Music has a special way of connecting milestones. That was evident as violinist Daniel Hope performed at the Phillips Collection for the first time on Sunday. In tribute to Yehudi Menuhin, the program centered on composers with a connection to the late, great violinist and those who have had an impact on Hope’s career.
“Impromptu Concertant” by George Enescu opened the program. There was a sensitive quality to Hope’s playing from the outset, and his lyrical phrasing soared effortlessly above the glistening accompaniment by the pianist Sebastian Knauer.
Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, BWV 1017, highlighted Hope’s ability to express a range of interpretation. From the haunting melody of the “Siciliano” to the dazzling virtuosity in the fast movements, Hope was in fine form. In the intricate opening of the allegro, Knauer displayed his ability to come out of the texture as both soloist and collaborative partner.
In Mendelssohn’s Violin Sonata in F, the phrases of the adagio movement allowed the violin to pull like taffy, surrounded by Knauer’s sonorous piano. The final movement of the sonata drew hearty applause from the audience.
Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances and William Walton’s Sonata for Violin and Piano rounded out the program. The fiery final movement of the Walton sonata was a tour de force for both violin and piano, bringing the debut to a memorable close.