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Legacy (Japan)

Notes & Reviews:

While violinist David Garrett is famous for bringing classical music to pop audiences, particularly through his crossover albums Encore, Classic Romance, and Rock Symphonies, he takes a traditional approach for his 2012 Decca release, Legacy. Playing Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D major and various violin favorites by Fritz Kreisler with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ion Marin, Garrett demonstrates his sincere attachment to classical music, which he claims as his first love. These are ardent performances, with great dollops of Romantic individualism, because Garrett styles his playing with lyrical phrasing and considerable rhythmic freedom, and delivers his solos with the abundant rubato violinists used half a century ago. To experienced classical listeners, Garrett will sound capable and serious in his intentions, but not especially insightful or penetrating, and is his playing is not beautiful; the lack of richness, polish, and sparkle in his tone and his generally coarse bowing suggest that more wood-shedding is required to bring his playing up to the highest standards. Still, the casual listener may find Garrett's playing adequate for getting to know the Beethoven work, and perhaps better than average for getting a taste of Kreisler's light encores. If Garrett doesn't quite ascend to Olympian heights in the Violin Concerto, he has lots of fun with such charming bonbons as the Caprice Viennois, Tambourin Chinois, and the Liebesleid, which have remained concert staples since Kreisler's heyday. If Garrett's strongest suit is his showmanship, there is plenty of flashy classical music that he can introduce to a wider audience. ~ Blair Sanderson



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