Daniel Hope is a British violinist, Music director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the President of Beethovenhaus Bonn, curator of numerous projects, happy father and husband. First time Daniel Hope attended the Odessa Classics Festival in 2017. He has been a resident of the festival since 2019 to the great pleasure of the audience. His charm, charisma and creativity have glamoured the audience from the very first concert.
Over the years Daniel Hope has performed various programs and projects, among them Antonio Vivaldi «The Four seasons» recomposed by Max Richter, he has brought to Odessa the Zurich Chamber Orchestra and the Berlin Chamber Orchestra, he gave a master-class for young violinists at the Stolyarsky school, and last year he played a sensational baroque program with the outstanding musicians.
During his concerts Daniel Hope aims to set an exiting and informative trip for spectators into the world of music. His popularity nowadays breaks all records. But it took him years to achieve it and find his own voice. He always wanted to do more than just constantly play standard concerts. Not only did he dream to play virtuously but also to tell the world something playing the violin. « Last ten-fifteen years I feel happy while performing. But it was a long and tough way. I’ve always loved playing but it used to bring some anxieties and pressure. After my son was born I realized that I became more relaxed and it gave me the opportunity to analyze my performing. I found that combining ratio and emotions was the right way to not only demonstrate the best performance but hold the audience and give them something more than just another virtuoso concert.
Recently Daniel Hope and Alexey Botvinov have recorded an album of works by Alfred Schnittke. The disk was released by legendary record studio “Deutsche Grammophon”. Last summer during the Odessa Classics 2020 musicians presented the short program which had a great success and this year they have performed the whole concert.
The concert of works by Alfred Schnittke is a love confession to the great composer. The artists have managed to express the incredible versatility and emotionality of Schnittke’s music. They performed «Suite in the old style», «Sonata No1 for violin and piano», «Tango in a mad house», «Polka».
Certainly the audience was pleased to recognize some of them we heard in well-known films such as «Belorussian Station», «Air Crew» and others. For the first time Schnittke was offered to write music for the film when he was 28. And then he started to compose regularly for cinema, though realizing that it distracted him from more essential work. But, on the other hand, those works that were accepted in cinema couldn’t get censored in The Union of Composers. Therefore, cinema became a kind of laboratory for Schnittke within those years. Eventually, the music written for films became the part of more fundamental work. This is how the history of the «Suite in the old style» began. Schnittke wrote three original compositions orchestrated in 18th century style and even recorded with the harpsichord.
The program is selected thoroughly and it consists of Schnittke’s works of period from 1963 to1990 representing their versatility and complexity. In «Sonata No1 for violin and piano» except soundtracks you can hear a piece of Shostakovich trio for piano and even expressive Latin American hit «La cucaracha».
Remarkable that the album of Schnittke’s music has become a surprise to European audience unlike Daniel Hope who first met Schnittke in 1996. As a young student Daniel came to composer’s home to express his admiration and within later years they had the musical meetings that were so inspiring for the violinist. We should admit harmonious work of the musicians Daniel Hope and Alexey Botvinov, their perfect perception of Schnittke’s music. Observing their immersion into the music they play absolutely fascinates the audience as well as the miraculous sounds healing our souls. Their duet might be compare with twins-brothers, who inevitably but harmoniously complete and support each other.
The Zurich Chamber Orchestra, already well-known to us musicians, appeared in the second part of the concert. They differ from other orchestras by their inner freedom, creativity and flexibility. Both women in red and black dresses and men with stylish haircuts looked perfect. But, first of all, they demonstrated the amazing teamwork. And,as a result, we heard a perfect stereophonic sound, an ideal catching of all the nuances, and the most important thing was their adoration of music they played. It is the best orchestra I’ve ever heard!
They performed the «Serenade for string orchestra in C major in 4 movements» by Tchaikovsky. Daniel Hope, showing the link between the great composer and Ukraine, pointed out that the piece was written by the great composer when he was in Ukraine, in Kamenka where Tchaikovsky stayed in the house of his beloved young sister Anna. Tchaikovsky wanted to express his admiration for the genius of Mozart, and he even wrote the first part in a manner of the great Austrian composer.
Foto Nikolay Vdovenko