Michael Hoppé and Tim Wheater
1996 / Teldec Classics International
Review by Kathy Parsons
I first encountered the music of Michael Hoppé and Tim Wheater on Seventh Wave’s A Very Green Christmas, and loved their arrangement of “Silent Night”. When I saw The Yearning, I bought it with great anticipation. Despite my excitement, I was not expecting anything of the shimmering beauty of this album. It is unquestionably one of the most beautful recordings I have ever heard.
Each “Romance” is individually dedicated to the celebrated women featured in a series of photographs by photographer, E.O. Hoppé (1878-1972), Michael’s grandfather. The photographs and a short biography of each of these women are included in a booklet, so this makes an exceptional package. But the music - the music....
A sense of yearning and passion runs through each piece, giving the album a consistent mood all the way through. All of the pieces are slow and low-keyed. The alto flute sounds like it has about the same range as a cello, and, that same lovely, melancholy feel that can come from a cello is here as well. Hoppé keeps his synthsizer washes in the background, and they serve to enhance the sounds of the flute and provide some subtle harmonies and gentle rhythms. Haunting, ethereal, elegant, and emotional are words that come to mind as I listen to this aural work of art.
April 4, 1996