It has been a symbolic act, the interpretation and recording of Polo and Vanriet look, the first score of the seven that make up Miradas de Polo (2019-2021), still unfinished musical work of the composer José Zárate, as ABC advanced. Clarinetist Gustavo Duarte, soloist of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra, and the score were found for the first time with the portrait Roberto Polo, oil work of the flamenco artist Jan Vanriet, which is the introduction to the Roberto Polo Collection. Center of Modern and Contemporary Art of Castilla-La Mancha (CORPO) at its headquarters in Toledo (Paseo del Miradero).
This first part of the musical work, a tribute to the collector, was scheduled to be premiered in a public concert last March, the museum’s first anniversary. “Then the unimaginable happened (the pandemic) and the concert had to be suspended,” explains the composer. But the virus was not going to break my creative freedom, and I continued composing during these months, until I created a total of seven scores. I am excited that the first of them will be performed before the end of the fateful year 2020 ».
Roberto Polo, whose life trajectory and biography, is the great-grandson of the famous Maestro Chané, a Galician composer exiled to Cuba, is directly related to music, visibly affected by clarinet notes thanked the composer and recalled the healing power that music has for the human being.
Zárate gave him a handwritten and dedicated copy of this first score of the complete work. Seven in total make up Miradas de Polo, 7 works for instruments and chamber music, each one composed for a solo instrument (with the exception of the third, for a saxophone quartet, and the fifth, which combines piano and voice), in dialogue with specific works in the collection, vehicular elements of true inspiration, which is the collection as a creation of Roberto Polo, a to whom the tribute is addressed: «To Roberto Polo, collector and patron».
«For a long time I had felt the concern to dialogue with the plastic arts, spatial works that would engage in a dialectic with the language of music; a subjective musical dialogue between the space of painting and the time of music. Something that until now had only experimented with arts that also develop over time, such as dance, literature or theatrical declamation “”.
It is not a commission, not even a request. «No, when I was feeling that creative need, at that very moment – continues Zárate (Madrid, 1972), pianist and one of the most recognized composers today on the national scene; Doctor in History and Sciences of Music, academic of the Arts and Sciences of Music of Spain–, it was providential to meet Roberto Polo, a personality with an overwhelming inner strength and magnetic field. And with this incentive, I dived into his creature, which is his collection. I visited her several times and I felt very attached to her artistic concept. And I chose seven works to dialogue not exclusively with them, but with the one who was able to make them his own and create for them this space that is the collection.
Seven works that, in order, would be the aforementioned portrait by Jan Vanriet, Red Roosenary by Maria Roosen (for solo flute), the polyptychs Swimming Pool and Flag Shadow by Peter Van Gheluwe and the Atlante by Bruno Ceccobelli (for saxophone quartet), the octaptic Holzwege by Rosella Vasta (for oboe), the Féminités by Pierre-Louis Flouquet (for voice and piano), Rounding the Cape by Karen Gunderson (for cello) and a seventh for ensemble that is in the works.
With the black navy of the American artist Karen Gunderson (whose title can be interpreted as “crossing the threshold”) Zárate wants to pay tribute to those who died “during” the pandemic. Its titled Singing absenthey is «a very heartfelt score in memory of the musician Fernando Egea, where pain and absence coexist with hope, because hope in music is essential.