Antony Hopkins – A Portrait | Divine Art DDA21217

Antony Hopkins – A Portrait


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Label: Divine Art

Cat No: DDA21217

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Release Date: 24th September 2012



Antony Hopkins is a composer, pianist, conductor, broadcaster, author, lecturer and piano-recitalist - he sometimes calls himself a ‘sort of musical odd-job man’, since throughout his professional career he has claimed to be able to produce what has been asked for – often at short notice. An inherited gift for music meant that he went to the Royal College of Music in 1939 where, after a wasted first year, he began to study with Cyril Smith. To everyone’s surprise he won two of the top awards – the Chappell Gold Medal for piano and the Cobbett Prize for composition. It was soon found that he had an unusual gift for incidental music and numerous commissions followed for radio, theatre and cinema.

His broadcasts, 'Talking about Music', were spread intermittently over 36 years and were heard worldwide through the BBC Transcription Service. This led to a number of books.

These CDs show some of the wide variety of his music, ranging from mere morsels for recorder to more extensive sonatas and songs. They were entirely conceived and organised by John Turner, the noted recorder-player: it was only fair that his virtuosity should be largely featured.

Also included are eight short pieces by other composers, written as tributes to Antony on his 90th birthday in March 2011 – mostly as a response to his influential broadcasts when they were young. The theme from Warlock's Capriol Suite ('Pieds en l’Air') was included as one of the tunes he declared he most loved.

The release of this CD has only been possible with the generous support of a huge number of individuals spanning the worlds of performance, broadcasting and musical appreciation – a “Who’s Who” of those who have been influenced over the years by the multi-faceted talents of this fascinating character.

CD 1

- Sonata for Viola & Piano (Matthew Jones/Michael Hampton)
- Rondo from Piano Sonata no.2 in F sharp minor (Michael Hampton)
- A Humble Song To The Birds (James Gilchrist/Janet Simpson)
- Partita in G minor for solo violin (Paul Barritt)
- Piano Sonata no.3 in C sharp minor (Philip Fowke)
- Suite for Descant Recorder & Piano (John Turner/Janet Simpson)
- Pastiche Suite for recorder & piano (John Turner/Janet Simpson)
- Three French Folksongs (Lesley-Jane Rogers/John Turner/Janet Simpson)

CD 2
- Tango (Philip Fowke pno)
- Three Seductions (John Turner/Janet Simpson)
- Three Songs: First Love / I've Lost my Love / A melancholy song (Lesley-Jane Rogers/Janet Simpson/John Turner)
- Four Dances from Back to Methuselah (John Turner/Janet Simpson)
- Three Poems (Antony Hopkins – reader)

Eight Tributes:

- On How to Sing for Soprano, Recorder & Piano [Andrew Plant]
- A Little Pastoral for Solo Recorder [David Matthews]
- Evening in April for Soprano, Recorder & Piano [David Dubery]
- Above All That for Recorder & Piano [Anthony Gilbert]
- CantAHta for Soprano, Recorder & Piano [Gordon Crosse]
- Head Music for Recorder & Piano [David Ellis]
- Pierrot for Soprano, Recorder & Piano [Joseph Phibbs]
- Pieds en l’Air for Recorder & Piano [Elis Pehkonen]

Bonus Tracks:
- Vicarage Tea/Be Not Afraid from “Johnny the Priest” (Jeremy Brett/Stephanie Voss/Phillada Sewell)
- Trio from the opera 'Three’s Company', an opera by Antony Hopkins with libretto by Sir Michael Flanders (Elizabeth Boyd/Stephen Manton/Eric Shilling/Antony Hopkins)

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