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How much you enjoy the music may also be affected by how you react to the singers. Soprano Heidi Fielding has a strong voice with a disturbingly strong vibrato, one which would have benefited from being recorded in a more natural acoustic with greater space round the voice [listen -- track 1, 0:15-1:13]. Her vocal timbre tends to dominate each movement in which she sings, and this becomes a dominant factor in the feel of the recording. Hoppé refers to her 'exquisite artistry', so presumably this is the sound that he wants.

Tenor Dwain Briggs croons his way through the work, coming over as sounding not unlike Johnny Mathis. At its best, the recording offers some powerful moments [listen -- track 7, 1:01-1:59], but also moments which I found less acceptable [listen -- track 8, 0:00-0:40] where the vocal qualities dominate the material.

This is a recording which you need to try before buying. It has very specific qualities, both vocal and musical, and will not suit everyone.

Copyright © 12 March 2008 Robert Hugill, London UK


Michael Hoppé: Requiem

2-HOS-11418 Stereo NEW RELEASE 42'06" 2006 Valley Entertainment Inc/Michael Hoppé

Heidi Fielding, soprano; Dwain Briggs, tenor; Chris Bleth, oboe; Martin Tillmann, cello; Bernadette Allbaugh, clarinet; Alyssa Park, violin; Lilly Hayden, violin; Michael Hoppé, keyboards

Michael Hoppé: Requiem (2006) (Introit; Kyrie; Sanctus; Lacrimosa; Pie Jesu; Agnus Dei; Lux Aeterna; In Paradisum); Agnus Dei (theme - violin version); Hoppé/Fielding: My Prayer


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