1 Ricercata Prima Giovanni Bassano (1558-1617)
2 Diminutions on Anchor Che Co'l Partire Cipriano de Rore (1516-1640)/Richardo Rogniono (1555-1620)
3 Canzona Segunda Bartolomé de Selma y Salaverde (c.1580-c.1640)
4 Sonata in E Minor, K263 Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
5 Sonata in E Major, K264 Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
6 Sonata in D Major, K491 Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
7 Sonata in D Major, K492 Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
8 Sonata in D Minor, K18 Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
9 Sonata in A Minor, K175 Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
10 Sonata in C Major, BWV 530 I Allegro Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
11 Sonata in C Major, BWV 530 II Lento Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
12 Sonata in C Major, BWV 530 III Allegro Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) 3:14
13 Ciaccona in G minor Tommaso Vitali (1665-1747)/ arr. Aldo Abreu
American Recorder, June 1993
RECORDERS ON DISC
For stringing strand upon strand of perfectly even pearls of diminution, it is hard to imagine anyone outshining Aldo Abreu. He is heard to advantage in the CD introducing the Trio Barroco Abreu. Supported by father-harpsichordist Abraham Abreu and sister-cellist Marién Abreu, the young prize winner plays a program including works by Bassano, Rogniono/de Rore, Bach (trio sonata, BWV 530) and Vitali (a chaconne in G minor). The Vitali is a fine showpiece for bravura playing, but if you want to hear the kind of rippling articulated diminutions discussed by Anthony Rowland-Jones, listen to the end of the Canzona by Bartolomé de Selma y Salaverde. Since a whole disc of even contest-level recorder playing can be enervating, a refreshing interlude of six Scarlatti harpsichord sonatas is welcome. The disc is available for $20 directly from Aldo Abreu (3209 East Tenth St., #2T, Bloomington IN 47408).
Alte Musik Aktuell
A discovery in the field of Baroque music hardly seems possible, but as you will see in my review, it is. The self-produced CD of the Trio Barroco Abreu is a discovery of terra incognita the early music scene in Venezuela. Since the early sixties, father Abraham Abreu (harpsichord) has been a pioneer of early music in his country. Both of his children, Aldo (recorder) and Marién (cello) have followed in his footsteps. They studied at well-known conservatories in Venezuela, the United States, England, and the Netherlands. It is interesting to note that 22-year-old Marién currently studies mathematics in Caracas while her brother wins one early music prize after another (Brugge 1984, Calw 1986, New York 1992). Unfortunately there is no more information in the booklet. But the CD is, of course, informative because the interpretation of the music by Giovanni Bassano (1558-1617), Richardo Rogniono (1592), Cipriano de Rore (1516-1565), Bartolomé de Selma y Salaverde (c. 1580-c. 1640), Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), and Tommaso Vitali (c.1665-1747) is very interesting. But even more interesting is Aldo Abreu's recorder playing. He controls his instrument with expression, virtuosity, and with hypnotic confidence. It is deeply impressive because now there is a recorder player of international caliber. The father plays harpsichord interestingly, first in the Scarlatti sonatas, and Marién Abreu's cello playing is mature and pleasant. Unfortunately, she studies mathematics. The best piece, a jewel of early music, is, of course, Bach's Sonata in C major, B'YW 530. It is vital and powerful.
About the recording:
This CD by the Abreu family was recorded in Caracas, Venezuela in 1992. It features virtuoso baroque music for recorder, harpsichord and cello.
ALDO ABREU, recorders
Aldo Abreu has taken the recorder and its repertoire to many prestigious venues throughout the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and his native Venezuela. Since winning First Prize at the 1992 Concert Artists Guild Competition, Mr. Abreu has been heard in recital at the Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, the Gardner Museum in Boston, Northwestern University’s Pick-Staiger Hall in Chicago, Spivey Concert Hall in Atlanta, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Laureate of the Premio Flauto Dolce (Germany) and the Concours Musica Antiqua (Belgium), Mr. Abreu has been featured at the Spoleto Festivals in the United States and Italy, the OK Mozart Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Recorder 2000 Festival in Armidale, Australia, Recorder Festivals in Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand, the Music in Your Life Project with the Avison Ensemble in Newcastle, England, and the Festival Music Society in Indianapolis. Mr. Abreu is a frequent guest of the American Bach Soloists in California, both on stage and in their recordings for the Koch International label.
