Violinist Daniel Hope’s new album, “For Seasons,” is inspired by the perennial Vivaldi concerto cycle known as The Four Seasons. Hope began learning the Vivaldi concertos at age seven, performing them live for the first time only six years later.
As Hope’s career continued to evolve and expose him to new music, The Four Seasons always held a special place in his heart. Finally, after accepting the position as the Music Director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Hope felt ready to record the beloved quartet of concertos.
The album includes not only the cycle of four concertos but also a variety of companion pieces that evoke each of the 12 months of the year.
“There's a modern message here, which is about the cohesive expression of time and life cycles,” Hope said in the album’s press release.
“Those familiar cycles are being broken left, right and center at present throughout our world. This is my way of marking time: my time and our times."
The twelve companion pieces are for a variety of instruments. Some tracks are small chamber pieces for more traditional instrumentation like violin, piano, string quartet and harp, and others have less traditional instrumentation such as electric guitar and synthesizer. Many of these pieces are by living composers such as Chilly Gonzales, Nils Frahm and Max Richter. Music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky is also featured.
“For Seasons” showcases the musicianship of Daniel Hope's Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
"I have at my disposal an orchestra which has the flexibility to play Baroque music like a period-instrument band, and yet also performs Romantic and 20th-century music with great authority," Hope observes.
"I wanted to reflect that flexibility on our album, just as we do in our concerts together."
The album's range is also reflected in the varied works of art by twelve different painters featured in the booklet.