This is magnificent. The sound is superb, the violin playing is spine tingling and the orchestra one of the most characterful I've ever heard in the concerto.
Hope plays Mendelssohn's original version of the concerto, without the alterations made to the solo part at the behest of its original soloist David. The differences aren't huge, but it will make you sit up and listen a couple of times in the first movement in particular.
Hope's playing is wonderful. Light but masculine, precise hairpin turns and full of character. Hengelbrock's orchestra is every bit as good, and match Hope's every twist and turn with perfection. Trumpets and drums are a little more to the fore than usual and only help to add to this most characterful performance of the concerto I have ever heard.
This disc will make you listen to this old favourite with new ears.
The coupling of the sublime Octet is ideal. Hope is very much the star of the show here too, and the performance is as good as any I know.