“Wouldn’t it be possible to produce something at home that sounded just as good as in the concert hall?” Idling the time away in his Berlin apartment during the cultural and social lockdowns was just as much out of the question for Daniel Hope as spontaneous home concerts with unsatisfactory cell phone sound: After all, according to the violinist, “isn’t classical music all about sound, about really listening?” And so, with the support of the TV broadcaster ARTE, he developed a special concert format and transformed his living room into a high-tech TV studio.
The Hope@Home livestream project was born in a moment: a series of home concerts that were broadcast live on ARTE and on the Deutsche Grammophon YouTube channel and from which the label is now releasing highlights as an album. As if of its own accord, the wide-ranging program of this completely new approach took the form of the classic Berlin salon: “The project offered me the opportunity to select chamber music from highly varied genres, for which I had not previously been able to find the ideal concert format for presenting them to a wider audience,” says Daniel Hope. Hope@Home has changed that.
The result is an exciting and also magnificently performed collection of pieces for violin and piano, which range from Schubert’s An die Musik and Rachmaninov’s Vocalise to Mancini’s Moon River or Weill’s Lost in the Stars. And illustrious guests also provide variety: whether it is soul singer Joy Denalane, rapper Max Herre, actress Iris Berben, top trumpeter Till Brönner or Max Raabe ̶ they all enthusiastically accepted Daniel Hope’s invitation to join forces with him musically. The pianist and composer Christoph Israel featured regularly from the very beginning: he accompanies the violinist on the piano in numerous works and contributed a number of excellent arrangements.
Hope@Home ̶ that is a happy combination of artistic ability with spontaneity and directness. “There was neither a script nor a producer telling me what to say or play. We just went straight in and improvised,” Hope writes in the commentary he prepared for the album, which provides interesting background information on how this remarkable concert series came into being. The result is pure enjoyment: splendid, authentic and highly personal recordings from a musician’s living room.