MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto / Hope


Violin Concerto

Octet op. 20

3 Lieder · Songs
(arr. for violin and piano)
Auf Flügeln des Gesanges
Suleika · Hexenlied
Daniel Hope
Sebastian Knauer
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Thomas Hengelbrock
Int. Release 14 Sep. 2007
1 CD / Download
0289 477 6634 6
Daniel Hope, one of today’s most versatile musicians, joins DG with a very personal debut recording

Track List

Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847)
Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, MWV O 14


Daniel Hope, Chamber Orchestra Of Europe, Thomas Hengelbrock

Octet in E-Flat Major, Op. 20, MWV R20



Daniel Hope, Lucy Gould, Sophie Besancon, Christian Eisenberger, Pascal Siffert, Stewart Eaton, William Conway, Kate Gould

Lieder op.8

Six Songs, Op.34

Daniel Hope, Sebastian Knauer

Total Playing Time 1:04:13

Typically, the 33-year-old has not . . . produced a standard performance; rather, this experimental British violinist . . . has delivered a version that few will have heard before.

Hope's unfailingly musical approach, the incisive accompaniment from Hengelbrock and the COE and a well-balanced recording ensure that these details are all brought vividly to life. The performance has plenty of passion and sensitivity, the slow introduction to the Finale sounding particularly magical . . . [Octet]: . . . again highlighting some interesting textual variants. It's a fine performance . . .

. . . they lend this performance youthful ardour. Hope's decisive application of schmaltz, Thomas Hengelbrock's brisk direction and the beautifully fluid Chamber Orchestra of Europe make this a very attractive recording, while the Octet and lieder arrangements are ravishing.

Outstanding young British violinist Daniel Hope offers his first recording of the peerless Mendelssohn concerto, to which he brings thrilling brio and tender lyricism. Using Mendelssohn's 1844 'ur-text', with the excellent CEO under Thomas Hengelbrock, Hope demonstrates again that he is the natural heir to Menuhin. He also shows off his chamber skills in a fine version of the sublime E flat major octet, and three songs with pianist Sebastian Knauer.

The English violinist Daniel Hope comes to the battle well armed. His sense of adventure is an obviously important asset; this is a player who takes no phrase lying down . . . Hope¿s playing is a joy -- technically impeccable but still passionate, singing and mercurial. And contemporary: he¿s playing from pages, you feel, on which the ink isn¿t yet dry. The performance is helped to victory by the superb musicianship of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the conductor Thomas Hengelbrock. Even so, it¿s not the concerto that makes this CD an essential purchase. The true glory is Mendelssohn¿s youthful Octet, played by Hope and COE soloists . . . the force propelling Hope¿s team seems to be mostly the players¿ energy. The emotional heat is exceptional. Much is generated from their accentuated regard for the composer¿s quick-changing dynamics; though that doesn¿t explain the febrile glory of those fugal cellos flying in the finale. The dominant reason, I think, is that the players, though properly mindful of the ensemble, always allow themselves individual flair. And they love the score. Three Mendelssohn song arrangements for violin and piano bring the CD to a quiet close. You¿ll be grateful after the fiery Octet.

This is the best playing I have heard from Daniel Hope. He fiddles very sweetly in the concerto, and three songs by Mendelssohn that he has transcribed himself are delightful . . . The octet recording is democratic, with the first violin not dominating.

Daniel Hope has a chameleon-like ability to transform his style to fit every new recording . . . But he's never dull. His Mendelssohn Concerto -- his first release for DG -- is refreshing . . . Hope is minutely responsive to every phrase of this music, making you wonder anew at its brilliance of invention. The outer movements dance, and his "Andante" has all the depth and subtlety of a great operatic aria, with remarkable richness in the alto register -- a quality equally apparent in the song transcriptions. This is very much a collaborative, responsive reading. The violin is not unduly spotlit, and the orchestral playing is warm yet transparent, the woodwind heavenly, the timpani a subtle but vital presence . . . The Octet is on a similarly elevated level, with Hope clearly the guiding light among his COE colleagues, but never becoming overbearing. Indeed, it is the emphasis on inner workings as much as soaring lines which makes this performance so illuminating. Altogether, a major addition to Hope's discography.

