REVIEWS

Sea Symphony

‘… academic complexities do not trouble the ear, which is constantly entertained and alternately assuaged and assaulted by an endlessly fascinating stream of sounds, atmospheric rather than specific in their depiction of the sea in various moods’
MUSIC AND MUSICIANS

Voices from the Sea CD

‘… a stunning song cycle’
THE STRAD December 2003

‘… finely pointing the drama of the texts without recourse to obvious word-painting, and easing into refrains of exceptional beauty.’
THE GUARDIAN

‘… a name to remember … These evocative settings show that Hawkins has the now rare gift of being able to write vocal lines grateful to the voice, where leaping intervals slip naturally and movingly into the lyrical sequence – especially when sung with such intensity and variety of vocal colour as here by Martyn Hill … a highly enticing debut CD for Hawkins.’
GRAMOPHONE May 2004

‘Brilliant … both the vocal writing and string layout were superb.’
H.C. ROBBINS LANDON

‘The whole cycle is a beautifully varied, contrasted, and often moving achievement … magnificent … Hawkins’ sincere, honest and impeccably written music is clearly the work of a distinguished musician who obviously has things to say and who knows how to say them in accessible, communicative terms likely to appeal to larger audiences without ever compromising or writing down to them …’
‘Variations for piano’ is a minor masterpiece in its own right … that should appeal to any pianist willing to add an accessible modern work to his/her repertoire.
Hubert Culot MUSICWEB December ’03

‘What an enterprising CD this is with a great mixture of excellent music’
THE MUSICIAN

‘Excellently crafted … Hawkins’ word setting is superb … The texts, written by merchant seamen … are strikingly direct, and are telling in Martyn Hill’s sympathetic rendering and admirably clear articulation … this collection will give great pleasure to afficionados of 20th century British music.’
CLASSICAL NET

See the full Classical Net review of the ‘Voices from the Sea’ CD . . .

 

Echoes

‘. . . a wealth of opportunities, readily seized, for economical but effective musico-dramatic gestures…. All make their evocative points in an instant.’
THE OBSERVER

 

‘Echoes achieves a genuinely moving balance between bathos and emotion.’
CITY LIMITS

Fuzon

‘Well-crafted with an assured economy of gesture, Fuzon is a welcome addition to the repertoire. All four members of the Piatti Quartet were suitably fiery in their response to Hawkins’s forthright but exacting score, tearing into its more vigorous sections with admirable gusto.
TEMPO, April 2013

Stranger, Lover, Dancer

‘Hawkins has a gift for creating miniatures which have a heft and resonance well beyond their modest duration’
MUSICAL OPINION, December 2016

Urizen

‘… a late-twentieth-century musical gem. . . Immensely gratifying musically, the work is idiomatically appropriate for both viola and piano.’
NOTES 2002

 

‘John Hawkins’ Urizen is a haunting work composed with real passion and lyrical conviction.’
THE MUSICIAN

 

‘… keen-eared responses to the instrument’s potential for dark utterance through soulfully eloquent melody.’
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

 

‘Most solo-instrument passages bore me to death, but this grabs my attention…’
CLASSICAL NET 2007

Palinode

‘Tautly-argued and endowed with sufficient incident to fuel a piece several times its length, ‘Palinode’ made a strong impression at its first performance…. It is to be hoped that this premiere and subsequent performances will bring Hawkins’s music, with its decided substance and sensibility, the attention it merits’.
TEMPO January 2012

Zoo Tunes

‘… a variety of textures, attractive (but not prosaic) melodies, sophisticated harmonies and a few challenging rhythms.’
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MUSIC EDUCATION

 

‘… cleverly composed and often unpredictable…. Recommended.’
MUSIC TEACHER MAGAZINE