“Mr. Hobbins had his audience spell-bound as he showed his grasp of the overall structure and line of movement, and captured the subtlety of expression which he brought to a phrase or a single chord or note. His playing was neither over- intellectual nor under emotional. ”
– The Star, Jamaica
Gershwin; Rachmaninoff (CD RECORDING)
Alan Hobbins | Maestro Music Company MMCD03
“Alan Hobbins is an amazing Canadian pianist of Jamaican descent, living right here at our doorstep, in Toronto. Our celebrity obsessed culture being what it is, I doubt many people have heard of him. This is a pity, because he is an artist of major stature and this CD proves it.
Hobbins is at least twice blessed. Not only has he a natural affinity to the Romantic movement, particularly the great ‘princes of the piano’ Chopin & Rachmaninoff, but he is also very much at home in the world of American jazz with its complex and syncopated cross-rhythms. The Gershwin section begins with an ambitious, spirited, imaginative and technically brilliant account of Rhapsody in Blue, the complete, unabridged and formidably difficult solo version, followed by 6 preludes of differing moods and character. Here Hobbins truly captures our heart with a sultry Blue Lullaby, the Spanish Prelude with its rumba rhythm and finally, the irrepressible, Scott Joplin type ragtime, honky-tonk piano of Rialto Ripples.
Rachmaninoff’s Preludes are the Mount Everest of the piano, influenced by Chopin and Liszt. Hobbins continues with the composer’s 6 best known of the genre. The list alternates between Chopinesque, sensitive, arpeggiated pieces (G sharp minor, D major, E flat major) and the more grandiose, passionate and dynamic Preludes (C sharp minor, G minor, B flat major).
All performances are superb, but Hobbins really pulls out the big guns for the B flat major Prelude where he plays with such romantic abandon that he reminds me of the great Martha Argerich.
We wish Alan Hobbins continued great success.“
– Janos Gardonyi, WholeNote
The Toronto Concert-Goers Guide
“Hobbins gamely tackles Gershwin’s solo piano arrangement of Rhapsody In Blue and Rachmaninoff’s Preludes with technically fine playing.”
– Toronto Star
Chopin the Romantic: Piano Music Volume II
Alan Hobbins | Maestro Music Co. MMCD02
“The Jamaican-Canadian pianist Alan Hobbins is a protégè of the late Chopin authority Marek Jablonski. This is his second album of Chopin selections, produced on his own label and expertly recorded by veteran tonmeister Ed Marshall.
Mr. Hobbins brings a welcome rhythmic vitality to this repertoire, which includes several Mazurkas as well as more familiar fare including a truly heroic rendition of the celebrated Polonaise in A-flat major. His command of the expressive rubato, the hallmark of the Romantic style, is never willful and always serves a coherent structural purpose. A Grand Huzzah to Hobbins for this exceptional album in a very crowded field.” – WholeNote
“Hobbins playing has an exquisite delicacy, which constantly engaged itself with mystical fantasy… his Chopin CD is an innovative effort, and it musically chronicles the evolution and merging of the contemporary and the more traditional.”
– CD Review