Summer by Antonio Vivaldi
Nothing Else Matters by James Alan Hetfield, Lars Ulrich
Smooth Criminal by
Csardas (Gypsy Dance) by Vittorio Monti
Who Wants to Live Forever by Brian May
Thunderstruck by Angus Young, Malcolm Young
Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers
Carmen Fantasy by Georges Bizet, François Borne
Air on the G String by Johann Sebastian Bach
Zorba The Greek by Mikis Theodorakis
Chelsea Girl by Francine van der Heijden
Rock Prelude by Francine van der Heijden
Dueling Banjos by Arthur Smith
This is the first classical album I am reviewing for the site. Actually, it’s the first classical album I’ve ever reviewed. So, fans of classical music need not take it seriously because I am basing my opinion entirely on the fact that I like the violin and that I like the novelty of this project. I freely admit that I have no idea about the nuance and intricacies of classical music. I just know what I like. And I really like David Garrett.
Garrett opens the project with the intense Vivaldi piece “Summer.” And just like that, we’re off to the races. Bombastic and forceful, if you sit back and just listen, one can envision Garrett gazing intently, eyes full of fire as he commands to violin to do his bidding. As if by magic, the violin does as it is commanded, releasing a torrent of musical power reserved for instruments 3 times its size.
A majority of the album, however, is not dedicated to the orchestral greats such as Vivaldi or Bach, though they certainly get their time to shine. No, Garrett’s American album debut is more an ode to America’s greatest musical acts than it is to the world’s greatest composers. Here Garrett is just as comfortable playing a somber rendition of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” to the sweeping sound of “He’s A Pirate” from the Pirates of the Caribbean films series to the Michael Jackson masterpiece “Smooth Criminal.”
But, Garrett also proves himself a more than capable composer in his own right. “Chelsea Girl” is an original piece that is as beautiful as it is emotive. One can imagine more than one husband and wife dancing to this number on their wedding night or beneath a Tuscan sun. My only gripe is that it is not long enough. It has just begun to melt your heart when it slides into the next song, which is totally dissimilar.
David Garrett is already a classical music god across the pond. Now, he is on the brink of becoming a star in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And what better way to introduce oneself than to flatter us with fresh interpretations of some of our best-loved music? From the sounds of AC/DC to Queen, Garrett does it all. Welcome to America, David. We hope you got your green card, cause we’re not sending you home for a while.6/2/2009 11:30 AM (GMT-04:00)