The music sounds modern and great music always elicits an emotional response, transcending time and space.
"Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61" is multifaceted like a stunning diamond. "Allegro ma non troppo" is majestic yet uncomplicated. Well over 3 minutes into the long orchestra introduction after two themes are introduced and developed, the solo violin (hereafter the "violin") enters and begins to weave beautiful ornamental variations on the two themes while ascending into upper registers, accompanied by stately grandeur orchestra. The movement ends on a crescendo.
"Larghetto." The simple, serene Larghetto is tranquil and peaceful, and the ethereal violin sound is simply divine. There is great rapport between the violin and orchestra, complementing and enhancing each other throughout. PAY ATTENTION near the end of Larghetto as the orchestra force darkens and the violin nonchalantly changes tune . . .
"Rondo (Allegro)." Immediately the violin launches into a happy tune overflowing with joy. Beethoven can be romantic! The cheerful violin has ample opportunities to display virtuosity unaccompanied (a Kreisler cadenza) and be emotionally demonstrative through many beautiful lyrical passages. Finally the orchestra joins the violin to a resounding fortissimo climax.
"Kreisler: Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Pugnani." Following a loud, compelling opening the "Praeludium" continues a highly romanticised saga as the exquisitely accented violin draws out the resonance and vibrancy of each note in sustained long phrases. The fast-paced "Allegro" section is serene and poetic, containing an intensely sensual cadenza for solo violin.
"Rachmaninoff: Variation 18 (Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43) arr. Kreisler." Many of Rochmaninoff's classic pieces are featured on movie soundtrack. This theme induces intense emotions and longing and is the favourite music of the romantic male lead in Somewhere in Time (1980), a sci-fi romance film. Garrett plays the sweeping melody with heightened passion and solid intonation.
"Kreisler: Caprice Viennois, Op. 2." The multi-movement melody is charming and subtly flirty, alternating between enigmatic, capricious tunes and glissando waltzes radiating warmth and affection, while the violin dazzles with delightful Kreisler mannerisms including quasi-cadenza, seductive harmonics (double stops in waltzes), light portamento, melodic rubato, expressive vibrato, bouncing ricochets and playful pizzicato.
"Kreisler: Variations on a theme of Corelli in the style of Tartini." The waltzing, serenading violin is certainly in the mood for romance. The emotionally generous, lyrical phrasing makes the lilting Viennese melody even more romantic.
"Kreisler: Romance: Larghetto on a theme by Carl Maria von Weber." The restrained tender long phrases are filled with love. The flowing legato is sweet, warm-toned yet delicate like a lyrical tenor aria revealing romantic feelings.
"Kreisler: Tambourin Chinois (Chinese Drum), Op. 3" is a playful pseudo-Chinese folk melody with pseudo-Oriental inflections to display violinists' virtuoso fireworks. The violin plays high speed exotic scales with uninhibited enthusiasm in the first and third sections, bridged by the middle section which sounds mysterious and somehow impressionist, definitely non-Asian.
"Kreisler: Liebesleid (Love's Sorrow)." The simple, sweet and sorrowful melody has a natural human sobbing rhythm(!). Every time the solo violin glides up, there seems to be a big teardrop. The ending is vibrato-drenched as if tears well up again. The beautiful tune is so evocative that the emotional repercussions linger long after the music stops.
DVD: Playing For My Life
A documentary on the musical journey of The Phenomenal David Garrett. The film features insightful interviews with Garrett, Garrett's mother, prominent violinists/conductors, visionary artist manager, among others; video clips from Garrett's rock-inspired concerts and classical recitals; AND home video clips of an extremely focused, adorable little boy/intense teenager playing very beautiful music on the violin.
Garrett introduces the music by telling back stories in plain English (see booklet) with listening tips and behind-the-scene anecdotes to get listeners ready to experience great music.