pupil of Naxos’s house cellist, Maria Kliegel. He becomes five cellists in Lamento, the accompaniment of four cellos coming from a pre-recorded tape. Originally for saxophone with a recording of a flamenco song, in its new format the role of the singer is enlarged and the cello called upon for a vast range of hues. Four years earlier, in 2004, the Oracion serena links cello and piano in a long and sad lyric scene, the mood continuing in Expresiones, a meditation on the poetry of St. John of the Cross. Not much short of half an hour, it tests the soloist technically and musically in conveying the pictures portrayed. No lover of cello music can be without this disc, if for no other reason than to hear Polo’s magnificent 1689 Francesco Ruggieri cello. Pianists, Amaia Zipitria and Gerardo Lopez Laguna, are admirable, the sound of top league quality.

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