“Beneath Mexican Stars” Liner Notes

“Beneath Mexican Stars” is for my wife, Monica, and it is indeed her favorite composition. BMS first appeared on my album “Amistad” and then again recently on “By Myself”
I always like to hear my music in ways other than when I play it on the piano. I thought “Beneath Mexican Stars” would sound wonderful as a string orchestral piece, and so it does, beautifully arranged by the master arranger Richard Bronskill.
Pianist/composer Sehwan Park has also done a terrific job in arranging “El Jardin” transforming the piece into a tango with superb performances by Gyujin Lee (violin) and Young Choi (cello).
Four solo piano pieces recorded during the pandemic are included in this album. Fortunately, there was a small window of opportunity to record with fellow musicians, the gifted local violinist David Mendoza, (“Forever” and “Redemption”) and the outstanding harmonica player Joe Powers
(“Across The Years”)
Two close friends died recently, and I have dedicated the two versions of “Forever” to
their memory.
I have always been fascinated by music boxes, so “Heidi’s Waltz” is my homage to those delightful tinkly instruments!
One of my own favorite compositions has been “Safe To Port” a hymn-like song movingly sung as a choral work on my “Requiem for Peace & Reconciliation” album, and also by the incomparable contralto AnDee Compton on my album “Grace”. It seemed fitting to include an instrumental version soulfully performed by violinist Emily Helsdon.
“Beloved”, a popular song in Korea, concludes the program with an exceptional performance by Shin Nal-Sae on the traditional Korean instrument, the Haegeum.
Michael Hoppé
San Miguel de Allende,