Daniel Hope occupies his time performing, recording, writing, shooting videos and running music festivals. Frank Stewart /Savannah Music festival hide caption

toggle caption
Frank Stewart /Savannah Music festival

Classics in Concert

Daniel Hope: A Renaissance Man In Savannah

Daniel Hope: A Renaissance Man In Savannah

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/150011389/150007534" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Even in this age of marathon multitaskers, British violinist Daniel Hope stands out. Along with his near ceaseless touring and trips to the recording studio, he makes time to shoot videos, write books (his third, written in German no less, was released this time last year) and act as an advocate for larger musical issues. On top of that he's an artistic partner at the third largest music festival in Germany, and for a few weeks each spring, Hope sets up shop in coastal Georgia, helping to direct the Savannah Music Festival. Is he a masochist, or just a modern day Renaissance man?

Hope not only co-curates Savannah's 16-day music party (which this year ranges from jazz, bluegrass and flamenco to classical, cabaret and Indian music) he performs in a good portion of it. For this concert, he invited friends to play an evening of French chamber music from the late 19th century.

Anchoring the concert is the Piano Quartet No.1 by Gabriel Fauré, a composer who was rarely appreciated in his day but who became an important influence on a younger generation of French composers. When Fauré wrote this quartet, he was in his mid-30s and scraping by as a choirmaster at Paris' Madeleine church and giving piano lessons in the suburbs. The piece is considered an early masterpiece of style and transparency. Pianist Emanuel Ax, writing about the quartet's jaunty second movement in the liner notes to his recording, says that "If there is such a thing as 19th-century 'cool,' this is the musical equivalent."

Hope yields the spotlight to Miami String Quartet cellist Keith Robinson for another piece by Fauré, the short but passionate Elégie, composed in 1880 and originally conceived as the slow movement of an abandoned cello sonata. It's another example of Fauré in his highly lyrical romantic mode.

To begin this concert, Hope plays music by one of Fauré's most brilliant students — Maurice Ravel. It's a violin sonata but, as Hope explained to the audience, it's not the "famous sonata" Ravel wrote in the 1920s. This is a little known sonata composed in 1897 and published posthumously.

"It was discovered only 100 years after his death and probably intended for the great violinist Georges Enescu, who played it with Ravel when they were both students," Hope said.

And then the piece disappeared. Ravel was very fussy about what he chose to publish and for some reason this sonata, even with its ardent, beautifully flowing and singing lines, didn't make the cut. Perhaps Ravel felt it too much under the spell of his teacher.

"But for us it's been an absolute thrill and discovery to find a piece by this great master," Hope said. "It has all of the elements of Ravel that we know and love." Hope dedicated the performance to his father and stepmother who were in the audience, visiting from France to hear their son play.

Set List:

Maurice Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Piano (posthumous)

Gabriel Fauré: Elégie, Op. 24 (for cello and piano)

Gabriel Fauré: Quartet No. 1 in C minor for Piano and Strings, Op. 15

Personnel:

Daniel Hope, violin

Carla Maria Rodrigues, viola

Keith Robinson, cello

Simon Crawford-Phillips, piano

[+] read more[-] less

More From Classical

Penguin Cafe performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 2, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tiny Desk

Penguin Cafe

Penguin Cafe folds in sounds from around the world and throughout music history — Africa, Kraftwerk, Brazil and Franz Schubert.

Composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir revised her piece Aura especially for The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. David Holechek hide caption

toggle caption David Holechek

All Songs TV

Anna Thorvaldsdottir's Volcanic Transmissions

As members of the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet bow their vibraphones, brush their gongs and message their bass drums, the composer's evocative music oozes from blackness.

Ludovico Einaudi, performing live for KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Ludovico Einaudi, 'Petricor' (Live)

KCRW

Watch the pianist and composer, joined by a full band, in a stunning live performance for KCRW.

Opera singer Joyce DiDonato created this video to go with her new album, In War and Peace: Harmony through Music. Warner Classics hide caption

toggle caption Warner Classics

Music

In Chaotic Times, A Singer's Plea For Freedom

Opera star Joyce DiDonato does more than sing — she lends her voice to social causes. Watch her new video, a haunting depiction of a woman trapped in conflict.

Gustavo Dudamel led the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra to open the new season of concerts at Carnegie Hall Thursday, Oct. 6. Chris Lee/Carnegie Hall hide caption

toggle caption Chris Lee/Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall Live

Gustavo Dudamel Opens Carnegie Hall Season With 'The Rite Of Spring'

WQXR radio

The charismatic conductor first heard Stravinsky's rambunctious music when he was just 8. Watch him lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela live on Thursday night.

A still from Maya Beiser's "Air" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Maya Beiser, 'Air'

In a new video, the cellist plays with time and memory, turning back the clock to when she first heard J.S. Bach's music on a scratchy old LP. It remains, she says, a timeless lodestar for her art.

Yuja Wang played a demanding program at Carnegie Hall, topped by four encores. Ebru Yildiz/for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ebru Yildiz/for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Hear one of today's most charismatic pianists perform music with deep psychological — and physical — dimensions by Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms.

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

Audio is no longer available

Conductor Mariss Jansons led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall Wednesday in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, "Leningrad." AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Dmitri Shostakovich's powerful Seventh Symphony was written during the devastating World War II siege of Leningrad. Hear Mariss Jansons lead the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474662768/475125195" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top