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The Romantic Violinist – A Celebration of Joseph Joachim
Max BRUCH (1838–1920)
Violin Concerto no. 1 in G minor op. 26
Clara SCHUMANN (1819–1896)
Andante molto from Drei Romanzen op. 22 no. 1
Johannes BRAHMS (1833–1897)
Scherzo in C minor from F-A-E Sonata
Josef JOACHIM (1831–1907) Romanze op. 2 no. 1 for violin and piano
Johannes BRAHMS
Hungarian Dance no. 1 in G minor
Josef JOACHIM
Notturno for Violin and Orchestra op. 12
Johannes BRAHMS

Hungarian Dance no. 5 in G minor
Franz SCHUBERT (1797–1828)
Auf dem Wasser zu singen
Johannes BRAHMS
Geistliches Wiegenlied op. 91 no. 2 for mezzo, viola and piano
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841–1904)
Humoresque op. 101 no. 7 for violin and orchestra
Daniel Hope (violin, viola)
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Sakari Oramo
Sebastian Knauer (piano), Anne-Sofie von Otter (mezzo), Bengt Forsberg (piano)
(Wiegenlied)
rec. August 2010, Stockholm, Stockholms Konserthus, (orchestral pieces, Wiegenlied) Hamburg-Harburg, Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, (pieces for violin and piano)
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 4779301 [66:20]

Experience Classicsonline

This tribute to Joachim (1831-1907) by Daniel Hope and DG essentially presents a new recording of the Bruch Violin Concerto alongside nine shorter pieces by Joachim, Schumann, Brahms, Schubert and Dvořák. Him,self a composer of three violin concertos all of which have been recorded he was the violinist Dvořák, Bruch, Schumann and Brahms had in mind when they wrote their violin concertos. The first of these was dedicated to Liszt. He also wrote the following orchestral overtures: Hamlet (1853), Demetrius (also dedicated to Liszt), Henry IV (1854) and the Overture to a Comedy by Gozzi (1854).

The Bruch concerto (his first of three) receives an elite performance and recording with a wonderfully alive orchestral picture having remarkable range from whisper to forthright assertion. Hope has a wondrously steady tonal production as can be heard right at the start when his violin rises with unwavering nobility from something tremblingly close to silence. For all his bowing strength he can also evoke a winning vulnerability as he does in the honey-sweet slow movement. Oramo and the Stockholm orchestra match Hope in freshness especially in the finale which sounds more Brahmsian than usual. The recording transparently reports a wealth of detail.

After a warmly touching Schumann op. 22 No. 1 comes a ferociously passionate FAE scherzo and a fragile Joachim Romanze. Back to the orchestra for Hope in Hungarian Dance no. 1 amid flurries of notes, gypsy cinders and the aural equivalent of April showers. The Joachim Notturno is warmly bathed in romantic jus deploying a caramel melody that has some kinship to Shenandoah. The Fifth Hungarian Dance sends shatters and smithereens of notes flying left and right. We then leave the orchestra again for Auf dem Wasser zu singen where raindrop showers are articulated by Sebastian Knauer. Anne-Sofie von Otter joins the Joachim celebrations for the sweetly placid Geistliches Wiegenlied where Hope takes up the viola – which Joachim also played. The words and translations are at the back of the generous and engagingly presented booklet. Back to the orchestra for Franz Waxman’s uninhibited Dvořák Humoresque. I wonder if there were contemporary orchestral arrangements of the piece – surely there were. While this is a ‘Celebration’ not a museum of pieces extant during Joachim’s lifetime the 20th century cinematic glow and Korngold shimmer around this piece is at odds with all that has gone before. One thing that’s undeniable though is that it’s beautifully performed and recorded.

The booklet includes a piece about Joachim by Hope and a useful couple of pages where Hope interviews Matthew Gurewitsch who reminds us the Brahms Double Concerto was the olive branch that reunited the Joachim and Brahms after years of enmity.

Ultimately the rather miscellaneous mix militates against this disc. That said, everything here has great personality and that personality is Hope’s. It’s bound to deliver pleasure if you like the look of the programme – this very personal tribute to Joachim across the decades.

Rob Barnett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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