Classical CDs Weekly: 5/08/2017 : CD Martinů, Shostakovich
Christian Poltéra’s performance of the Shostakovich is exemplary, lending this dark, late masterpiece fleeting touches of warmth and humanity. You could never call this a positive piece, but Poltéra refuses to sound maudlin. His Allegretto is sharp and witty, his handling of the last movement’s lyrical theme heartfelt as well as ironic.
The Shostakovitch - …Poltéra's charisma is winning. Especially in the introspective cadenza which interrupts the last movement's forward motion. The dash to the finish is electrifying. A beguiling work, ripe for rediscovery. Graham Rickson - Article
Openlettersmonthly.com 7/07/2017: Norman Lebrecht’s Album of the Week – Shostakovich & Martinu cello concertos - **** (4 of 5)
…The premiere recording by Rostropovich is deeply unsettling, almost ugly at times in its private mutterings.
Christian Poltera’s new account here is more lyrical, confident, uplifting. I am starting to like the concerto for the first time.
Norman Lebrecht - Article
Classical-music.com 13/01/2017: Christian Poltéra performs cello concertos by Dvorák and Martinu
…Cellist Christian Poltéra and conductor Thomas Dausgaard give Dvoπák’s Cello Concerto a lusty warmth and spontaneity …. Poltéra is convincing,
Poltéra sustains its cantilenas with a glowing intensity that builds towards a monumental and profoundly moving cadenza. The work ends in a blaze of moto perpetuo vivacity, with some arch interludes to which Poltéra and Dausgaard lend the right degree of nonchalant suavity. Some harsh fast passagework aside, this reading stands beside the best. Helen Wallace - Article
Fanfare March/Aril 2015: CD Walton/Hindemith
It is no surprise to discover that young Swiss cellist Christian Poltéra is a kindred spirit. I don’t know where I would turn to find a richer, smoother approach to the instrument. I was surprised to find myself preferring Poltéra to everyone from Piatgorgsky to Cohen in the Walton Concerto. The Hindemith performance here is glorious, too.…
This is a delightful CD from a rising cellist... - Steven Kruger
American Record Guide March/April 2015: CD Walton/Hindemith
This program presents some of their (Walton/Hindemith) strongest works for cello played by on the most technically accomplished and musically sensitive cellist of the 21st. …These are fine works that require great alertness and technique to bring off. These performers have just that and I would say that they match any of the former recordings and outdo most of them. You won’t go wrong. D. Moore BBC Magazine February 2015: CD Walton/Hindemith
…There is much to admire in Poltéra’s immmense technical command and forthright expressiveness; …. The most subtle and inventive music – qualities pleasingly explored by Poltéra – occurs in Hindemith’s five-movement solo Sonata. - Malcolm Hayes
Diapason Janvier 2015: CD Walton & Hindemith
…On est une fois de plus subjugué, dans la généreuse série de concertos du XXième siecle pour violoncelle menée par Poltéra, par le timbre splendide que le “Mara” de Stradivarius déploie sous ses doigts. Le soliste suisse transcende les exigences des partitions pour libérer une énergie mais aussi une joie non dénuée d’humour chez Hindemith. Cet album se taille une belle place dans une discographie déjà très chargée en versions de grande qualité. Jean-Claude Hulot
Gramophone January 2015: CD Walton/Hindemith
By comparison ; Zurich-born Christian Poltéra is marginally leaner in tone and less inclined to linger ; his is a refreshing, purposeful view which pays handsome dividends in tightening the structural bolts of the finale’s allurlingly wayward theme and improvisations. Fabulously secure in technique, the commanding Poltéra also benefits from wholly sympathetic, razor-sharp support from the São Paulo SO under the late Frank Shipway, while the sound is splendiferously realistic, even by BIS’s customarily high standards. - Andrew Achenbach
Classicstoday January 2015: CD Walton/Hindemith
…The Walton Concerto is the better known of the two, but it’s an elusive work that often fails to make a strong impression. It has never received a more shapely, focused, and intelligent performance than it does here. Poltéra’s swift tempo’s and exceptional virtuosity give the music such freshness, while the long finale holds together better than in any performance. If you’ve ever had doubts about this work, here’s an interpretation that will set them to rest.
Hindemith – Poltéra’s performance simply puts everyone else in the shade. His tone has just the right combination of purity and sweetness, but is never turns sentimental.
The solo cello works, too, make apt and unusual couplings, and they are played with the same point and panache as the concertos. ….This is just glorious. - David Hurwitz
www.pizzicato.lu 10/01/2015 : Kohärentes Programm in exzellenten Aufführungen
Walton Konzert - …Die Musik ist lichtvoll, teils lyrisch und poetisch, teils spritzig, fern jeden britischen Phlegmas, so als habe der Komponist die Kraft von Sonne und Meer in sich aufgesogen. Das wird in dieser Interpretation sehr deutlich, in der die langsameren Teile sehr ausdrucksvoll gespielt werden während das Allegro appassionato regelrecht explodiert, …Hindemiths Konzert -.. Es ist ein dramatisches und ausdrucksstarkes Stück, das hier ganz spannend gespielt wird. In den Solostücken zeigt sich Poltéra als hoch musikalischer, charismatischer Interpret.
