Daniel Hope: 'The Romantic Violinist'

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Few classical music fans can name a piece written by Joseph Joachim (1831-1907) yet most almost certainly know the music he inspired and championed. Without the Hungarian violinist-composer we wouldn’t have the Brahms Concerto in D or the Bruch Concerto in G minor, two of the pillars of the modern symphonic repertoire. Concertos by Dvorak and Schumann, as well as the Brahms Double Concerto also bear Joachim's stamp.

The British violinist Daniel Hope is setting out to present an even fuller picture of Joachim's creative legacy with "The Romantic Violinist," a collection that includes pieces dedicated to him and two of his own compositions. It’s our Album of the Week.

Born into a Jewish family in Hungary, Joseph Joachim (pronounced 'Yo-ACH-him') became venerated as a thinking man's answer to more populist virtuosos like Niccolò Paganini and Pablo de Sarasate. While studying under Felix Mendelssohn as a boy, Joachim took up the Beethoven Violin Concerto and his performance, at age 12, caused such a sensation that he effectively restored the forgotten piece to the repertoire. He later became a staunch advocate for Brahms and introduced the composer to Robert and Clara Schumann. Over a long career, Joachim championed a serious brand of music-making that left a lasting mark on the performance tradition.

Hope opens the album with a burnished reading of the Bruch Concerto No. 1 in G minor, a piece Joachim completely revised and improved. Four short pieces by Brahms are included, most surprisingly, the song "Geistliches Wiegenlied" (“Holy Cradle Song”), in which Hope takes up the viola and is joined by mezzo-soprano Anne-Sofie von Otter. Joachim was also a composer in his own right, with over 14 published works to his credit, and Hope applies a big romantic tone to two of his shorter gems: the youthful Romanze and the mature Notturno for violin and orchestra.

Rounding out the program is a lovely (if incongruous) Schubert song transcription by Hope and even Dvorak’s Humoresque in a glowing arrangement by Franz Waxman. Also joining Hope on the album are the pianists Sebastian Knauer and Bengt Forsberg and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under the sensitive direction of Sakari Oramo.

The Romantic Violinist
Daniel Hope, violin
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
Sakari Oramo, conductor
Deutsche Grammophon

Check out the 'trailer' for the album and tell us what you think. Please leave a comment below:

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Comments [6]

Don Zimmerman from Provence France

A superb program!Daniel Hope was a great
narrator and if there was a script it was lovely

Mar. 20 2011 01:03 PM
Liz Lamson from Berkeley, CA

I recently heard a brilliant performance by Daniel Hope with Jeffrey Kahane, piano as part Ruth Felt's San Francisco Performances series. Of course, he didn't speak, just played beautiful music, so to hear him talk about the ideas and spirit behind his new recording and to see Daniel Hope in the countryside was quite wonderful.

Mar. 20 2011 12:35 AM
bob korngold from scarsdale, ny

You need more commentators Like Daniel Hope.

Interesting Intriquing and Intelligent hour of his top five. A miracle of radio.

Mar. 18 2011 11:43 AM
Dr. julian Firestone

You might be interested to know that I have a book by Joseph Joachim published in 1905, which has 35 pages on "Style and Artistic Performance", via words and extensive musical illustrations, which book also has discourses by Andreas Moser, and which book contains sixteen standard works by Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Spohr, etc., with cadenzas composed by Joachim. He tells how in 1879 Brahms showed to him his concerto when it was still in manuscript.

Mar. 17 2011 01:18 PM
Nancy de Flon from NY Metro

A visual trailer for an audio album--a novel idea and very effective. Well paced, superbly photographed. It could stand to be a bit shorter; i.e., as interesting as the footage is of him as a child, it makes the trailer too long. You want to leave the viewer/listener wanting more so that they'll buy the CD! Thank you.

Mar. 16 2011 09:18 PM
Sidney Goldman from Baldwin, New York 11510

Each week or sometimes daily, I look forward to closely examine your website for new announcements.

So today I found Daniel Hope's Album of the Week and Chamber Music Society's Let's Get Serious.

I want to hear and see what WQXR has in store for me and its members/listeners. Another excellent way for WQXR and its Hosts to reach out to us!

Mar. 14 2011 03:29 AM

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About Albums of the Week

The Albums of the Week are compelling new recordings that we spotlight every week. These include creative repertoire choices, engaging musical personalities and artistic statements that stand out from the pack. You can hear the Albums of the Week throughout the day and evening on WQXR.