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.

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Aller guten Saiten sind 13

Intimität als Stärke: Lautenmusik hat wahrscheinlich schon vor einem halben Jahrtausend die Seelen zur Kontemplation angeregt. Beglückende Ruhe, erfüllte Stille: Alles, woran es unserer heutigen hektischen Zeit mangelt, vermittelt die Atmosphäre eines Lauten-Abends. Besonders, wenn der Herr der Saiten Hopkinson Smith heißt.

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In musica gli albori del Rinascimento

Hopkinson Smith è alto, allampanato, volto magro su cui spunta facile un sorriso accattivante; le mani sono lunghe, le dita affusolate traggono suoni dal liuto e dalla vihuela) anctico strumento a corde della famiglia dei liuti) come la brezza passa tra le foglie di un bosco in uno stormir di fronde. Il suono appare e scompare, passa come uno spiritello che un momento si vede e il momento successivo è sostituito da un altro, anzi da una folla, da una cascata di altri, che si rincorrono, lasciando una traccia lieve come sospiro di rondine, che si unisce ad altre in un’indissolubile, incredibile catena armonica, che volge in fraseggio, poi in discorso poetico fatto di note, note antiche, figlie di un tempo remoto, fremito di bellezza ansiosa di manifestarsi.

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An Afternoon with Hopkinson Smith

HOPKINSON SMITH is involved with music in such a pure and direct manner that he might best be described as a composer’s performer, viewing each musical text as a hermetic entity demanding questions, discovery, analysis, sensitivity, and intimacy from the performer in order to unlock its secrets. There may be no other performer on the early music scene who has a broader mastery of plucked strings as well as a deep knowledge of the literature for each: 11- and 13-course Baroque lute, Renaissance lutes of all types, vihuela, Baroque guitar, Renaissance guitar, and theorbo.

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A Conversation with Bruce Duffie

Musical styles and tastes come and go. Individual composers and entire genres swing in and out of fashion, but the performance of Early Music — think pre-Bach — lay quite dormant for three centuries or more. Yes, there were a few — very few — practitioners of these styles who kept the ideas alive during the Baroque through the Impressionist periods, but only since the mid-1970s or so have we had a renaissance of Renaissance music! The end of the twentieth century saw (and heard!) a revival and the genuine interest in trying to replicate the authentic sounds and gestures that brought light to the world as it emerged from the dark ages.

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Quiet, Please

The lute is not an instrument meant to be played in major concert halls: unwrapping a cough drop while a lutenist performs could drown out an entire fantasia. In general, live performances are superior to recorded versions, but--unless you're privy to a recital in some royal chamber--recordings of lute music may be the best way to appreciate it fully. Certainly, the two discs most recently released by Hopkinson Smith '70 reward close, repeated listenings

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