- Imitazione delle Campane
- I giorni
- Cantique de Jean Racine
- Prelude op. 46 no. 15
- Eliza Aria
- Musica universalis
- Berlin by Overnight
- Prelude op. 46 no. 8
- Prelude in E minor BWV 855
- Trysting Fields
- Faust – Episode 2 – Nachspiel
When I was a boy, the only thing which captivated me as much as music was the night sky. At the age of eight I bought my first telescope and would spend hours gazing at the moon and stars. I remember thinking what it must have been like when man first realized that we were only a very small part of the overall picture.
When I was in my teens, Yehudi Menuhin, who was at work on his project The Music of Man, introduced me to the great astronomer Carl Sagan. It was Sagan who first opened my eyes to the magnitude of the universe, and essentially to the notion of “music of the spheres”.
In this album my idea was to bring together music and time, including works by composers from different centuries who might perhaps not always be found in the same “galaxy” but yet are united by the age-old question: is there anything out there?
It was probably Pythagoras who first expounded the idea that universal harmony may be rooted in mathematics, after his chance discovery that the pitch of a musical note depends upon the length of the string which produces it. But can something as magical and inexplicable as music ever be explained merely by a mathematical formula? Equally, when we think of space or the planets, do we hear any kind of sound associated with them, major or minor, or is it always mute? Certainly many composers envisaged the former. It is well known that before completing The Creation Haydn consulted the British astronomer William Herschel and viewed the heavens through his telescope. Josef Strauss’s waltz Sphärenklänge provided a romantic view of the heavens, while Philip Glass – whose Echorus is, incidentally, a homage to Yehudi Menuhin – has long been fascinated by such conundrums as whether music would sound higher or lower at the edge of a black hole. And scholars today are still trying to unearth and justify some of the numerological mysteries within J. S. Bach’s music, from the obvious use of the B–A–C–H motif to the more subtle presence of elements centering on the number three, standing for the Holy Trinity.
So, is there anything out there? I like to think so . . .
Daniel Hope violin
Chié Peters concertmaster · solo violin II (3 & 8)
Juan Lucas Aisemberg solo viola (16 & 17)
Christiane Starke solo violoncello (16)
Jochen Carls solo double bass (10)
Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin
Members of the Rundfunkchor Berlin (4, 12 & 15)
SIMON HALSEY conductor and chorus master
*world premiere recordings
CD/Download 00289 479 0571
Recordings: Funkhaus Berlin, Nalepastraße, 6–7/2012
Executive Producer: Christian Badzura
Producer: Andreas Neubronner
Recording Engineer (Tonmeister): Markus Heiland
www.deutschegrammophon.com/hope-spheresback to overview