Peace & Reconciliation: Choral Music
Michael Hoppé has one of those fascinating backstories; a behind-the-scenes guy in the 70s responsible for signing a lot of the great new age talent (Vangelis, Kitaro, Jarre) he then went out under his own name as a composer and started to create what he calls “heart music”, a mix of new age and contemporary classical. He’s made dozens of albums across the last 35 years, many of them quite hauntingly beautiful.
But his latest is a very special piece and a very special realisation of an earlier project.
Here, the Tetra Quartet and voices of the Sedona Academy of Chamber Singers take the work from 2006 Requiem and rework it for 40 voices. That earlier work was finally completed last year after a chance trip to work with the Sedona Academy and members of that group underwrote the recording of this full album.
So we have the gorgeous sounds of string quartet, slow, leaving you breathless (Introit) as voices softly pour atop (Kyrie).
It’s always time for this sort of music – but 2020 has provided a special need for such musical solace. I’ve been listening to this in much the way I spend time with Gorecki’s Third Symphony; it is an altogether “happier” feel, a more spiritually uplifting set of resonances, joyous, profound. But it comes from a similar sort of artistry, there’s a connection to the mournful, elegiac and heartfelt, heart-filling music that is so instantly potent.
I have very little words for this – because I’m a god-awful heathen-fuck raised on rap and metal and horror movie soundtracks and busy jazz and classic rock and the intoxicating Celtic rhythms and melodies that stir and swirl. And I’m new to classical music in any of its shapes and forms.
But this is an album I play like a room-spray. I leave this on to fill the house. I have it as a mood-setter for the day. I go to sleep with it in my ears at night. And I carry it through my days in my heart.
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