The Dearing Concert Duo’s third CD,
Romanza!, features the vocals of Abha Dearing. On this album they trace 20’th century works from Spain, Argentina, and Brazil by composers such as Manuel De Falla, Enrique Granados, Joaquin Rodrigo, and Heitor Villa-Lobos. The album also features solo works for guitar by Maximo Diego Pujol, Francisco Tarrega and Jorge Morel. Recorded at Solid Sound Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Detroit Free Press
Duo’s classical Latin sound seduces
For a self-produced group, the Dearing Concert Duo has been especially savvy about crafting albums with unique aesthetic identities. A debut CD surveyed classical transcriptions and the follow-up explored South American vernacular styles.
With “Romanza,” the husband-and-wife team of guitarist Steven Dearing and soprano and flutist Abha Dearing turns to Latin music for voice and guitar. (Abha Dearing is not heard on flute.) Though the Spanish and Latin American flavor is a holdover from the previous disc, the sound world here is more elegantly formal.
First, “Romanza” introduces Abha Dearing’s soprano for the first time. It’s a lovely voice — sweet-tempered, buoyant, idiomatic in articulation and phrasing. Second, the material is steeped in the nationalist classical traditions of Spain, Brazil, Chile and Argentina with music by such masters as Manuel de Falla, Enrique Grandados, Joaquin Rodrigo and Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Steven Dearing’s secure technique and judicious balance of rhythmic snap and lyrical flow highlight the many solo performances, while the duet sports a seductively intimate blend of voice and guitar.
The Oakland Press
Rated 4 stars
Latin’s Intrigue displayed on splendid collections
Guitarist Steven Dearing and his wife Abha, a singer and flutist, formed the Dearing Concert Duo in 1998. Based in the Detroit area, the Duo has also performed in Canada, England and Scotland. This CD, their third, is a gererous 65-minute compilation of vocal and instrumental music. Highlights include Spanish songs by Joaquin Rodrigo and Enrique Granados sung in a properly sultry style by Abha Deraing, as well as Heitor Villa-Lobos’ familiar Bachianas Brasileras No. 5. The justifiably famous Villa-Lobos piece, originally scored for soprano and eight cellos, is performed here in a deft arrangement for guitar and voice. Steven Deraing displays his solos talents especially well in a set os five preludes for solo guitar by the Argentine composer Maximo Diego Pujol. The pieces exploit the unique possibilities of the instrument well, at the same time maintaining an individual musical personally for each work. Some of the other selections present a drawback that is perhaps unavoidable on a CD devoted to one general musicial style: a sameness that tends to make the pieces run together. Pick and choose, though, and you will come away very impressed with the Duo’s abilities.
The Windsor Star
Rated: 4 stars / 5
The Windsor duo, Abha and Steven Dearing, have retained the Latin feel of their last CD, but with a difference. This time, Abha leaves her flute in its case and sings in a beautiful soprano while Steven accompanies on the Spanish guitar. The works are compositions based on traditional themes by the likes of Rodrigo, de Falla, Tarrega and Granados. Steven’s vigorous readings of pieces by the Brazilian composer, Jorge Morel, are among the album’s instrumental delights. Seven Spanish Songs, by Manuel de Falla, are richly textured miniatures sung as passionate art songs by Abha. This is both a departure and a redefining of their art for the Dearings, another in their continuing series of high-quality independent recordings.
Listen to Romanza!