Hope and Brandauer
Daniel Hope has worked worked with the legendary Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer since 2001 on a series of projects which combine music and spoken word:
Marking the 2006 Mozart celebrations, Daniel Hope and world-renowned actor Klaus Maria Brandauer visited two of Mozart’s closest friends and explored their relationship to the great composer in words and music.
“Friends with a genius: Abbé Bullinger and Mozart“
Josef Nepomuk “Abbé“ Bullinger (1744 – 1810), council to the Duke Leopold Ferdinand, and closely connected to the Mozart Family, describes Mozart’s departure from Salzburg. This includes riveting accounts of Mozart’s first travels without his father, Leopold, in 1777; the amorous and highly amusing meetings with his female cousin „Bäsle“; the first major conflict between father and son, and finally the death of Mozart’s mother, prompting Mozart’s most poignant letter, addressed to Bullinger. Bullinger comments, „When he finally returned home he had changed forever – a disappointed genius, whose fate had thrown him many obstacles…..“
“Friends with a genius: Jacquin and Mozart“
Mozart’s later period in his young life, recounted by Gottfried von Jacquin (1767-1792), a close friend and pupil of Mozart. Jacquin describes his first meeting with Mozart , who was a regular guest in Jacquin’s parents‘ house, and follows him until the tragic death of the composer. How close the relationship between Jacquin and Mozart was, is demonstrated in extraordinary letters, ranging from a startling frankness to almost splapstick comedy. In one letter, which Mozart wrote from Prague in 1787, he devises tongue-twisting nicknames for all of his friends, branding Jacquin as „Hinkiti Honky“. Jacquin’s warm personality shines through in his hand-written dedication in Mozart’s own diary – „Real genius, without a heart, is useless. It is not only intellect, or imagination that make a genius. It is love! LOVE! That is the real soul of a genius! And that is how, in the end, Art and Nature are united in perfect unity“.
Both concerts can be performed separately or in combination; for example an afternoon and evening performance.
As with all the Brandauer / Hope projects, Daniel Hope taook charge of the musical direction and content. To achieve a certain flexibility, the musical side of the project was offered as either a duo (violin/piano) or with an international chamber ensemble of renowned young musicians. Musical excerpts included some of Mozart’s most beautiful works, including his Clarinet Quintet, Piano Trios (such as the “Kegelstatt“), String Quartets and Violin Sonatas.
„Mozart Unplugged!“ was supported by a major radio production, which Klaus Maria Brandauer had already produced. From the 1st January 2006, Brandauer read a Mozart letter everyday of the year, for 365 days. This was broadcasted by all the ARD radio stations in all German speaking countries.
Böhmen liegt am Meer
Eine musikalisch-literarische Reise nach und durch Tschechien
Klaus Maria Brandauer und Daniel Hope
Klaus Maria Brandauer traf erneut auf den britischen Violinisten Daniel Hope und sein Ensemble ausgesuchter junger Musiker.
Gemeinsam fungierten sie als Reiseleiter durch die Landschaft der tschechischen Seele…ein vielstimmiges Gedankenorchester:
Texte und Gedichte von Jan Amos Komensk, Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jan Skácel, Vaclav Havel, Karl Capek u.a.
Der Bogen spannte sich vom 17. Jh bis in die Jetztzeit, umfasste Heiteres und Melancholisches, Sinnliches und Staatsmännisches, Bekanntes und Rares…eine europäische Reise auf den Schwingen tschechischer Literatur in die Tiefen allgemeinmenschlicher Existenz.
Den Stimmen aus und über das Land, die das Thema Heimat, Migration, Vertreibung, Zuhause-Sein und Nach-Hause-Kommen variieren, wurde durch die Musik von Dvorak und Janacek, bis hin zu den sogenannten „Theresienstädter Komponisten“ Gideon Klein und Hans Krasa nachgespürt, der kaleidoskopische Blick tiefengeschärft.
War and Pieces
British violinist, Daniel Hope, whose accolades include the Evening Standard “Classical Performer 2001” award, a Gramophone and Classical Brits nomination, and who had been voted Young Artist of the Year for the second time by Gemany’s FonoForum magazine, created a unique project called “War and Pieces”. It began in summer 2001, and finally offered a fascinating exploration of Music and War.
