Hopkinson Smith has been called the most moving of present day lutenists...he approaches the lute's universe with a musicality which goes far beyond the seemingly limited voice of his instrument. We invite you to explore on this website the magic of his lute and its music.

San Diego Early Music Society Scores Again

But it is Smith's mastery of early lute music, his meticulous technique, elegant phrasing, emotional involvement and engaging writing (he wrote the program notes) that inspire this: "As we grow into a repertoire and ingest its language and freedoms, a process of entering the creativity of an époque gradually takes place." True for the artist--and certainly true for the audience.

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Hopkinson Smith : Mad Dog

The American lutenist Hopkinson Smith was born in 1946. This beautiful album of lute works melancholy and spry was recorded in 2015 but released only now. A 70th-birthday present to himself, perhaps? Certainly the continued presence on this earth of an artist such as Smith, whose recordings over the years of the rich German, French, Italian, English and Spanish repertoire for guitar, vihuela and lute are surely one of the greatest musical ornaments of our own age, is worth celebrating.

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Mad Dog (Lautenwerke)

Wenn ein für das Lautenspiel und überhaupt für die Alte Musik so verdienter Musiker wie Hopkinson Smith seinen 70. Geburtstag feiert, sollte es eigentlich feuilletonistische Glückwunschtelegramme und Würdigungen hageln. Doch Ende 2016 blieb es zumindest im deutschsprachigen Raum erstaunlich still.

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Mad Dog. Hopkinson Smith, luit

Luitspeler Hopkinson Smith is op zijn zeventigste nog altijd een fenomeen. Niemand die de renaissanceluit zo fris, zo knapperig en tegelijk zo weemoedig kan laten ronken als hij. Op dit album struint hij door zijn lievelingsrepertoire, de Engelse renaissance, en plukt een geheel eigen ‘best of’ bij elkaar: een reis langs diepe melancholie op dansende voeten met muziek van John Johnson, Anthony Holborne en natuurlijk ook John Dowland.

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Hopkinson Smith, Beyond the Instrument

HOPKINSON SMITH ’70 describes J.S. Bach as a musical ecologist. “He recycled so many of his own works,” Smith explains. “He never stopped trying to adapt what he’d written.” It was an accepted musical practice at the time, but one imagines the composer was driven at least in part by pragmatism: his posts in a number of German cities required him to produce new compositions at a fierce pace. Refashioning musical materials helped him keep up with those demands. “Even so,” Smith adds, “writing a cantata a week would not have been a manageable task for the rest of us mortals.”

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Vater aller Lautenisten

Bonner Meisterkonzerte Klassische Gitarre: Hopkinsons Smith spielte im Kunstmuseum

Beim Stichwort „Renaissance-Laute“ fällt der Name „John Dowland“. Nur war der „English Orpheus“ einen guten Teil seines Berufslebens außerhalb Englands tätig. Am Hofe Elisabeth I. gaben andere den Ton an, John Johnson etwa und Anthony Holborne. 

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A Duo, a Trio, a Quartet, and a Lute Recital: Diversity Rules

Philadelphia, December 4th, 2015

[...] An elegant and genial figure on the platform and a master of his instrument, Smith not only achieved prodigies of prestidigitation in the faster pieces, but in the slower ones, his superfine delicacy of touch evoked just the kind of magic that so much of Shakespeare’s work shared with his contemporaries in that same golden age of English music, drama, and literature. 
The spell Smith cast over his listeners assured him of an enthusiastic ovation. This he rewarded with an additional piece by Anthony Holborne, aptly choosing that composer’s Fare thee well. [...] 

by Bernard Jacobson (Seen And Heard International)



ホプキンソン・スミス(以下H):子供 の頃は、ピアノのレッスンを受けてい ました。歌うことが大好きで、学校や 教会でもよく歌いました。私の父は建 築家でしたが、音楽が大好きで、家に は沢山のレコードがあり、良質な音楽 に囲まれて育ちました。そして中学校 に上がると、吹奏楽部に入りました。 トランペットやホルン、サクソフォン 等、足りないパートの楽器を任されま した(笑)。

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Les Disques de A à Z

Enregistré au monastère de Beinwil en juin 2015 par Laure Casenave-Péré. Une prise de son relativement proche pour une grande intimité avec le jeu du musicien. Le luth, tout en relief, semble évoluer sous nos oreilles avec tant de présence qu’on pourrait presque le toucher.

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Magazine Ted Canada Avril 2015

Il faut être un peu naïf ou candide pour brader des enregistrements qui n’ont strictement aucune concurrence. Mais c’est sans doute la loi du “marché” que d’oublier progressivement à quel point Hopkinson Smith est un génie. Voici réunis donc en un coffret de 4 CD au prix d’un seul (!) le legs d’Hopkinson Smith pour l’éternité: ses transcriptions pour luth des Sonates et Partitas pour violon seul et des Suites pour violoncelle no 4 à 6 de Bach, ainsi que ses transcriptions pour théorbe des Suites pour violoncelle no 1 à 3. L’intelligence musicale et l’inspiration de l’interprète sont tellement élevées que les mots ne suffisent plus. J’ai écrit un jour que ce n’étaient pas là des disques, mais des leçons de vie. À saisir, absolument. 

Strings Attached - May 2015 - The Whole Note

There are more Bach transcriptions available in a 4 CD box set of the works for solo violin and solo cello, Sonatas & Partitas, Suites, this time in transcriptions for lute and theorbo by the American lutenist Hopkinson Smith (naïve 8 22186 08939 2). The set is a reissue in box form of Smith’s previous CDs; the Violin Sonatas & Partitas were recorded in 1999 and the Cello Suites in 1980, 1992 and 2012. A theorbo is used for the first three cello suites and a 13-course baroque lute for the violin works and the cello suites four to six.

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