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Violinist Daniel Hope follows his brilliant appearance as soloist on Max Richter's Recomposed: Vivaldi's Four Seasons (a turn impressive enough to have made our Staff Best Of 2012 list) with this program centred around the concept of planetary movement, the 'music of the spheres,' featuring pieces by Richter himself as well as Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and Gabriel Prokofiev, among others. (Listen to Hope's own commentary, along with selections from Spheres, at Deutsche Grammophon's SoundCloud page.)

"The idea that the universe can aspire to elegance, harmony and symmetry has long been an irresistible concept for artists, musicians and even some scientists. It’s a controversial notion, of course, to suggest that subjective aesthetics can be applied to inherently objective disciplines.

But flip the concept around, and you get projects like Spheres, the thought-provoking album by the British violinist Daniel Hope. The collection is based on the 'music of the spheres,' the philosophical idea that the proportions of the movements of celestial bodies (the sun, moon and planets) can be viewed in the form of music, inaudible but perfectly harmonious.

Hope has assembled a collection of 18 pieces whose repetitions evoke the recurrent orbits of astral bodies. As bookends are two Baroque works: Imitazione delle campane by Bach predecessor Johann Paul von Westhoff, and a string trio arrangement of Bach’s own Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1. In between are minimalist works by Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt, a film music selection by Michael Nyman, and ear-massaging new pieces by Ludovico Enaudi, Alex Baranowski, Max Richter and others." - WQXR

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