The soloist as well as the conductor deserve praise for the excellent, expressive performances of this consistent program. - Remy Franck
Le Devoir 3/01/2015: CD Walton et Hindemith: Concertos pour violoncelle et orchestre
Oh! que ce disque a failli se trouver dans le « top 10 » de l’année 2014 ! Le seul minime reproche que je peux lui adresser est un positionnement des micros un peu trop près du soliste. Cela dit, techniquement, le bilan est très positif, car les timbres sont superbes et l’orchestre remarquablement fouillé. Et, musicalement, quel bonheur ! …Et bravo à Christian Poltéra, pour cette croisade, déjà incarnée dans un CD Martin, Honegger Schoeck en 2012. Les oeuvres pour violoncelle seul (Passacaille de Walton et Sonate op. 25 n° 3 de Hindemith) ne sont pas à négliger, loin de là. - Christophe Huss
The Strad 22/12/2014: CD Walton & Hindemith - A highly satisfying coupling of two composers’ music for cello’
Christian Poltéra is at the top of his game in these works …The opening of Walton’s Cello Concerto is strikingly beautiful. Poltéra’s entry is open and lyrical, with tender vibrato and a sense of exploration. This is a highly Romantic interpretation, with free rubato from both soloist and orchestra …The second movement sparkles with wit. …Poltéra plays with ease and accuracy. His c.1711 ‘Mara’ Stradivari has a particularly sweet, singing tone in its high registers, which he climbs to expressively at the end of the Theme and Improvisations and in Walton’s late Passacaglia.
Hindemith Sonata is memorable here for its purity and sense of line. Before this, with his clear, unforced playing, the Swiss cellist makes a strong case for greater exposure for the 1940 Cello Concerto. He plays the lilting melody of the Andante with a light and natural touch, and puts energy and detail into the final March as he conveys its shifting moods. - Janet Banks
www.qobuz.com Mars 2013 : CD Barber
…Christian Poltéra, qui a réuni dans ce couplage original Sonate et Concerto de Barber pour son instrument, est un soliste absolument convaincant. Sous ses doigts, la belle cantilène de l'andante sostenuto du Concerto s'écoule avec un romantisme aussi paisible que généreux et le Finale s'envole sur les cimes. - FH
The Northern Echo 20/02/2013: The Northern Sinfonia & Christian Poltéra
Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor - …From the work’s dramatic opening flourish, Poltera had complete command of the stage, producing singing phrases of eloquence, depth and purity. - Gavin Engelbrecht
www.gramophone.co.uk 20/01/2013 : CD Barber
…Christian Poltéra, the Swiss cellist who plays a superb Strad, is outstanding and invariably well-supported by the Bergen players under Litton. His high positions are effortless, as are the nasty double thirds (which, according to Cole, Piatigorsky called ‘turds’), and he delivers a fine cadenza. Poltéra’s duet with the oboe in the slow movement is magical. This is actually a siciliano, reflecting Barber’s Italian links, and the mood in this performance is immaculately sustained throughout. …Recorded quality throughout is top-drawer in a truly winning CD. - Peter Dickinson
www.theclassicalreviewer.be 11/01/2013 - A cello tone to relish from Christian Poltéra in a new Barber release from BIS
Barber’s Cello Concerto Op.22 - …Christian Poltéra’s lyrical tone is most beguiling, rich yet not dense. He is incisive in the passages where it is required and is particularly telling in the quiet moments. … In the first movement cadenza, Poltéra displays all his various strengths, richly melodic, crisp and clear, with lovely intonation in the upper range. …. Christian Poltéra finds every opportunity to lift the work, providing a wonderful array of timbres to add to the interest, spinning some lovely sounds on the cello. A wonderful dialogue ensues between cello and orchestra and, towards the coda, there is some particularly brilliant playing from this cellist. In the hands of a superb artist such as this, the concerto is elevated beyond a merely attractive lyrical work to something that sounds more like a masterwork.
Barber’s early cello sonata - …There is sensitive playing in the quiet passages where both artists seem to know instinctively what the other is doing. There is a wonderful control of dynamics. …In the presto, both players are superb and, in the return of the adagio, Christian Poltéra brings some powerful playing allowing one just to relish his gorgeous cello tone. In the allegro appassionato, Christian Poltéra and Kathryn Stott provide all the fire and virtuosity you could wish for, bringing this attractive sonata to a fine close. There isn’t a routine moment in this performance.