Concept-led it may be, but Dance! is intelligently assembled and dispatched with such ease and elegance that it is impossible to resist the many charms of its generous, 42-track double-disc offerings. Spanning seven centuries, it’s an eclectic compendium stretching from the agitated 14th-century Lamento di Tristano to the spryly delivered Tarantella from Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean a Thing – where Hope adroitly channels Menuhin in a shining arrangement for violin, jazz guitar and double bass.

Disc One winds its way with studied understatement through assorted lollipops in which Hope is never less than expressive and characterful. He also never quite does what familiarity might expect of him, and agreeably so. Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre is glossed with a liquid delirium that eschews the demonic; Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake pas de deux is movingly fragile and forlorn; Schubert’s German Dances laced with becomingly playful wit. Gracefulness is the order of the day here, although a well-honed edge begins to make itself appreciably felt in Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances

The Zurich Chamber Orchestra lends its attractively creamy but varied voice with aplomb throughout, delightfully tipsy in Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite waltz, superbly poised and pointed in the delicately dispatched Baroque pieces that begin Disc Two, wholly authentic in Elgar’s A minor Minuet. Paul Bateman’s articulate arrangements, variously scored with accents from harp, theorbo, bandoneon, piano and drums, add their own distinctive colour and tone in a slow-burn, something-for-everyone recital that warms its way into the senses en route towards a gorgeously intoxicating duet for Hope’s violin and Marie-Pierre Langlamet’s harp in Ravel’s closing Vocalise-Étude en forms de Habanera.

Listen on Apple Music

Title: Dance!
Works: Music by Stravinsky, Schubert, Ellington et al.
Performers:  Daniel Hope v, Zürcher Kammerorchester
Label: DG 4864994 (2CD)

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