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5.0 out of 5 stars Musical Imagination!, 4 Sep 2013
This review is from: 14 (Audio CD)
Musical imagination fuels emotional fluency, enhanced by exuberant technical proficiency, making this previously unreleased album hugely enjoyable.

1. La campanella
A stunning, ringing bell song in thrilling Paganini style: catapulting arpeggios, dashing scales, tuneful double-stop harmonics, and much more. The intensely romantic violin dashes through the exhilarating piece alternating between sweet lyricism and bravura extravaganzas with highly expressive nuances.

2. Devil's Trill Sonata - Larghetto
Dusk-hued, evocative violin draws listeners into an otherworldly melodic world with meandering cantabile lines, gently insistent double stops and tantalizing thrills. The opening theme is repeated to ensure listeners are completely beguiled.

3. Devil's Trill Sonata - Allegro energico
A bouncy, whirling dance-like movement. The warm, sonorous violin is romantically assertive, casting musical spells with infinitely expressive inflections.

4. Devil's Trill Sonata - Grave
A short, slow section of soaring legato lines. The melting dark chocolate-tone violin emotes in earnest with darkly glowing trills.

5. Devil's Trill Sonata - Allegro assai
An intensely beautiful movement with dramatic tempo shifts, alternating between alluring lyricism and dramatic virtuoso outbursts (tuned chords, legato string crossings, quick grace notes, rapid double-stop trills) until an extended, sensual cadenza by violin playing trills and arpeggios, simultaneously, on adjacent strings. A beautiful intimate feel permeates through the entire movement.

6. Humoresque op.101 no.7
A lilting, rhythmic rendition. The warm, slightly wistful violin initiates a relaxed, romantic beginning; becomes dramatic in the middle section, repeating a beautiful phrase three times with growing intensity in rising pitches; then returns to the enchanting opening tune.

7. Ave Maria
A wonderful rendition. The violin sings in a calm, deep male voice, then repeats the song in a clear, high voice as the melody flows and soars, with octave double stops of ethereal beauty.

8. Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Gaetano Pugnani
A resonant virtuoso rendition. The searingly focused violin rings out a surging opening, and fills Praeludium's slow, expressive long phrases with sustained dramatic intensity. The fast-paced Allegro glows with romantic lyricism, requiring all kinds of advanced violin techniques and a rich, vibrant quasi-cadenza over rumbling piano bass drones.

9. None but the Lonely Heart op.6 No.6
A beautiful song from Russia of romanticised suffering. The lonely violin sings with such emotional intensity and tenderness that it is heartbreaking, exasperated by the warm tone and dark, velvety legato.

10. Fantaisie brillante op.20
A fantastic five-section virtuoso piece inspired by Gounod's opera Faust: (1) a shy, timid piano introduces the inflamed, searing violin projecting romantic imagination and passionate aspirations; (2) a sweet melody; the eloquent violin sings with lyrical baritone resonance, and the piano turns dramatic; (3) a darkly charismatic theme of gloriously sweeping passages and wide leaps in striking dynamic contrasts with elegant fast-changing rhythms; piano torrents subside to ripples; (4) a romantic theme, intimately expressive, roiled with almost heartbreaking yearning undertones; and (5) a splendid waltz with bouncing spiccato and stratospheric harmonics; the playful violin is happily accompanied by piano.

11. Liebesleid (Love's Sorrow)
The sweet, gentle violin plays a heart-rending waltz with lamenting legato phrasing, tearful vibrato, and the subtlest nuance in each beautifully sobbing note. Love's sorrow does not last long and ends on a lightened high note.

12. La Capricieuse op.17
A sparkling virtuoso waltz. The jaunty, whimsical violin skips up and down from note to note weaving a fluid melody with light-hearted staccato and rhythmically accented rubato; capriciously wafts into a dark, moody theme and variations with ebulliently expressive double stops, then returns to the opening theme of whimsical charm.

13. Kol Nidrei op. 47
A beautifully introspective rendition. The pure, fervently impassioned violin sings with rich sonorities and sweet penetrating intensity in high/low register contrasts through slow, expressive long-spun narrative phrasing, expanding emotional time to infinity.

1. "A Moment In Time", a poetically reflective and beautiful introduction by Garrett (see booklet).
2. Lovely archive portrait photos of the universally admired violinist in his early teens.
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14 by David Garrett (Audio CD - 2013)
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