New Classical Tracks®

Violinist Daniel Hope 'dances' through his latest album

New Classical Tracks (extended interview): Daniel Hope
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New Classical Tracks - Daniel Hope

Daniel Hope, violin — Dance! with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon)

For the past 25 years, violinist Daniel Hope has been dreaming about recording a dance album. After years of research and gathering stories, he recently released the two-CD set Dance! — an album that features dances that span seven centuries.

It also features the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, which is led by Hope, who has served as its music director since 2016. It’s the perfect ensemble for this recording, because the musicians all stand and move when they play.

“Music is about connection. It's about movement and being moved, no pun intended,” Hope says. “When you play this music and you feel the energy, you start to move yourselves, as does the audience listening to it. It's a huge game changer, actually.

“The first album I made was back in 1999. I've been recording ever since. And, back in those days, I had these dreams of making an album about a certain idea or a theme, and I put together a dance idea. I tried to find a record company that was interested in it, and I couldn't.

“But when I went back into the concert halls after the pandemic, I noticed there was a change in the audiences. People were intensely there with us because they'd missed that experience. And I noticed they were starting to move. We did an America album, and when we got to Duke Ellington and to George Gershwin, people were getting up and dancing in the halls.

“And that got me thinking that maybe this could be the time. And by this stage [during his planning], 450 years of dance music had become 700 years, and five or six musical genres had become 12. And I'd met so many fascinating artists around the world from different genres. So I thought, ‘This is the time to do it.’“

Resources

Daniel Hope, violin; Zurich Chamber Orchestra – Dance! (Deutsche Grammophon)

Daniel Hope, violin; Zurich Chamber Orchestra – Dance! (Amazon)

Daniel Hope, violin (official site)

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