As a Follow-Up to His Grammy-Nominated Vivaldi Set, Hope Travels Through Well-Known and Barely Explored Corners of the Baroque Repertoire
Innovative British violinist Daniel Hope continues with unflagging energy to create projects which not only expand our knowledge of classical music and repertoire but can also change our perception of a time period or music style. Both Terezín (music written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp) and also the recent Grammy-nominated Vivaldi highlighted music from vastly different time periods and styles, and yet both explored and revealed little known parts of the violin repertoire with a fascinating, yet familiar, context.
Air: A Baroque Journey does this again with a focus on 17th and 18th century European violin music. The violin, created in the 16th century by Andrea Amati, and violin music went through arguably their greatest development during the Baroque era as composers were liberated from the austerity and contrapuntal strictures of the Renaissance. Both musically and geographically this journey is explored on the present album with some extraordinary (and sometimes quite popular) music.
Air starts with the story of four composers – Falconieri, Matteis, Geminiani and Westhoff – as the point of departure for the program. These four musician/composers traveled throughout Europe in search of musical inspiration and cross-pollination. These subtle influences can be traced all over Europe and the album attempts to present a complete picture of Baroque musical life. Some of the composers were influenced directly by what they heard whether it was Geminiani by Handel, Bach by Westhoff or Matteis by folk music.
With music that combines the simplest and most rustic of dance forms with the most sophisticated and complex forms of the Baroque era, Air is a stunning example of just how diverse the music of the Baroque era was and how one should never stop looking for more – more music, more connections, more inspiration.
Daniel Hope will perform in the US from late-March through early-April (details below). In Los Angeles, Hope will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, which he has already recorded for Deutsche Grammophon on an album that was selected by the New York Times as one of 2008’s best recordings.