To anyone who knows this Concerto really well, the differences are, I think, going to be absolutely fascinating . . . Mendelssohn's adjustments are often very subtle and it's great fun spotting them. The pleasure of these discoveries is all the more enjoyable when the performance as a whole is as rewarding as this one by Hope with the chamber Orchestra of Europe, conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock. Hope's playing is always imaginative and has an impressive expressive range as well as fabulous technique. His is a very sensitive approach to the work but never an unduly sentimental one: where Mendelssohn demands virtuoso fireworks, he gets them. Hengelbrock and the orchestra partner the soloist with real attentiveness and rhythmic energy. Mendelssohn's Octet is a very strong contender in any contest for the greatest work ever written by a teenage composer . . . Hope and his seven colleagues from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe seem to have an effortless and natural rapport with this music: nothing is forced or pushed too hard but the energy levels are consistently high. This is a lovely performance. While it pays scrupulous attention to the letter of the score, it also captures beautifully the work's gentle ecstasy . . . this CD will be a must. The performances throughout the disc are most engaging and it deserves the greatest success.

Hope is an urgent, subtle soloist: fierily intense in the first movement, tender without sentimentality in the andante, and finding wistfulness amid the impish repartee of the finale. Hope and his superb COE colleagues are equally fine in the Octet. This is a performance of true, democratic give-and-take that ideally balances youthful impetuosity and delicacy (the scherzo barely touches the ground). The violinist's own arrangements of three Mendelssohn songs make a delightful digestif.

. . . unusually serious and thoughtful reading . . .

Violinist Daniel Hope delivers a smashing Mendelssohn recording
. . . Mr. Hope characteristically stresses its drama. Thomas Hengelbrock and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe agree, resulting in one of the finest performances of an old standby. The violinist and seven friends offer an equally energetic take on the beloved Octet. One of the world's most interesting fiddlers tries to do it all and succeeds.

Daniel Hope and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe blaze their way through this movement, shifting quickly through hairpin crescendos and diminuendos. Hope plays with conviction, determined to win over anyone who might think this original version pales by comparison. In the slow movement of the original version, parts of the violin solo line are an octave lower, and the dynamics are much softer than the revised version. Daniel Hope plays delicately with a tender, lyrical touch. At times, this lovely andante sounds like a lullaby . . . Recording [the Octet] with members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe was a real thrill for Hope. He loves their sense of energy, which comes through vividly in this performance . . .

British violinist Daniel Hope is a searching protagonist who brings fresh life to the subtleties in these beloved scores. He partners superbly with members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and pianist Sebastian Knauer.

. . . the concerto sounds with a new freshness and power, thanks in no small part to Daniel Hope's taut and muscular interpretation. His highly expressive tone is at once sinewy and beautifully lyrical, particularly in the slow movement, and his impeccable intonation and characterful phrasing reveal the passion and originality of Mendelssohn's masterpiece in a way that makes questions concerning the use of this or that edition irrelevant. This is just terrific violin playing. Yet, a good amount of the performance's impact is centered in the orchestral accompaniment. Thomas Hengelbrock makes the original score sound edgier and more dramatic than the one we've become accustomed to, thanks to flowing tempos, sharp attacks, pointed accents, and volatile dynamics, all brilliantly played by the Chamber Orchestra of Europe . . . the emotional sweep of the music is irresistible. There's emotion aplenty in the Octet as well, as Hope and soloists from the orchestra offer a gripping rendition, with Hope's first violin soaring above the nervous ostinatos in the first and third movements. The gorgeously rendered Andante and the joyfully sung Finale complete a hugely satisfying performance. The program concludes with Hope's accomplished arrangements of three Mendelssohn songs in seductive performances with pianist Sebastian Knauer. The recorded sound for all three venues is first rate, which adds to this disc's excellence. It's a must-have for Mendelssohn fans.

Daniel Hope makes a convincing case for the older version . . . it's instructive to hear when we can what the composer originally conceived. And it's exciting . . . to hear the original played as compellingly as Daniel Hope plays this one . . . Hope concludes the program with winning performances of a set of three transcriptions he himself made for violin and piano from Mendelssohn's "Songs without Words". The recorded sound throughout helps convey the urgency and exhilaration of the performances -- even of the Songs. Strongly recommended . . .

