David Garrett, violin – “Virtuoso” [TrackList follows] – Decca (2007)/ Warner Bros. Germany/Clear Audio vinyl LP 3046 ***:
David Garrett, if you haven’t heard of him before (and I hadn’t) is a very popular violinist who mixes classical music with rock, pop and electronics, and seems to be even more popular in Germany than in the U.S. He studied originally at Juilliard and with Itzhak Perlman—though there is no mention of him in the liner notes. He does things like over-arranged versions of a melody from Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, as well as pieces of Michael Jackson, Metallica, Queen and Justin Timberlake. In 2011 he had a big hit with his album Rock Symphonies.
I was struck by the early track on this audiophile remastered vinyl: Garrett’s own very short Carmen Fantasie (of course Bizet gets no credit on the outside of the album) which is billed as featuring flamenco guitarist Paco Pena. Maybe I wan’t paying enough attention, but frankly I couldn’t hear Pena at all. He does “Duelling Banjos” from the movie Deliverance, but instead of banjos it’s violin and guitar. On the second side are three original Garrett tunes, as well as an interesting though over-arranged version on Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” from West Side Story. The whole thing sounds over-produced to me. Sonics are of course superb.
TrackList: La Califfa, Carmen Fantaisie, Nothing Else Matters, Czardas, Duelling Banjos, Paganini Rhapsody, Serenade, Flight of the Bumble Bee, Toccata, Somewhere, Eliza’s Song.