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Michael Hoppé: Solace
Prague Symphony Orchestra, Michael Hoppe
Michael Hoppé: Solace
Genres: Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

The search for solace involves a difficult reconciliation of conflicting emotions, pitting one?s need to grieve at odds with a heavy-hearted realization that life, however diminished, must go on. Using an audio palette of ...  more »


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All Artists: Prague Symphony Orchestra, Michael Hoppe
Title: Michael Hoppé: Solace
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Spring Hill
Original Release Date: 1/1/2003
Re-Release Date: 4/8/2003
Album Type: Extra tracks
Genres: Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Classical
Style: Meditation
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 718795604227

The search for solace involves a difficult reconciliation of conflicting emotions, pitting one?s need to grieve at odds with a heavy-hearted realization that life, however diminished, must go on. Using an audio palette of grays and dark blues, Michael Hoppe offers Solace as a balm for the soul during such times, "where the dark clouds in life give way to the glow of eternal hope and peace." The clouds never fully lift during the 12 tracks of Solace, which appear to progress in a stages-of-mourning manner. The effect can be moving, even lovely (particularly the grand orchestral opener, "The Majestic Land," one of four splendid selections involving the Prague Symphony -- recorded remotely via an Internet link, of all things). The prevailing mood is melancholy but not quite maudlin; two angelic arias ("Pie Jesu," which Hoppe had written for the memorial service of his wife?s mother, and "Lachrymosa") are tearless, reverent expressions that aspire to the divine. The closing moment of "The Parting," a retooled but otherwise ordinary composition from 1986 that involves Vangelis, finally yields a sense of closure. For those in a state of bereavement, Hoppe?s Solace may offer you comfort. --Terry Wood

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CD Reviews

From Solo Piano Publications
Kathy Parsons | Florence, OR United States | 04/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Michael Hoppe's "Solace" is a marvel of artistry and technology. His thirteenth album, Hoppe says that this recording came to life through a series of miracles that allowed him to create a much more complex rendition of his work. Last year, a fan that he had never met contacted Hoppe, offering to help him further his vision in some way out of gratitude for the "solace" Hoppe's music had brought to his own life. Hoppe told him that he'd love to work with a full symphony but that the cost was prohibitive. The benefactor said he would take care of it. Shortly after that, Hoppe received a card in the mail announcing the possibility of recording with the Prague Symphony without having to travel to Czechoslovakia - the recording sessions would take place over the Internet from his hometown of Los Angeles. The orchestral parts were sent to Prague via the Internet and copied there. For the actual recording, engineers created at live Internet link from a large studio in Prague to another studio in Los Angeles, enabling the people in both studios to see and interact with each other. From LA, Hoppe was able to conduct the orchestra, and it was even possible to remotely activate a small video camera for close-ups of the soloists! Four of the album's twelve tracks were recorded with the symphony: "This Majestic Land," "Romance for Violin and Orchestra," "Renouncement," and "Nimbus." All four are gorgeous, and revel in Hoppe's classical roots. The piece that has been creating a lot of "buzz" in relation to this album is Vangelis' appearance playing Hoppe's own "The Parting." This is not a new recording, but a tweaked version of a cassette recording Hoppe made in 1986 while visiting his hero at his home (then in New York). The two composers were talking about their recent work, and Hoppe played a 3-minute version of "The Parting." Vangelis then did an 8-minute take while Hoppe recorded the impromptu performance. Many years later, Hoppe had a friend who owns a mastering facility transfer the recording, removing unwanted background noise and expanding the dynamic range. Hoppe then sent the new recording to Vangelis who gave him permission to use it on "Solace." Michael Hoppe hopes that this music will give "a sense of much needed peace in an increasingly troubled world... and a continued belief in small miracles." As on previous albums, Hoppe's music tends to be melancholy, but is so shimmeringly beautiful and elegant that it soothes and lifts the spirit. Hoppe has been one of my favorite artists for many years, and this is definitely one of his very best albums to date. Miracles set to music!"
Marion Wood | Atlanta, Michigan USA | 02/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I own 100s of CDs of many different types. I especially love
New Age and Classical music. I bought Solace not knowing anything about Michael Hoppe. I put Solace on my CD player and sat back to listen. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this CD!
Usually, when I purchase a music CD, I will find that I only like a few songs or tracks and the rest will be ho-hum. But this
CD is wonderful from beginning to end! The music is very soothing and I like hearing different musical instruments and
voices for each song. I don't believe that I will ever grow tired of listening to this album. I highly recommend it!"
Thomas P, Casey | Los Angeles, Ca United States | 06/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have been a Michael Hoppe fan since I Heard his "Simple Pleasures" CD about eight years ago. I have all of his CD's. However, in this CD, he has surpassed them all. Solace has everything. No other Instrumental CD has the variety of this one. From The Prague Symphony, to Martin Tilman's Cello, to Heidi Fielding's Soprano, and then to top it off "The Parting performed by Vangelis.And, through out it all, Michael Hoppe at the Keyboards.
When I listen to Hoppe's music, I can feel as well a hear his music. This is his best. A Six Star, if there was such a rating."