The violinist Daniel Hope and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe recently made a bold, stylish recording of the Violin Concerto, alongside one of the finest modern accounts of the Octet.

. . . well worth hearing . . . The pleasure of these discoveries is all the more enjoyable when the performance as a whole is as rewarding as this one by Hope.

Daniel Hope spielt Mendelssohn Bartholdy noch schöner, als sich Mendelssohn Bartholdy sine eigene Musik selber vorstellen konnte, behaupte ich . . .

. . . Daniel Hope [ist] einer der markantesten Geiger seiner Generation. Dreimal in Folge hat er den Echo gewonnen, den wichtigsten deutschen Klassik-Preis. Die Zeit nannte ihn "fantastisch", die Times feierte seine "Leidenschaft und Intelligenz" . . . Tatsächlich liegt hier Hopes große Stärke. Gleichermaßen von Empfindung und intellektueller Neugier geleitet, kann er auch bekannte Stücke immer wieder auf zeitgemäße, überraschende Weise interpretieren. Bachs Violinkonzerte in E-Dur und a-Moll spielte Hope in einer ungewohnt energiegeladenen Version und für Mendelssohns Violinkonzert . . .

Eine Reverenz an Mendelssohn, wie sie referenzhafter nicht sein könnte.

Diese Musik hat Charme, sie ist allerbestes Virtuosenfutter und besitzt eine Leichtigkeit, die an Beethovens "Sturm und Drang" erinnert . . . Spannend und hörenswert . . . Der Hörer ist umgeben von musikalischer Transparenz und Luftigkeit. Selbst das Andante bleibt -- durch Daniel Hopes schwebend-fließenden Musiziergestus -- ohne überflüssige Gefühlstümelei.

. . . Thomas Hengelbrock . . . [leitet] hier das präzise agierende Chamber Orchestra of Europe mit viel Verve. Hopes Vortrag . . . [ist] sehr gut und unmanieriert, was vor allem die Wirkung des langsamen Mittelsatzes unterstreicht . . . der Geiger [punktet] daher auch auf seiner ersten Veröffentlichung unter der Flagge der Deutschen Grammophon . . . mit der recht eigenwilligen und intelligenten Werkzusammenstellung seiner Platte . . . Hope beschließt seine CD mit drei eigenen Bearbeitungen Mendelssohnscher Lieder, die er gemeinsam mit . . . Sebastian Knauer mit großer Emphase und in schwelgerischem Ton vorträgt und dabei seine ganzen Qualitäten als Geiger an den Tag legt. Damit unterstreicht er die lyrisch-kantable Komponente, die für das Schaffen des Romantikers von großer Bedeutung gewesen ist und auch in der kompositorischen Gestaltung von Violinkonzert und Oktett immer wieder deutlich hervortritt. Mit diesem sehr persönlichen Bekenntnis zum Gesang rundet der Geiger eine . . . sehr interessante . . . Veröffentlichung ab.

Blühender Violinklang. Hier brilliert der Brite mit schlankem Ton in Mendelssohns berühmtem Violinkonzert. Thomas Hengelbrock und das Chamber Orchestra of Europe begleiten exzellent, im Es-Dur-Oktett und drei Liedern mit Klavier zeigt der 33-Jährige auch seine Verve für Kammermusik.

Vital und dynamisch das Chamber Orchestra of Europe (Hengelbrock). Kraftvoll präsent und weitgehend unsentimental der Solist.

Daniel Hope . . . verlässt glücklicherweise mit seiner Mendelssohn-Einspielung eingetretene Wege . . . Diese Version zu hören verblüfft . . . Mendelssohn klingt lebendig und klanglich aufgefrischt, nicht polierter Schönklang, sondern eine von leidenschaftlicher Spielfreude getragene Intensivierung des Ausdrucks, deutlich auch im . . . Vibrato des Solisten, prägt die Interpretation. Das Oktett erblüht in orchestraler Fülle, Hope und den exzellenten Solisten des Chamber Orchestra of Europe sei Dank. Eine kreative neue Sicht auf Mendelssohn mit drei kantablen Zugaben am Schluss.

Daniel Hope . . . verlässt glücklicherweise mit seiner Mendelssohn-Einspielung eingetretene Wege . . . Diese Version zu hören verblüfft, sie bietet Stoff für Diskussionen. Mendelssohn klingt lebendig und klanglich aufgefrischt, nicht polierter Schönklang, sondern eine von leidenschaftlicher Spielfreude getragenen Intensivierung des Ausdrucks, deutlich auch im . . . Vibrato des Solisten, prägt die Interpretation. Das Oktett erblüht in orchestraler Fülle, Hope und den exzellenten Solisten des Chamber Orchestra of Europe sei Dank. Eine kreative neue Sicht auf Mendelssohn.

Daniel Hope spielt mitreißend Mendelssohn . . . Es ist Musik, so wundervoll, dass sie wirklich jeder versteht.

. . . eine exzellente CD . . .

Inzwischen ist Daniel Hope ein etablierter Künstler, der um die ganze Welt tourt . . . Dankenswerterweise haben sich Hope und der Dirigent Thomas Hengelbrock für die eben erschienene Urfassung des ansonsten fast totgespielten Stückes entschieden. Zusammen mit dem famosen Chamber Orchestra of Europe ist den beiden eine rasante Aufnahme gelungen, die nicht nur historisch interessant ist. So glänzend und schwungvoll hat man Mendelssohn ewig nicht mehr gehört.

Hope . . . hebt sich auch mit seiner Spielweise von den gängigen virtuos-glatten Interpretationen ab. Kraftvoll . . . geht Hope das Konzert an. Eher markant als süffig im Ton, gliedert Hope den Solopart plastisch und sprechend . . . Hengelbrock und das Chamber Orchestra of Europe steuern einen sehr lebendigen Orchesterpart bei . . . Hope ist ein Geiger, der nicht nur sehr gut spielen kann, sondern in jeder Phrase etwas zu sagen hat. Das macht seine Aufnahme interessant -- nicht nur für Hörer, die einmal die Frühfassung des Mendelsohn-Konzertes hören möchten.

. . . eine bravouröse CD, die man wieder und wieder hören möchte. Hope pflegt einen klaren, puren Klang ohne Schnörkel, ohne kitschigen Schwulst. Und dass er sich für die Urfassung des Violinkonzertes entschieden hat, spricht um so mehr für ihn als Künstler, der Dinge wagt -- ohne dabei sein Gesicht zu verlieren. Encore!

Ein echtes Hörabenteuer.

Welch ein Einstand! . . . Wie Hope und Hengelbrock dieses Konzert . . . spielen, lässt sämtliche Diskussionen um Fassungen und Details der Quellenforschung sofort vergessen . . . Da kriegt Mendelssohn, der Unbeschwerte, plötzlich einen kräftigen Schuss Beethoven¿sche Rebellion beigemischt, und das bekommt diesem Satz sehr gut . . . Dazu kommt eine grosse Beweglichkeit in Dynamik und Agogik, die besonders schön im Mittelsatz für Spannung und untergründige Energie sorgt . . . [Octet & Songs]: Auch dieses geniale Stück wie einige Lieder, die Hope für Geige und Klavier arrangiert hat, kommen mit derselben schier überbordenden musikantischen Spielfreude und virtuosen Brillanz aus den Lautsprechern, die schon den Schlusssatz des Violinkonzerts zum puren Vergnügen brachten.

. . . der Geiger [zählt] . . . zu den erfolgreichsten -- und sympathischsten -- unserer Zeit.

Er ist ein sich in den Weltruhm hinaufspielender Geiger. Er hat es geschafft. Er konzertiert höchst erfolgreich rund um den Erdball.

Nous avions remarqué l'excellent violoniste britannique Daniel Hope (né à Durban en 1974) dans un récent programme organisé autour des musiques (bouleversantes) des compositeurs juifs parqués dans l'antichambre de la mort de Theresienstadt Terezin, récent album édité par Deutsche Grammophon avec la mezzo suédoise Anne Sofie Van Otter. Daniel Hope qui y révélait une sublime Sonate d'Erwin Schulhoff, impose ici avec la même personnalité, une nature communicative, son engagement singulier dans le Concerto de Mendelssohn . . . La lecture primitive défendue par Hope regorge d'une tendre vitalité, en particulier dans le mouvement central qui est écrit en mode mineur quand sa version plus récente est conçu en ... majeur. Différence de taille qui magistralement tenue, révèle cette faculté d'introspection et d'intimité à fleur de peau dont était capable le jeune Mendelssohn. Même révélation pour l'Octuor pour cordes: même sentiment d'irréppressible ardeur, une force juvénile, d'une rare passion que les interprètes restituent dans une version corrigée critique, désormais parfaitement légitime. La sonorité du violoniste qui brille par son intériorité et une forme de modestie habitée (qui tranche avec le brio habituel que l'on entend familièrement dans le Concerto), s'impose indiscutablement par sa finesse et son élégance, mais aussi ses qualités de plénitude et de naturel, éléments si essentiels chez Mendelssohn. De toute évidence, nous tenons là plus qu'un "document musicologique": la seule version originale du Concerto suffit à donner raison aux recherches de Daniel Hope. Il est à souhaiter que cette option alternative s'impose durablement sur la scène, aux interprètes soucieux d'exactitude car en mode mineur, l'Andante central sonne divinement, d'une toute autre façon que dans sa version plus récente. Quant à l'allegro con fuoco, c'est bien toute la jeunesse éruptive d'un Mendelssohn tourné vers le soleil qui s'exprime avec contrastes et détermination. Superbe révélation!

Ses timbres sont lumineux, et son archet a tout le brio attendu . . . Frémissante, à la fois palpitante et tendue, parfait témoin du génie précoce d'un compositeur de quinze ans, elle est menée avec passion par Daniel Hope qui confirme ici tout son talent de chambriste. Trois arrangements de lieder pour violon et piano concluent l'ensemble de facon inattendue.

De cette ¿uvre rebattue, l'interprétation de Daniel Hope ne saurait être comparée à aucune autre. Sans pour autant occulter le climat passionné de l'¿uvre, il insiste sur la fougue et l'énergie qu'exige ce con fuoco. Excellent technicien, violoniste subtil à la sonorité éclatante, il est soutenu par un orchestre de première qualité auquel le chef Thomas Hengelbrock insuffle une grande ardeur et une extraordinaire vitalité . . . [l'Octuor]: Là encore, c'est l'esprit même de l'ouvrage qui est transformé, puisque ce qu'on a l'habitude d'entendre comme une sorte de concerto pour violon, sonne comme une page symphonique, selon les désirs du compositeur lui-même . . . il y a une facon de jouer cet Octuor de grand ampleur autre que celles, au demeurant superbes . . . Les trois mélodies transcrites par Daniel Hope -- "Chant des Sorcières", "Suleika" et "Sur les ailes du chant" -- complètent ce très bel album comme autant de bis donnés à la fin d'un concert.

    Text by Daniel Hope

    I have included my own arrangement for violin and piano of three of Mendelssohn's glorious Lieder on this album, not least because the element of song also permeates the other works on this disc. In the same way that the Violin Concerto and Octet represent two very different stages in Mendelssohn's life and artistic development, 'On Wings of Song' (opus 34 no. 2) and 'Suleika' (opus 34 no. 4), composed between 1834 and 1837, stem from a time where Mendelssohn was entering a new phase in his life, leaving Düsseldorf to become music director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, where he would achieve arguably his greatest success. It was also here that he went on to compose the Violin Concerto.

    'Witches' Song' (opus 8) is one of Mendelssohn's early masterpieces, which like the Scherzo of his Octet, delights in the supernatural, a source of constant inspiration for the composer.

    On a personal note, 'Suleika' was the favourite song of my great-great grandfather, Julius Valentin. The libretto comes from Goethe's 'West-Eastern Divan', which he knew so intimately. The photo which I have of Julius even contains a hand written quote from these poems. It is my tribute to an extraordinary man.

    Daniel Hope

    Daniel Hope's Mendelssohn

Are we to expect a “normal" performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto from Daniel Hope? Is the musician whose interests as a performer run from Bach to Indian ragas, and from Schnittke to jazz, likely to be happy giving us just another standard recording of this familiar old piece to add to the many already in existence? Well, as The New York Times once said of him, “you never know what the brilliant young British violinist will do next", and on this album he presents a version of the Mendelssohn that you are unlikely to have heard before - a new edition which reveals how the work was before the composer made changes to it leading up to publication, partly on the advice of its first soloist, Ferdinand David.

“It's as much about the feeling it gives me as about precise differences", explains Hope, for whom - having already made a highly acclaimed recording of a new critically revised edition of the Berg Violin Concerto - the search for an alternative view has clearly become a standard part of the creative process. “I find it interesting to see how the mind of a composer works, for Mendelssohn as much as for any other, and it was fascinating to discover what he actually had in his head before David advised him. It's that whole premise of trying to get as close as I can to the source. If you have the chance to really dig into what the composer wanted, it can provide greater depth to your performance of the piece."

So much for the performer, but what kind of differences will it make to the listener? “There are well over 100 changes if you compare the versions, and it's been a matter of sitting down with Thomas Hengelbrock and examining each one. There are several passages that will cause people who know the work well to be taken aback at first: most notably where Mendelssohn has taken the solo line up or down an octave, added entirely new notes to the violin part, or slightly changed the wind writing where, for example, David reduced octave passages to a single line. But it is pure Mendelssohn, and all the magical elements that make the Violin Concerto what it is, that make it so loved and so popular, are completely intact."

Hope's own love affair with the Mendelssohn goes back a long way. “It's a piece which has accompanied me throughout my life - it was the first concerto I ever heard live, the first one I ever learned, and the one with which I made my debut. There's also a story attached to it. When I was eight and a student at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London, I desperately wanted to learn it, but basically wasn't good enough and wasn't allowed near it. I became so frustrated that after several months I secretly borrowed the score, but then I got caught and was frog-marched to Director of Music's office - it was a very serious matter to be caught practising the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto without permission! Shortly after that I left the school, so make of that what you will . . ."

With a piece as familiar as this - the Mendelssohn would effortlessly find its way on to any “Great Violin Concertos" list - it can be difficult to pin down the precise qualities that put it there. Hope agrees, but is willing to make an attempt: “All I can say is that it has absolutely everything that a violinist and musician could wish for: the most beautiful melodies, the Romantic struggle of violin against orchestra, a Sturm und Drang quality which at times is close to Beethoven, and that incredible skittish scherzo writing unique to Mendelssohn. It has both virtuosity and lightness, and is a wonderfully happy work, even though there are moments of great poignancy. It's the most perfect concerto because it touches people wherever you play it. The reaction you get from a performance of it is really unlike any other."

Hope himself experienced reactions of a very particular and moving kind when performing it on tour in Germany under the baton of one of his heroes, Yehudi Menuhin. “It was one of the pieces with which he made his name as a violinist, and the one he performed in Germany before the end of the Second World War when Mendelssohn's music had been banned by the Nazis. At every concert I gave with him in Germany, people would come up to him afterwards and say 'we've never forgotten that you brought Mendelssohn back to us'; so every time I perform the Concerto I think of him and the extraordinary way he played it."

Hope's own German roots - his mother's parents were forced to leave the country in the 1930s because of the family's distant Jewish ancestry - are explored in Familienstücke. Eine Spurensuche, a book published in German that he has written to coincide with this recording. “In a sense it's a musical journey, but also a family history", he explains. “My father's side was Irish and my parents met in South Africa, and this is interspersed with stories of my own childhood and the rather curious, often mysterious family history. But there's also a connection to Mendelssohn, because we're direct descendants of Carl Friedrich Zelter, who was Mendelssohn's great teacher and supervised the composition of the Octet."

No wonder, then, that the Mendelssohn Octet is companion to the Concerto on this album. Again, Hope has looked beyond the standard text and recorded it for the first time in the Mendelssohn Ausgabe's recently published revised edition; and again it is a piece he has known for a long time. “I've played it many times, but this was the first with members of the COE. When I recorded Bach with them a while back, I just loved that great sense of individual players, and that's why I wanted to involve them in this as well. The Octet's got to be up there as the greatest piece ever written by a teenager, just for sheer inventiveness and confidence. I really love its grand scale, but it wasn't until I saw the new edition that I knew about Mendelssohn's own instruction, 'this Octet must be performed in the style of a symphony'. I think the fact that a 16-year-old could write that shows that he knew exactly what he wanted!"

Lindsay Kemp