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David Garrett: Pure Classics

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Album Review

Taking his career out of the world of Nigel Kennedy and into the realm of Twelve Girls Band and other flashy "spectacle" acts, David Garrett's self-titled album from 2009 emphasizes the classically arranged rock and pop numbers from his repertoire with a handful of familiar and true classical pieces thrown in. This American release was launched with a large television commercial campaign and is compiled from two British releases, 2007's Virtuoso and 2008's Encore. The big attractions are Garrett's orchestrated cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" (frantic and showy with crunchy guitar) and his own composition "Chelsea Girl" (one sappy and sentimental step away from Frank Mills' "Music Box Dancer"). Check "Smooth Criminal" and you'll be able to imagine what the rest of the rock covers sound like, all of them "turned up to eleven" and played with fury. Purists will rightfully run in horror, but even if he's prone to cheese and marketed as "the David Beckham of the classical scene," he's more the Eddie Van Halen of bowed instruments and could influence young violin students accordingly.


Born: 04 September 1981 in Aachen, Germany

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The child of an American mother and a German father, prodigy violin soloist David Garrett, born David Bongartz in Aachen, Germany, reached and surpassed many an important milestone before his matriculation at Juilliard in New York. Garrett's interest in violin began at the age of four, when his older brother received a violin from his father, who was himself an antique stringed-instrument dealer. A year later, Garrett had already won a competition, and by seven he was playing in public as often as...
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