Daniel Hope: Tiny Desk Concert (home)

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and around the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped down decor, an intimate setting — just a different space.


Our Tiny Desk (home) concert series has taken us to some very special places, but few can match the distinction of being inside Ludwig Van Beethoven’s home.

Violinist Daniel Hope is the current president of Beethoven Haus, where the great composer was born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany. Much more than a cultural curiosity, the house is, as Hope calls it, “the nerve center” for dozens of Beethoven scholars. It is also a museum, a library, a publishing house and a performance space.

We often ask artists to perform in their own “little office”. But the desk at this concert cannot be matched. In front of Hope and pianist Sylvia Thereza is displayed Beethoven’s own travel desk, a compact model he used to write letters and possibly compose music.

The music Hope has chosen for this special performance establishes a most unexpected connection between Beethoven and St. Patrick’s Day. From around 1810, Beethoven was commissioned to arrange his own versions of folk tunes from the British Isles. These were intended for amateurs to play at home, but with Beethoven nothing was ever easy. One of these tunes, a theme with variations, is called “St. Patrick’s Day”, which matches Hope’s Irish heritage. The violinist begins with a bittersweet arrangement of the Londonderry Air, better known as “Danny Boy” when sung. But the soul of this concert is surely the slow movement of Beethoven’s Sixth Violin Sonata, with its mournful melody that unfolds like a song of prayer, floating through the halls where the composer once walked.

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LIST OF SETTINGS

  • Traditional: “Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)”
  • Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 6 in A: II. Adagio
  • Beethoven: St. Patrick’s Day Variations, Op. 107, No. 4

THE MUSICIANS

  • Daniel Hope: violin
  • Sylvia Therese: piano

CREDITS

  • Video: Daniel Waldhecker and Florian Henke, Kobalt Productions
  • Audio: René Möller and Anton Langer, Teldex Studio Berlin
  • Direction: Christina Khosrowi
  • Beethoven-Haus Bonn: Malte Boecker
  • Financial support: Deutsche Post, Pedro Munoz
  • Piano: C. Bechstein Pianoforte Germany, Gregor Willmes & Burkhard Loock

SMALL OFFICE TEAM

  • Producer: Tom Huizenga
  • Video producer: Kara Frame
  • Audio mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Small production team: Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Ashley Pointer
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior Vice President, Programming: Anya Grundmann

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