The Oscar-winning actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, best known for his roles in Out of Africa and Mephisto, joined forces with seven of the world’s most exciting young musicians – Sergei Nakariakov (Trumpet, winner of the 2002 ECHO Instrumentalist of the Year Award), Daniel Hope (Violin), Hans-Kristian Sørensen (ECM’s star Percussionist), Ib Hausmann (Clarinet, winner of the German Critics Prize), Jean Raffard (Solo Trombonist of the Paris Opera), Annika Pigorsch (from Eschenbach’s NDR-Sinfonieorchester) and Rachel Gough (Solo Bassoon of the London Symphony Orchestra) – for an unforgettable evening, with a semi-staged production of Stravinsky’s magical, musical masterpiece, “A Soldier’s Tale”.
Brandauer said: “This extraordinary work of music is simply a fascinating story. And because there is spoken word it’s very simple to understand just how powerful the combination of words and music can be. We are artists. Quite simply: We are against war! By doing what we do, we can think carefully about our actions. And by thinking about them, we can try and make people that see and listen to us, think about their actions too.”
An important question had been asked before the Stravinsky. What role has war played in music over the centuries, both on and off the battlefield…? Were the musicians sent into battle leading war, or was war leading them? The answer was given in “Militärmusik“ with marches and music by Beethoven, Kurt Weill and others, mixed with poetry and texts about war and peace, recited by Mr Brandauer.
In addition, Daniel Hope had commissioned the young German composer, Jan Müller-Wieland to transcribe Beethoven’s Egmont Ouverture specifically for the Stravinsky jazz and cabaret-like instrumentation of “A Soldier’s Tale”. Brandauer read Goethe’s famous monologue from Egmont, entitled “Long Live War!”. Müller-Wieland, born in 1966 in Hamburg, and recent winner of the 2002 Ernst-von-Siemens prize, said of his transcription: „This arrangement is a fictitous phantasy about my relationship and understanding of Beethoven and Stravinsky, and their relationship to one another.”
The combination of seven musicians from different countries (including Israel, Russia, Germany and England) was also an attempt to strive for awareness of peace through music. Yehudi Menuhin has been a great champion of this ideal, which is why the first performance took place at his festival in Gstaad in August 2001.
Daniel Hope, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Sergei Nakariakov, Hans-Kristian Sørensen, Ib Hausmann, Jean Raffard, Annika Pigorsch, Rachel Gough
Someone had to do something
Klaus Maria Brandauer read Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Musical concept: Daniel Hope
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was an outstanding theologian of the German Protestant Church who became a major figure in the Church’s resistance movement.
Bonhoeffer was born in 1906 in Breslau and aged 13 decided to join the church. He was distinguished early on by his exceptional intelligenc, intellectual curiosity and openness towards other faiths. Within the church he was an early opponent of the Nazi regime, and saw its ideology as a counter-religion, and thus a threat to Christianity itself. In October 1933 he moved to Britain where he received the support of Bishop Bell of Chichester. On his return to Germany he set up an illegal seminary which was shut down by the Gestapo in 1937. In 1939 he travelled to the USA, but on the outbreak of war, and ignoring the obvious dangers to himself, returned immediately to Germany, convinced that a Nazi victory would destroy Christian civilisation
Henceforth he saw it as his Christain duty to actively oppose this criminal regime and became increasingly involved with groups dedicated to its overthrow. In March 1943 he was arrested and incarcerated. Following the failed assassination plot against Hitler in July 1944, hundreds of political prisoners were executed. Bonhoeffer himself survived until 9 April 1945, just days before the end of the war, when he was murdered by the Nazis.
Klaus Maria Brandauer, ever since his stunning film portrait in „Mephisto“, has developed an empathy with characters who tried to act as go-betweens in totalitarian regimes, or, in the case of Bonhoeffer, remained violently anti-establishment.
Daniel Hope accompanied the moving letters and statements of Bonhoeffer with Solo Violin, a kaleidoscope of music and emotions, ranging from Bach, to Ravel, Debussy, Schulhoff and Ysaye.
Brandauer and Hope toured Germany with this project in May 2005, giving performances in churches and cathedrals, as well as for 2000 students at Mannheim University. The performance was equally well suited to schools, universities, and concert halls.