"an exciting journey with the new deeper listening impressions"
"He’s crazy, you might think who reads that German-American cellist Timothy Hopkins plays iconic violin works on the cello. And on top of that, those that are feared for their technically challenging compositional style. In addition to the last Caprice by Paganini, this is Introduction & Rondo capriccioso by Saint-Saens. Can this even go well on the cello? But also the Chaconne by Bach and the Sonata by César Franck belong to these jewels of violin literature, whose difficulties have to be mastered in interpretation at the same time.
The fact that the sonata is now repeatedly heard in a cello version shows that this work stimulates cellists and can develop its charm especially for this instrument. The fuller and thus more sonorous sound compared to the violin is very much in keeping with the mood of the work. In this piece in particular, some may even enjoy the cello sound more than the original of the higher string instrument. In any case, Hopkins succeeds in tickling out the extraordinarily colorful harmonics of the work with nuance.
Hopkins has used his version for Bach, which remains largely only octavated downwards to the original, thus more a rewriting of the fingerings than an arrangement. Otherwise, he took other arrangements, which he has in turn modified at points with his own or others’ thoughts.
Although the pieces are deprived of the brilliance of the sound of the high violin strings, they gain a new intensity from the cello with the darker coloring that benefits them. At the outset, one seems to hear Hopkins playing the pieces more slowly than a violinist would, in order to accommodate the larger, and thus presumably harder to play fast, lower string instrument. But in absolute playing times, he stays within the bounds of the usual. And this proves that he knows how to play his instrument so elegantly and swiftly that even the cello can jubilate nimbly and easily. The moments when it does sound a little insistent are rare."