Mendelssohn's beautiful Violin Concerto--a work that fascinated the 6-year-old Daniel Hope in his early days of learning the violin. Though the teachers at his musical boarding school outside London forbade him from playing a piece they deemed too difficult for a child, Hope couldn't resist. He secretly practiced Mendelssohn in the bathroom until caught by his teachers, who summoned Hope's parents. They rushed to the school, having been told that their son had done something very bad-- only to learn that the crime was Mendelssohn! Daniel Hope never lost his fascination with the Concerto, and ever since it has accompanied him throughout his career as one of today's most successful violinists. Now he has finally recorded it, but not in the version that usually is played in the concert hall. For his DG debut Hope has chosen the "Urtext" version that he discovered through the Mendelssohn expert Larry Todd. The first version that Mendelssohn wrote was considerably revised according to the wishes of the violinist Ferdinand David for whom the concerto was originally composed. Now Hope has unearthed the first version from 1844 that still has all the elements that make this piece a hit but at the same time is much more passionate and vivid according to Hope. Fantastically enough, the "Urtext" version on DG is a world-premiere recording! Also on Hope's debut album is Mendelssohn's wonderful Octet in E-flat major--the composer's first significant work which he wrote when he was only 16-years old, but which nevertheless already carries the handwriting of the musical genius. The piece is a favorite of Daniel Hope, who has been a member of the Grammy®-nominated Beaux Arts Trio since 2002 and is a true lover of chamber music. What's more, Hope has written his own arrangements for the violin and piano (Sebastian Knauer) of three of Mendelssohn's glorious Lieder which further enhance this album. Just as the Violin Concerto and Octet represent two very different stages in Mendelssohn's life and artistic development, "On Wings of Song," "Suleika" and "Witches' Song" stem from a time when Mendelssohn was entering a new phase in his life, leaving Düsseldorf to become the music director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig where he would achieve arguably his greatest success.