Daniel Hope – My Tribute to Yehudi Menuhin (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:40:56 minutes | 1,73 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | © Deutsche Grammophon
Recording: Müllheim, Martinskirche & Berlin, Teldex Studio, 9/2015
This year marks the 100th anniversary of violin legend Yehudi Menuhin, and Daniel Hope dedicates a complete album to his former mentor and close friend. After fleeing from the Apartheid regime in South Africa, and ending up in England,
Yehudi Menuhin is the reason I became a violinist. As he used to say, I fell into his lap as a baby of two.
For my parents, life in 1970s South Africa had become intolerable, marked as it was by that tragedy mingled with farce, so characteristic of the appalling apartheid regime. We lived in Durban, where my father co-founded the literary magazine Bolt, publishing poems by writers of many races. From that moment on, his phone was tapped and my parents were placed under permanent surveillance. They had no option but to leave the country, but my father was only offered a so-called exit permit. This meant you could leave but never return.
My parents settled in London, where very soon their money ran out. We had nowhere to go.
At the eleventh hour, facing a calamity, we had some incredible luck: an employment agency offered my mother a compelling choice of jobs: secretary to either the Archbishop of Canterbury or to the violinist, Yehudi Menuhin. She chose Menuhin, and their association lasted 24 years until his death.
Our life changed immediately and forever. For the next years, I grew up in Menuhin’s house in Highgate, London, where my mother would take me every day to play, while she worked. Menuhin was a wonderfully spontaneous man. He’d leave his Guarneri del Gesù in an open violin case on the table, he never put it away. He picked it up and played it, almost as if he were drinking a glass of water. He once told me: “One has to play every day. One is like a bird, and can you imagine a bird saying ‘I’m tired today, I don’t feel like flying’?” The violin was a part of him. To this day, his sound remains in my ear, so unique and so fascinatingly beautiful.
Where does one even begin to summarize a unique career spanning seventy-five years by one of the greatest musicians in history? Perhaps Menuhin’s debut in 1924 in San Francisco at the age of seven; or his debut in Berlin in 1929, after which Albert Einstein exclaimed “Now I know there is a God in heaven!” Or his performance and legendary recording of the Elgar concerto under the composer’s baton in 1932; perhaps his visit to the liberated concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen with the composer Benjamin Britten in 1945; or his highly controversial decision to return to Germany in 1947 and to perform with Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic, the first Jewish artist after the war to do so. Only seven of Menuhin’s 82 years were not spent on the road.
Early on in my life, I had the chance to study and perform some of Bartok’s Duos with Menuhin. It was an incredible experience for me, and an introduction to Bartok’s extraordinary music. Many years later, with Menuhin in his role as conductor, we performed over 60 concerts around the world, including almost all of the standard violin concerti, as well as several contemporary works.
These included Mendelssohn’s early D minor Concerto, which he famously discovered in 1951, and also many works for two violins, such as the A minor Double Concerto by Vivaldi.
On 7th March 1999, I played Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto in Düsseldorf, conducted by Lord Menuhin. It was to be Yehudi’s final concert. After the Schnittke, Menuhin encouraged me to play an encore. I spontaneously chose Kaddish, Ravel’s musical version of the Jewish prayer for the dead. I had grown up on Menuhin’s interpretation of this work and wanted to dedicate it to him. Menuhin pushed me out onto the stage and sat amongst the orchestra listening to it. Perhaps it may have been in some way prophetic. Five days later, he passed away.
There’s hardly a passage in all of these great works where I don’t stop for a minute and think of Menuhin.
Yehudi called himself my “musical grandfather”. Now, in celebration of what would have been his centenary, my friends and I can finally pay our respects to this great man, in a manner I feel certain he would have loved. -Daniel Hope
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Violin Concerto in D minor
1. 1. Allegro 10:00
2. 2. Andante 08:33
3. 3. Allegro 04:08
Bechara El-Khoury (*1957)
4. Unfinished Journey 08:25
Steve Reich (*1936)
Duet for two Violins and Strings
5. Duet 04:56
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Concerto For Two Violins And Strings In A Minor, RV 522
6. 1. Allegro 03:19
7. 2. Larghetto e spiritoso 03:51
8. 3. Allegro 02:52
John Tavener (1944-2013)
For Soprano, Violin and Strings
9. Song Of The Angel 04:11
Arvo Pärt (*1953)
For Violin, Tubular and Strings
10. Darf ich … 03:32
Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996)
For Violin and Stings
11. Nostalghia. In Memory Of Andrei Tarkovskij 16:18
Hans Werner Henze (1926-2012)
Serenade for Violin, Cello and Piano
12. Adagio adagio 04:20
Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
For Violin, Piano and Strings
13. Salut d’amour, Op. 12 03:11
Béla Bartók (1881-1945)
44 Duos for two Violins
14. No. 35: Rutén kolomejka 01:07
15. No. 28: Bánkódás 02:20
16. No. 15: Katonanóta 01:06
17. No. 14: Párnás Tánc 00:34
18. No. 32: Máramarosi Tánc 00:40
19. No. 36: Szól a duda 00:57
Georg Enescu (1881-1955)
For Violin and Piano
20. Hora Unirii 01:47
Jo Kunümann (1895-1952)
For Violin, Mandolin, Piano and Strings
21. Rumänisch 05:17
Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
For Violin and Piano
22. Chanson de nuit, Op. 15, No. 2 03:50
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
For Violin and Piano
23. 1. Kaddisch 05:42
Daniel Hope violin, direction
(Daniel Hope plays the “Ex-Lipiński” violin, an instrument made by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù in 1742 and made available to the violinist by a German family that wishes to remain anonymous.)
Daniel Lozakovitj violin (Bartók)
Simos Papanas violin (Reich, Vivaldi)
Christiane Starke cello (Henze)
Jacques Ammon piano (Henze, Elgar, Enescu, Ravel, Knümann)
Avi Avital mandolin (Knümann)
Chen Reiss soprano (Tavener)
Emanuele Forni Baroque guitar and lute (Vivaldi)
Naoki Kitaya harpsichord (Vivaldi)
Alex Wäber tubular bells (Pärt)
Kammerorchester Basel (Mendelssohn, El-Khoury, Reich, Vivaldi, Tavener, Pärt, Takemitsu)
Members of the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin (Elgar, Knümann):
Hannah Perowne, Roeland Gehlen, Barbara Weiche violin I
Chie Peters, Bettina Mros violin II
Sophia Reuter, Maria Jadziewicz viola
Christiane Starke cello · Christoph Anacker double bass