Daniel Hope sees himself as a violinist whose destiny is to explore the fate of his Jewish origin, as an eternal seeker, in the tight family and broader sense. On his latest album he follows in the footsteps of composers who escaped the Third Reich and who took part in Hollywood, the studios that allowed them a livelihood, who searched for their happiness, some probably finding it, and who created unique movie sound tracks. Hollywood should be made just as famous as its actors. Eight decades ago a movie sound emerged from the expulsion and extermination of a people that is still played today, with a certain melancholy, in Hollywood productions – such as ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Cinema Paradiso’, or ‘American Beauty’. Which is why the later composers of these cinematic masterpieces have found honorary inclusion in Daniel Hope’s compilation of involuntary emigrants from the thirties and forties on his album, ‘Escape to Paradise’. Daniel Hope, who was born in South Africa, trained as a violinist in France and the UK under Zakhar Bronim, promoted by Yehudi Menuhin, and who is active as a successful writer as well lives in Germany, and is some- one who could inspire a bevy of illustrious violinists and writers for an album devoted to the Hollywood greats. These included Sting, with whom he had already done crossover projects, and Max Raabe, both of whose names are not necessarily associated with the classical music scene. When you listen to the new Daniel Hope album unconditionally and with an open mind, you’ll be flooded by luxurious and luminous Hollywood sound, like a huge ocean, with colorfully illuminated sunshine, free from dangerous shoals, where the album’s composers have hidden their misfortunes always associated with involuntary emigration. Kleingold’s Violin Concerto claims the lead compositional role in Daniel Hope’s Hollywood stories. Here, as a soloist, he ventures into dangerous waters, which have been plowed by no less than Jascha Heifitz. And who as one of the first interpreters has set the standard for all violinists who come after him. Heifitz’s cool approach contrasts with Hope’s hot-blooded interpretation, which while not averse to sentiment, is not unduly sentimental; and his pace marks the antithesis to the interpretation of grand master, but in its own way no less fascinating. Daniel Hope is obviously one of those violinists who has to speak his mind and is part of an army of up and coming violinists, male and female, who may have been edited but for whom only virtuosity matters. And those like Daniel Hope who as a musician and human being have something to say, and in this case things that convey smaller and smaller pieces of his journey of discovery through Hollywood, which you might view as subordinate in value. It doesn’t have to bother, but allows you to draw enjoyment from the grapple. And enjoyment emerges in strong fashion when you experience the entertaining excursion of Sting and Max Raabe. While the former with his broken timbre almost embodies nostalgia and the fate of the displaced Hollywood composers, Max Raabe and his lascivious singing talent leads directly to the abyss, which opens up immediately behind the joyously pulsating foreground. One thing is clear, a step too far, and one is done. What would the classic Hollywood sound ultimately be without a wide and spacious wall of sound? Since the recording technique on ‘Escape to Paradise’ is far from a slouch, and the high-resolution download provides an unobstructed view of the soundstage, there is no obstacle to the full enjoyment of the new Daniel Hope album.
Sampling rate: 96 kHz verified
Bit depth 24 bit: okay
The available technical spectrum is fully utilized