Review: Daniel Hope's Air - A baroque journey

From the Rare to the Inundated, Daniel Hope presents his take on Baroque music

The opening track, Chaconne in G Major, is a delightful romp which could be as easily at home on a folk album as it is on this Baroque collection. Daniel Hope plays with an ease perfectly suited to this style of music. From the opening track to the closing the performances are delightful, articulate and ideal for the sentiment of the music from a modern perspective.

Shifting the mood from fast and frolicking to stately and serious, the second track of Handel's Suite No.15 in D minor for Harpsichord gives a chance for the marked tempo of the ensemble with the delicate flamboyance of Hope's virtuosity. Ricercata segunda returns to the dance music you might expect to hear at a festival, but with superlative playing.

Perhaps the only disappointment on the album is the inclusion of Pachelbel's Canon and Gigue in D minor. While it is without a double one of the most popular pieces ever performed, it is over performed. Daniel Hope lends his own personal touch to the piece, but not enough to warrant yet another recording of it, not on an album that is filled with so many other delightfully rare pieces.

I had a difficult time deciding whether Violin concertato, Strings and Basso continuo in A minor or Westhoff's Sonata for Violin and Continuo III was my favorite of the album. The Sonata allows for a striking display of Hope's virtuosity on the violin, but the Violin Concertato is sheer delight.

Air - a baroque journey is certainly filled with everything from the frolicking of a country fair to the tempestuous virtuoso displays of the British violinist Daniel Hope. He has the grace, skill and heart to bring Baroque music into a modern era as if it was composed only yesterday. Daniel wants to "show how diverse the music of the Baroque era was." He certainly captured that and so very much more.


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