DANCE! Daniel Hope; Zürcher Kammerorchester. © 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH


Virtuosic Flair

GERALD FENECH recommends dance music played by Daniel Hope and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra

'Daniel Hope's fiddle-playing is just phenomenal ...'


Born on 17 August 1973 in Durban, South Africa, Daniel Hope is one of today's foremost violin soloists. In 2002 he became the violinist of the famous Beaux Arts Trio, but his flourishing career led to his decision to leave this Trio which, unfortunately, led to the decision to disband the ensemble. Indeed, the Beaux Arts gave their final concerts in August 2008. Since then Hope has served as an associate artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival, and in April 2015 he was named the new music director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra effective in 2016. On 16 March 2018, at the conclusion of a joint performance by the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and New Century Chamber Orchestra, at which he served as concert master, Hope was announced as the latter's new music and artistic director.

In 2017 he was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his merits in the musical constitution of commemorative culture. In December 2021 and 2022, special Christmas concerts were streamed on the ARTE Concert channel with huge success. Hope is in his second marriage to the painter Silvana Kaiser. The couple lived in Vienna but later moved to Berlin in 2016. He holds Irish and German nationality and plays the fabulous 1737 Guarneri 'ex Lipinski' violin.

Listen — Mozart: Rondo for Violin and Orchestra in B flat
(4864994 CD1 track 5, 4:27-5:17) ℗ 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH :

All this activity apart, one should not leave out the fact that Daniel Hope has long been fascinated by the power of dance to move and inspire. This latest CD entitled DANCE! is indeed a prime example of Hope's strong attraction for the genre, and this compilation, which includes thirty pieces by a large variety of composers, is exhilarating from beginning to end.

Listen — Duke Ellington: It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)
(4864994 CD2 track 16, 0:00-0:39) ℗ 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH :

Taking listeners on a journey through seven centuries of music history, DANCE! celebrates the rhythms that have set bodies in motion and lifted hearts since time began.

Listen — Lamento di Tristano (e la rotta) (anonymous, fourteenth century)
(4864994 CD2 track 11, 0:00-0:26) ℗ 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH :

A passionate, magical and pulsating voyage through history, this album runs the gamut of western classical music from medieval times to the late twentieth century. Dance will always ignite a desire to live life to the full, and this has always been deeply intertwined with music, producing an ardent feeling of overwhelming wellbeing and joy.

Listen — Shostakovich, arranged by Paul Bateman: Waltz No 2
(Suite for Variety Orchestra No 7)
(4864994 CD1 track 1, 2:43-3:42) ℗ 2024 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH :

Daniel Hope's fiddle-playing is just phenomenal, and each of these miniature gems is despatched with virtuosic flair and disarming dexterity. A must for violin aficionados, but those who love a bouncy tune should not miss out. Beautiful sound quality and detailed annotations add to the enjoyment of a very fine set indeed.

Copyright © 21 January 2024 Gerald Fenech,
Gzira, Malta



 << Home              Next review >>