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Daniel Hope - Complete Warner Recordings


Release Date: 09/25/2012 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 2564660542   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Alban BergBenjamin BrittenMaurice RavelManuel de Falla,   ... 
Performer:  Daniel HopeSebastian KnauerGaurav MazumdarAsok Chakraborty,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul WatkinsMaxim ShostakovichRoger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony OrchestraChamber Orchestra of EuropeCamerata Salzburg
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Called “adventurous and brilliant” by the New York Times, Hope was named “the most exciting British string player since Jacqueline du Pré,” by the London Observer. A recent New York Times review summarized him as “a violinist of probing intellect and commanding style,” and continued: “In a business that likes tidy boxes drawn around its commodities, the British violinist Daniel Hope resists categorization. Mr. Hope, a compelling performer whose work involves standard repertory, new music, raga, and jazz, emphasizes thoughtful engagement over flamboyant display. In his most personal undertakings, he puts classical works within a broader context – not just among other styles and genres but amid history, literature, and drama – to Read more emphasize music’s role as a mirror for struggle and aspiration.”

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

Berg, Britten: Violin Concertos
Berg’s Violin Concerto appeared only infrequently on LPs: Ivry Gitlis, André Gertler, and Louis Krasner (who commissioned it) made the three monaural recordings that carried the concerto pretty much through the early stereophonic era. Later, they were joined by Isaac Stern; but the ensuing digital era has witnessed a spate of new recordings and interpretative ideas. It couldn’t have been the dodecaphonic system that once put off interpreters: Berg had notoriously included triadic and scalar material in his tone row and, beyond that, had imported a Carinthian Ländler and Bach’s setting (with fragmentary borrowing of its slithering chromatic parts) of the chorale Es ist genug. André Gertler (at last re-released on Hungaroton HCD 31635) made an impact in the Concerto that nevertheless represented only a suggestion, though hardly a faint one, of its expressive possibilities. Isaac Stern unfolded the work’s programmatic tableau with the rich, sweet tone he produced in those halcyon days. Among later interpreters, Perlman followed Stern, while Mutter, together with Daniel Barenboim and the Chicago Orchestra, pulverized the Concerto’s lines, and Mark Kaplan (Koch 3-7530-2 HI, 26:5) took a flexible approach that fit the grim story line like a glove. Daniel Hope sings with Gertler’s understanding but probes even deeper into the possibilities of nuance the violin part offers to an empathetic soloist. Like Gertler, he stresses the work’s lyricism, which he inflects in a high romantic style well in accord with Berg’s own syncretistic vision. The first section is insinuating; the catastrophe, overpowering; and the conclusion, ethereal. Hope and Paul Watkins follow a new edition prepared by Douglas Jarman, which, according to Jarman’s notes, corrects mistakes transferred from Berg’s manuscript to the full score. Hope himself gave the premiere of that version in 1995.

Britten’s Violin Concerto, from 1940, can be linked to Berg’s in several non-trivial ways: according to Donald Mitchell’s notes, Britten heard the premiere of Berg’s work in Barcelona, both concertos center on tragedies (although Britten’s subject matter appears more global than personal), and they were composed within only a few years of each other. If Berg’s Concerto hardly entered the mainstream for a generation, Britten’s suffered the same neglect. There may be reasons. Technically brilliant, it’s no simple showpiece; lyrical and dramatic, it’s also ominous and disturbing. Daniel Hope brings great technical assurance and panache to the demanding second movement, an incisive Scherzo with a twist of lemon, and to the rapid passagework in the concluding Passacaglia. But he also adapts to the first movement’s fresh lyricism, softening what sometimes seems its brash cockiness but not its steely core, and to the Passacaglia’s haunting final page. As in Berg’s Concerto, he’s miked so close up that he owes some of his commanding presence to the generosity of the engineers, who have trained a bright spotlight on him. (They’ve also revealed the vivid orchestral colors of Berg’s Concerto with great depth of detail and the stormy sonorities of Britten’s work with little diminution of their gale force.) But he owes nothing to them for his firm grasp of the work’s complexities and his tone’s cutting strength. Ruggiero Ricci also combined strength and lyricism in a moving reading (One-Eleven, EPR-96020) that barely emerges from what presumably the engineers took from an air-check. I remember finding Mark Lubotsky’s early readings of this Concerto favoring its more mordant passages (yet with strong-minded, soaring lyricism), while more recently, Maxim Vengerov (EMI 7243 5 57510 2 7) has also brought a similar mix of sweet and sour to the work. Vengerov’s incisive slashes, however, as in the central movement, never leave ragged edges, as, at least in comparison, do Hope’s.

Daniel Hope may not be the most individual among younger violinists. But of him it can be said without exaggeration that he communicates the kind of dramatic power that only the greatest violinists of the preceding era, notably Heifetz and Oistrakh, could generate at peak moments. Hope fries the ammeter’s circuitry throughout these two concertos: more than an hour of taut emotional tension. What he’s committed to disc supersedes others I’ve heard as a most visceral and deeply affecting recording of Berg’s Concerto; and that work is coupled with a performance of Britten’s that transmits its raw kinetic power. Strongly recommended.

-- Robert Maxham, FANFARE

Bach: Concertos
It’s hard to imagine performances of Bach’s violin concertos like those of Nigel Kennedy or, now, these by Daniel Hope, passing muster two generations ago. But since then, Bach’s model, Vivaldi, has enjoyed a second rebirth through the midwifery of period instrumentalists who have sped up the tempos of his fast movements and shone light through the ingeniously transparent textures of his slow ones, all the while employing a wider range of colors than hitherto imagined. Of course, these innovations don’t necessarily rely on the characteristic sounds of period instruments to achieve their effects, as recordings of the Four Seasons by Nigel Kennedy, Gidon Kremer, Kyung-Wha Chung, and others have demonstrated. In his program of Bach’s Violin Concertos (with the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto thrown in for good measure), Daniel Hope has followed in the footsteps of these instrumentalists. In Bach’s First Violin Concerto, his tempos in the two outer movements sound brisk, even in comparison with the standards Kennedy’s benchmarks set. And he propels the passagework forward with what could be improvised rapid scales and figures. The continuo group (which, in these performances, includes theorbo as well as cello, harpsichord, and organ) not only lays a colorful foundation for the long-breathed solo part, but also provides a piquant rhythmic counterpoint that’s a universe removed from stodgily plodding, somewhat pompous continuo support in such mellifluous older performances as those by Isaac Stern and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Double Concerto has often been mentioned as Bach’s supreme achievement among his violin concertos. But Hope and his colleagues haven’t treated it with awed reverence. Once again, the outer movements sparkle at rapid tempos and with textures that, no matter how bustling, never conceal from listeners the majestic underpinnings of their bass part. The two violins cavort with exhilarating playfulness in the outer movements and weave with unselfconscious elegance in the famous slow one.

Hope and Bezuidenhout explain in the booklet’s notes that they’ve imported some of the figuration from the cognate Keyboard Concerto, BWV 1054, into the Violin Concerto in E, BWV 1042—as a result of conversations with Christoph Wolff. These provide a new twist on a Concerto that can seem a bit foursquare, for example, in the first movement’s middle section. Even if the “Lombardic” rhythms in the slow movement’s bass part sound a bit incongruous, the transparency of the textures and the ensemble’s refusal to plod heighten even further the interest of this monumental Adagio. The finale sweeps by with insistent rhythms as regular but also as infectious as those of folk fiddle dances. The Fifth Brandenburg Concerto enjoys the benefits of similar accelerated tempos, clear textures, and bright, lightweight instrumental sonorities.

Daniel Hope plays with vivacity and virtuosity, and with sparkling, lustrous brilliance, scattering highlights throughout. The recorded sound not only creates the illusion of being able to see forever, but offers seemingly bottomless depth at the moments when the textures thicken. Hope and the ensemble bring Bach closer to the insistent energy of the composer he so assiduously copied, Antonio Vivaldi; and the assimilation does honor to both. Urgently recommended as a visceral way to approach these stimulating landmarks.

-- Robert Maxham, FANFARE

Shankar, Ravel, Falla, Barok, Schnittke
Even Yehudi Menuhin, whose explorations opened new vistas of violinistic collaboration and set the instrument’s Western repertoire in a worldwide context, never undertook so compendious a project as has his former collaborator and disciple, Daniel Hope. Hope colors a program of Indian ragas, colorful exotica by Bartók, Falla, and Ravel, and an allusive student work by Alfred Schnittke, with the spiky timbres of Indian instruments and the luthéal, a piano with stops that produce the lute-like sonorities for which it’s named. But the project’s scope pales in comparison to Daniel Hope’s own range of virtuosity and stylistic absorption. Moses saw the promised land; Aaron led into it. Menuhin realized and revealed the violin’s diversity and breadth; Daniel Hope has comprehended it in a single, integrated personality.

Ravi Shankar worked out his two ragas for his collaboration with Menuhin in the 1960s, according to Hope’s notes (artists’ recent penchant for writing their own notes has reawakened interest in the booklets they grace); Hope and Gaurav Mazumdar recreated these by ear with the aid of Menuhin’s notes. Hope’s swells and slides here and rhythmic élan there communicate the music’s urgency and direction and should transmit some of its musical sense as well, even to listeners unfamiliar with its idiom, a sense that subsequent listening must more thoroughly explicate. But generally, Hope’s soaring style, with its sweeping dynamic contrasts combined with razor-sharp attacks informs the breathtaking sense of panache with which he dispatches such chestnuts as Ravel’s Tzigane, Falla’s Suite populaire espagnole, and Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances. In these, he’s employed the luthéal either entirely (Tzigane) or in part (and with particularly striking effect, in Falla’s “Nana”and in Bartók’s “Sash Dance”), stiffening these with textural and timbral starch. Hope assigns Schnittke’s sonata to a period in which the composer’s study of Ravel, to whom the work owes so much of its manner if not its matter, had been forbidden in the Soviet Union. The faith of Schnittke’s widow, who entrusted the sonata to Hope, turns out to have been well placed, although like Bartók’s earlier, Brahmsian Sonata for Violin, this derivative work may never enter fully into the canon of the composer’s œvre, even despite Hope’s sympathetic insinuating championship.

The engineers have reproduced the violinist and his collaborators larger than life—in the same scale, that is, as that of the performances themselves. As a result of that scale, and of the project’s ambitious breadth, comparisons seem almost irrelevant, as would comparing performances by Sandor Lakatos as “King of Gypsy Fiddlers” with those of mainstream violinists in the same repertoire. But in this case, Hope grafts the exotic into what we’ve all come to think of as the main trunk; and in doing so, he’s achieved impressive results. In addition, he seems to have developed the kernel of a distinctive violinistic personality that unifies this extravagant diversity, and his playing reveals even more far-fetched associations, such as surprising relationships between, for example, Shankar’s flurries of détaches and those in Heirich Biber’s sonatas from so different a time and place. Urgently recommended, even to the unadventurous.

-- Robert Maxham, FANFARE

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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for Violin by Alban Berg
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin)
Conductor:  Paul Watkins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Austria 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  B. B. C. Maida Vale Studio no 1, London 
Length: 29 Minutes 11 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 15 by Benjamin Britten
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin)
Conductor:  Paul Watkins
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939/1958; England 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  B. B. C. Maida Vale Studio no 1, London 
Length: 35 Minutes 46 Secs. 
3.
Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; France 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 10 Minutes 36 Secs. 
4.
Canciones populares españolas (7): Excerpt(s) by Manuel de Falla
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1915; Spain 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 13 Minutes 12 Secs. 
5.
Romanian Folkdances (6) for Piano, Sz 56 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano), Daniel Hope (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 6 Minutes 43 Secs. 
6.
Raga piloo: Aochar by Ravi Shankar
Performer:  Gaurav Mazumdar (Sitar), Daniel Hope (Violin), Asok Chakraborty (Tabla),
Gilda Sebastian (Tanpura)
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 5 Minutes 4 Secs. 
7.
Raga piloo: Gat In Teentala by Ravi Shankar
Performer:  Gilda Sebastian (Tanpura), Daniel Hope (Violin), Asok Chakraborty (Tabla),
Gaurav Mazumdar (Sitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 11 Minutes 0 Secs. 
8.
Sonata 1955 for Violin and Piano by Alfred Schnittke
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano), Daniel Hope (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 16 Minutes 23 Secs. 
9.
Swara-kakali by Ravi Shankar
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Gaurav Mazumdar (Sitar), Asok Chakraborty (Tabla),
Gilda Sebastian (Tanpura)
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 11/2003 
Venue:  Rolf Liebermann Studio, NDR, Hamburg 
Length: 9 Minutes 4 Secs. 
10.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, Op. 77 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin)
Conductor:  Maxim Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 
Venue:  BBC Studio no 1, Maida Vale, London, UK 
Length: 38 Minutes 29 Secs. 
11.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in C sharp minor, Op. 129 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin)
Conductor:  Maxim Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; USSR 
Venue:  BBC Studio no 1, Maida Vale, London, UK 
Length: 33 Minutes 8 Secs. 
12.
Gadfly, Op. 97: Romance by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin)
Conductor:  Maxim Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USSR 
Venue:  BBC Studio no 1, Maida Vale, London, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 56 Secs. 
13.
Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Kristian Bezuidenhout (Harpsichord)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, London, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 11 Secs. 
14.
Concerto for Violin no 2 in E major, BWV 1042 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Kristian Bezuidenhout (Harpsichord), Kristian Bezuidenhout (Organ)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, London, England 
Length: 15 Minutes 25 Secs. 
15.
Brandenburg Concerto no 5 in D major, BWV 1050 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Kristian Bezuidenhout (Harpsichord), Daniel Hope (Violin), Jaime Martin (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1720-1721; ?Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, London, England 
Length: 21 Minutes 20 Secs. 
16.
Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Kristian Bezuidenhout (Organ), Kristian Bezuidenhout (Harpsichord),
Marieke Blankestijn (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  St Paul's Church, London, England 
Length: 13 Minutes 42 Secs. 
17.
Concerto for Piano no 16 in D major, K 451 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Salzburg
Period: Classical 
Written: 1784; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Great Hall, Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 21 Minutes 58 Secs. 
18.
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G major, K 379 (373a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Daniel Hope (Violin), Sebastian Knauer (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Great Hall, Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 20 Minutes 37 Secs. 
19.
Concerto for Violin and Piano in D major, K Anh. 56 (315f) [Fragment] by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Sebastian Knauer (Piano), Daniel Hope (Violin)
Conductor:  Roger Norrington
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Salzburg
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778 
Venue:  Great Hall, Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria 
Length: 28 Minutes 12 Secs. 

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