Mr. Abreu has been a soloist with orchestras throughout the United States, including Solisti New York, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque the West Shore Symphony, the Illinois Chamber Symphony, the Savannah Symphony, the Billings Symphony, and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician with both modern and historical instruments, in concerts for the Cambridge Society for Early Music, Maverick Concerts in Woodstock, NY, the “Distinguished Visitors in the Arts” Series in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Performing Arts Series in Utica, New York.
Mr. Abreu frequently performs contemporary works for the recorder. Among them, The Kid from Venezuela by composer Pete Rose, Echoes and Shadows by Christopher Cook, Concerto for Recorder and Orchestra, commissioned from Ricardo Lorenz by Concert Artists Guild, and most recently, Concerto for Recorders and Orchestra by Lawrence Weiner, were written for Mr. Abreu. Mr. Abreu has also explored the rich but rarely heard music by Latin American composers of the Baroque and Contemporary periods.
Born in Caracas, Aldo Abreu holds the Performer’s and Teacher’s diplomas from the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, and a Master’s degree in Early Music from Indiana University in Bloomington. His teachers have included, Ricardo Kanji, Michael Barker and Scott Martin Kosofsky. Mr. Abreu is a member of the faculties of the New England Conservatory, Boston University, The Boston Conservatory, and the Amherst Early Music Festival and Institute.
ABRAHAM ABREU, harpsichord
Abraham Abreu has had a long and important career in his country, Venezuela, as performer and educator. His contribution to his country's musical education has been enhanced by his long activities as a university professor, and as a radio and television music lecturer and performer.
Educated at Yale University as a pianist, he has concentrated since 1970 in the performance of Baroque music at the harpsichord. In 1972 he worked briefly under the guidance of the great Dutch master Gustav Leonhardt.
His concerts in most European and American countries have been warmly received by the press. He has played in Berlin, Oslo, Zurich, Basel, Bern, Vienna, Rome, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Amsterdam, The Hague, Boston, New Haven, Bogota, Mexico, Guatemala, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.
He was a jury member in the First Bach Competition in Saarbrücken, Germany (1992) and also at the prestigious harpsichord and fortepiano competition in Bruges, Belgium (1995).
His recordings include a program of Baroque music with his son Aldo, recorder, and his daughter Marién, cello (1992). Also a program of works by Bach, Scarlatti, Froberger and Couperin (1972) and a Bach recital (1980). In 1999 he recorded a program on three instruments: harpsichord, clavichord and piano.
He has played the complete harpsichord works of Bach (20 recitals) in Caracas under the auspices of the Humboldt Association. He has played the Well Tempered Clavier, II, in the Bach Festival in Bristol (1982) and the complete Clavierübung in London (1993). He also performed in the six sonatas for violin and harpsichord by Bach with Maurice Hasson in London (1998).
MARIÉN ABREU, cello
Marién Abreu was born in Caracas in 1973 into a musical family. At an early
age she started piano lessons with the distinguished Argentinian teacher Lyl
Tiempo. At seven she developed an interest for the cello and began lessons with Madalena Burle-Marx. Later on she studied with Austrian teacher
Like her brother Aldo, she received a great stimulus in her musical studies at
the Emil Friedman School, where she received cello instruction from André Poulet, Ricardo Wenger and Florentino Mendoza.
In 1988 she played in a production of Bach's St. Matthew Passion under the
direction of Maria Guinand. In 1989 she attended the summer courses at the Arts Center, Interlochen, Michigan, USA. She has performed often as part
of the Abreu Baroque Trio in prestigious Venezuelan halls.
Marién is an accomplished Mathematician, who resides now in