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"Roberto Poli is a cultivated pianist whose natural transparency of both tone and temperament makes everything seem effortless and ethereal."

(Russell Sherman, pianist - United States)

  • "We have heard him perform Chopin and Liszt and we have been amazed at the richness of his sound and the intelligent analysis of the musical structure."
    (La Gazzetta, Belluno, Italy - September 1992)

  • "In the Intermezzi Op. 117 by Brahms Poli pursued a subdued idea of resignation and defeat [...] The subtle rationality that guides his remarkable musicality created a sense of unity and compactness to his performance."
    (Gente Veneta, Venice, Italy - July 1994)

  • "For his elegant touch and phrasing [...] this young pianist is one of the most inspired and refined Italian musicians of his generation."
    (Il Gazzettino, Venice, Italy - March 1995)

  • "The Trio di Venezia performed with great maturity and intense musical breath, creating a captivating dialogue."
    (Il Gazzettino, Rovigo, Italy - April 1996)

  • "His thoughtful interpretation casts new light on the scores."
    (Il Piccolo, Trieste, Italy - June 1996)

  • "...Keenly-observed and subtly-weighted Prokofiev..."
    (The Irish Times, Dublin, Ireland - May 1997)

  • "Poli is a natural-born performer. His confidence at the keyboard invites the entire audience to gorge on the musical feast he serves... [..] A performance worthy of any world-class stage, played with entrancing vitality, immense maturity and style"
    (Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah USA - June 1998)

  • "Roberto Poli's performance of Mozart's Sonata in C Major was the equivalent to those miniature paintings you see in museum that have been painted with brushes with a single hair - such was his detailing"
    (Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah USA - June 1998)

  • "His Mozart Sonata in C Major [K. 330] lifted the listener off the seat"
    (Hardwick Gazette, Hardwick, Vermont USA - July 1999)

  • "Poli's heavily expressionist approach [in Leon Kirchner's Five Pieces for Piano] created an astonishing contrast to his idiosyncratically-sculpted Byrd. And the Ravel [La Valse] came to colourful life as he subsumed all its keyboard challenges into a finely-gauged and musically-sensuous swirl... [...] A commanding performance of Sofia Gubaidulina's Sonata, [...] a highly individual but equally absorbing Beethoven [Op. 110]."
    (The Irish Times, Dublin, Ireland - May 2000)

  • "Roberto Poli played piano and harpsichord with sensitivity and flashes of brilliance."
    (The Boston Herald, Boston, Massachusetts USA - March 2001)

  • "His wonderful Schubert reminded me of the great performances of Schnabel, Serkin, Haskil."
    (Aldo Clementi, composer - Italy)

  • "Roberto Poli is a rare artist, a real, deep musician."
    (Philippe Cassard, pianist - France)

  • "The programming is refreshing and the playing is full of personality and assurance."
    (Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, Boston, Massachusetts USA - Review of Roberto Poli's debut CD Shall we dance... - December 2002)

    Reviews of 'Shall we dance...:
  • "In his debut recording, Venetian-born Poli has chosen a program of unusual merit, emphasizing musical rather than virtuosic values. Having to do with the dance, few of these pieces call for spectacular technical abilities, and most are primarily slow and quiet.
    The Rosenkavalier Waltzes, as arranged by Sergio Fiorentino, present a gentle, almost improvisational setting. [...] Poli, stressing poetry and charm in all of his program, reaches this goal most effectively in Scriabin's two last Mazurkas and the three Mazurkas Op. 59 by Chopin. His inclusion of some music from the Renaissance by William Byrd and Orlando Gibbons (Pavanes and Galliardes) is both unusual and highly rewarding, and the many embellishments are superbly handled.
    Shall we dance by Robert Helps (1928-2001) is a sort of corrupted slow waltz with impressionist overtones. Poli gives this tonally ambiguous work his all and subtly conveys the colors and shading of the music. The Ravel Pavane for a dead Princess is also beautifully shaded and deeply felt.
    La Valse as arranged by the pianist displays his full credentials as a virtuoso and restores much of the passagework of the original piano arrangement. Without missing the opportunity of adding his own flourishes, Poli amply demonstrates taste and good judgment in dealing with this masterwork. So impressive is this treatment and his performance that the recording can be recommended for this item alone."
    (Alan Becker, American Record Guide, July/August 2003)

  • This entire production bespeaks elegance, from the playing itself to the thoughtful and satisfying selection of music. I must admit I began auditioning this CD soon after hearing a live performance of the Der Rosenkavalier Suite performed by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Lorin Maazel. Maazel is one of the reigning wizards of the baton, but here he went overboard, yanking the score like silly putty, and injecting a sense of vulgarity to which you would not subject your mother. Poli’s vision of the waltzes distilled a redeeming sense of grace and sparkle that the maestro bulldozed aside. What a breath of fresh air! Nothing so flashy here; this Venetian-born, Boston-based pianist, here making his recording debut, plays with a level of finish that beguiles the listener to draw closer to the music.
    As the title suggests, all of the music on this program is based on dance forms. The music flows in the same sort of pattern you might hear in a big band set, allowing for a varied mix of lively and slow rhythms, although personally, I would have broken every toe in my partner’s feet by the end of one hour plus of dancing. There is also a nice stylistic mix, from the hazy sweetness of Chopin and Scriabin to the sprightly courtliness of Byrd and Gibbons. The title work, by the late American pianist and composer Robert Helps, adds a touch of bemusedly subversive abstraction; you can dance to it, but a glass of champagne or two might help. It is an apt lead-in to the finale, Poli’s deliciously lush transcription of Ravel’s La Valse. Best to have another glass of champagne first.
    (Peter Burwasser, Fanfare)
  • At first glance, the title of this collection might lead you to expect an upbeat collection with a rousing rhythmic impetus on the order, say, of Noel Lester’s Syncopated Sensations (Sonora SO22593CD, 24:2). On this imaginative debut recording, however, Venice-born Roberto Poli—a Russell Sherman student now active in the Boston area—offers something less insistently ebullient. In part, it’s a matter of his iconoclastic repertoire, much of which is fairly mediated (and meditative) music “about” dance rather than music intended to foster actual dancing. Indeed, the moody, harmonically troubling piece from which the collection gets its title—a work Robert Helps wrote for Sherman in 1994—hardly seems connected to the dance at all as it weaves through the territory charted out by late Scriabin and Ravel’s “Le gibet.” But the collection’s sense of introversion comes, as well, from Poli’s refusal to punch out the music.
    I don’t mean to suggest that there’s any shortage of rhythmic nuance in these seductive performances (the Rosenkavalier transcription is especially charismatic); but even in the more explicit dance music, Poli’s generously pedaled playing—sumptuous in timbre, patient in tempo—is more notable for its intimacy than its insistence. Some, I suspect, will want more spike to the Byrd and Gibbons numbers (Poli makes no attempt to mirror either the harpsichord or the pointed articulation Glenn Gould gives to these composers), just as some will want more irony, more venom to La Valse and a bit more quickness throughout. Still, however slow his interpretations, Poli’s sense of the ebb of the phrases keeps the music from dragging; and however unaggressive his touch, his sense of dynamics and vertical balance keeps the music from clotting. Add to this his strong technique (no sense of strain even in the climaxes of La Valse) and you have a pianist well worth your attention. Good sound; detailed notes.
    (Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare)