Do you know the feeling when you scan through a magazine of upcoming book publications and you discover a tiny note (rather by accident) which tells you about a book that is SO your cup of tea? That’s how I felt when I read that South-African/British violinist Daniel Hope was going to publish a new book – after Familienstücke, an autobiographical collection of stories about Hope’s family roots, his newest work is a potpourri of breakdowns, accidents and mischances in the musical world: Toi, toi, toi! (roughly: Break a Leg!). You’ll get to know them all, from Johann Sebastian Bach’s eldest son’s alcoholism to David Garrett’s slip (literally!!) in winter 2007 when he fell onto his Guadagnini and broke it to pieces.
These and many more stories – those laughing-out-loud ones as well as deadly serious ones – all gathered in one book: an entertaining combination and a perfect occupation for a lazy afternoon, or for a long train journey, not only for musicians. Hope has an inspiring style of writing, easy to understand and not even sounding a bit malicious when talking about his colleagues’ (and his own) mistakes. What I liked most about this book was that it covers ALL epochs and all kinds of accidents, births in concert halls, death of a conductor, a torn string which cuts the solist’s lip open… you’ll find the most absurd happenings in this little treasure chest – I don’t want to tell you too much about it, it’s totally worth reading it!
One can only hope that Hope (haha :) will publish his book in English since it’s an informative, funny and witty accumulation of musical curiosities. It is published by Rowohlt Verlag and it’s available from any good sorted book store or online shop for 17,95€.