dda 21217 (2CD)
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ARTISTS include: Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano), James Gilchrist (tenor), John Turner (recorder), Paul Barritt (violin), Matthew Jones (viola), Philip Fowke (piano), Michael Hampton (piano), Janet Simpson (piano), Antony Hopkins (speaker/piano); Jeremy Brett, Stephanie Voss, Phillada Sewell, Elizabeth Boyd, Stephen Manton, Eric Shilling

Antony Hopkins is a phenomenon - a fact which escapes much of the public and even press who still confuse him with the actor (Anthony). Composer, pianist, conductor, broadcaster, lecturer, author ... a true man of music. A livewire at the age of 91, (as we write in May 2012), his genius has suffered from fickle fashion, his 'serious' music being lyrical and tuneful though certainly deep and complex; his lighter music now seen as 'period' - and just ripe for redicovery. This double album contains much fine music including eight pieces written by top British composers as tributes to Antony. For all interested in the evolution of 20th century music this album will be invaluable, and it's also made with wit and humour, to suit the character of Hopkins himself.

CD DURATION:  CD1: 67.37, CD2: 57.52

Viola Sonata 2nd movement (extract)






Sonata for Viola and Piano
A Humble Song to the Birds (tenor and piano)
Partita in G minor for solo violin
Rondo from Piano Sonata no. 2 in F sharp minor
Piano Sonata no. 3 in C sharp minor
Suite for descant recorder and piano
Pastiche Suite for recorder and piano
Three French Folksongs (soprano and piano)
Tango for piano
Three Seductions, for recorder and piano
First Love, for soprano and piano
I've Lost my Love, for soprano, recorder and piano
A Melancholy Song, for soprano, recorder and piano
Four Dances, for recorder and piano
Three Poems
all above by Antony Hopkins

Eight Tributes:
Andrew Plant:
On How to Sing
David Matthews:
A Little Pastoral
David Dubery:
Evening in April
Anthony Gilbert:
Above all That
Gordon Crosse:
David Ellis:
Head Music
Joseph Phibbs:
Elis Pehkonen:
Pieds en l'air

Two extracts from 'Johnny the Priest' starring Jeremy Brett
Trio from 'Three's Company', an opera by Antony Hopkins, libretto by Sir Michael Flanders

This release has been made possible by the generous support of many subscribers, including some of Britain's top musicians, composers and broadcasters. A full list of credits appears in the CD booklet
review extracts: for full reviews click here
“This is a superb retrospective of Antony Hopkins' achievement as a composer but also recognises his talent as a poet. It is well-produced and allows the listener to approach a considerable variety of musical moods, styles and genres. There is a considerable stylistic gulf between the ‘Partita' and the ‘Tango'. However, both works are suffused with technical skill and sustained interest. The same applies to virtually all the music on these CDs. The performance of all this music is excellent. I will single out the beautiful voice of Lesley-Jane Rogers and the inspired playing of Matthew Jones on the viola for special mention. However all the soloists impressed me. Finally, I have to pay tribute to John Turner. He conceived the project, organised it and plays on a number of tracks. All this reveals his unquenchable enthusiasm and massive musical ability. It is a major achievement.” - John France ( MusicWeb)

“[Antony Hopkins the composer] was lightweight but never trivial and he could consistently charm the ear. Altogether, this is a delightfully entertaining anthology, vividly recorded, and can be especially recommended to those who, like me, had not previously discovered the composer's music.” – Ivan March (Gramophone)

“This is a most welcome CD ... a compilation that will entertain on all levels.” – Charwood (Amazon)

“One of the great popularisers of classical music in the pre-Classic FM generation, Antony Hopkins was a wonderful broadcaster; as this intriguing compilation for his recent 90th birthday reveals, he is also a composer of wit and substance.” – Nicholas Kenyon (The Guardian)

“A delightful and ... long overdue issue commemorating on the most admired figures in classical music in Britain. A wonderful set.” – Robert Matthew-Walker (Musical Opinion)

“[Hopkins'] music is finely constructed and undemanding. Yet he uses dissonance effectively and pungently, sometimes bringing to mind Hindemith. Thre is much to delight here.” – Colin Clarke (Fanfare)

“[Hopkins] did everything with distinction; and, although his muse was utterly English, his writing has almost a French piquancy The present anthology shows his range and his consistently seductive invention, with a consistent injection of often haunting lyricism. Let me finally commend all the performers whose ardent playing contributes so materially to the success of this well-annotated disc. It is indeed a Portrait, and a very well deserved one too.” - Jonathan Woolf (MusicWeb)

“Divine Art has produced this superb 2-CD tribute to Antony Hopkins for his 90th birthday. This tribute is a wonderful celebration of Antony Hopkins's life and music ... such an accomplished all-round musical personality. Hopkins' music ... deserves to be heard more frequently in the concert hall.” – Michael Jones (BMS News)

“It is as a very versatile and practical composer that [Hopkins] best expresses his musical personality. The four-movement Sonata for viola and piano with which the first disc opens is a case in point: - a significant addition to [the] genre. Both discs form not only a lively portrait of the composer, but also both a sincere tribute and a musical treat in which the enthusiasm of the performers and composers is very evident.” - Andrew Mayes (Recorder Magazine)

“I have been enjoying a celebratory two disc set representing [Antony Hopkins'] output. Discs worth investigating.” – Philip Scowcroft (Light Music Society)
“Altogether this is a warm and generous tribute to one who meant so much to the many who listened to [Hopkins'] words, his music and his wisdom.” – Patric Standford (Music and Vision)