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This review is from: Rock Symphonies (Audio CD)
Rock Symphonies thrill with wildly diversified violin sounds, fanciful violin techniques and great music! The track list is organized by contrasting mood/tempo to sustain a heightened sense of anticipation. In front of a full orchestra (joined by electric guitars and Rock band as applicable):
The violin plays "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with edgy, raw energy.
"November Rain" is surprisingly romantic. Wide vibrato and expressive portamento slides suggest two lovers at a crossroad being philosophical, contemplating whether to go their separate ways into the misty rain, and see if they will meet again at the end of the world.
"The 5th" unleashes the Rock and Roll Spirit of Beethoven. The track opens with highly stylized thumping drum beats. While the first 4-note motif (minor key) and the 2nd more lyrical motif (major key) are repeated, alternately with growing intensity in the rhythm of the opening motif propelled by unstoppable momentum forward, the violin spins and rings out ever more variations like a liberated music genie.
Garrett's take on "Walk This Way" is now famous for the duet between wild, dashing violin tune and unrestrained electric guitar Rock.
"Live And Let Die" is as exciting as a superspy thriller, blending cinematic Rock and teasing string melody at a brisk pace, subject to unpredictable change of mood and direction. There are right-hand pizzicato notes and the sparsely accompanied solo violin short, at blinding speed, is ideal for wild chase and narrow escape scenes. The violin changes persona on a beat, be it sultry, flirty, menacing. The track ends with a lethal 007 climax.
"Vivaldi vs. Vertigo." Abrasive sound (aggressive, sul ponticello bowing) from the opening of Vivaldi's "Winter" seamlessly melds with Vertigo's pounding sonic boom, amid which the string harmonies are beautiful and perfectly in sync with the Rock punch; the rapid descending and ascending pitches are exquisite and exciting; the descending string passage and the closing minor chord are breathtakingly poetic.
"Master of Puppets" bursts with orchestral energy and has mercurial mood shifts.
"80' Anthem" is lyrical and easy listening.
"Toccata." The opening bars of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor are famously associated with vampire films (the Dracula theme). That is set to change. The romanticised Baroque-Rock arrangement of "Toccata" on this CD glows with warmth while being bold, expressive, intense with an improvisatory flair, comprising rhythmic repeated notes in wide pitch range in elaborate repetition patterns with contrapuntal clarity. The sweeping violin register leaps are exhilarating and the symphonic ending sounds sunny and passionate.
"Asturias" features fiery Spanish rhythms in a labyrinth of relentless passion.
"Rock Symphony" is gorgeous, and the violin is happily obliged to sing.
Orchestrated "Kashmir" sounds Middle East meets West in all shades of intonation through perpetual cycles of rising and falling riffs. The classical violin playing is intense and masculine in terms of dynamics; double stops add poetry and exotic colours.
"Peer Gynt" is short and fun. The energetic, dotted notes (right hand pizzcato) pan out and escalate into spiraling vortices to climax with a fanfare.
"Mission Impossible" is accomplished by supercharged high-precision violin virtuosity.
"Rocking All Over The World" has the easygoing charm of Texan drawl.
Artistically daring Garrett always surprises and delights! As a classical/cross-genre musical bridge builder, Garrett performs with infectious enthusiasm palpable even on the DVD, which contains additional tracks(!) not on the audio CD.
P.S. Check out the original version of the classics/Rock/film scores for extended listening to enjoy Rock Symphonies all the more!