2015 / Spring Hill Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Originally recorded in 1993 and released in 1994, Simple Pleasures is a re-issue of one of pianist/composer Michael Hoppé’s early albums, out of print for quite a number of years. Many of these thirteen songs have been through a variety of incarnations with different combinations of instruments, in the background of spoken word albums, and sung with lyrics created by various poets. What a delight it is to go back in time to hear these beautiful pieces in their original state - mostly piano with synth accompaniment. Longtime collaborator, flutist Tim Wheater is onboard for one track, and James Sitterly also appears on violin. A few of the pieces have a rhythm track, which surprised me, but in a good way! Otherwise, it’s just Michael Hoppé doing what he has always done best - pouring his heart into some of the most beautiful melodies ever created.
Michael Hoppé is one of contemporary music’s most respected artists. He has earned fifteen gold and four platinum records, a Grammy nomination, and an international audience. He has recorded thirty albums to date, both solo and with the Prague Symphony, Tim Wheater, cellist Martin Tillman, violist Harold Moses, Michael York, and others. His most-recent collaboration was with Italian vocalist Giuditta Scorcelletti on Nightingale (2015). Hoppé’s music has very strong classical influences, built around simple, heartfelt melodies that are usually tinged with at least a bit of melancholy (sometimes with a lot of melancholy!). Soothing, elegant, and deeply emotional, Hoppé’s music always inspires and satisfies.
Favorites on Simple Pleasures include “The Children’s Waltz,” “Roses on Toast,” “Midnight Bossa,” “Magda’s Waltz,” “Through the Window,” “Homeland Theme,” “The Parting,” and “Elegy.” It’s a wonderful album, so if you missed it the first time around, be sure to check it out! It is available from Amazon and iTunes. Recommended!
October 28, 2015