DAVID GARRETT – ROCK SYMPHONIES (Decca Records 4782686)

In my youth I was switched-on to Bach by the producer Waldo De Los Rios and his album Symphonies Of The Seventies. Here in the 00’s it’s the flamboyant posturing of poster-boy violinist David Garrett that will hopefully enthuse a younger, more street-cred audience. Strutting his stuff recently on the Alan Titchmarsh Show (I kid you not!) I was taken by the theatrics of it all and wondered how someone like this would be accepted by the ‘folk’ scene…then I thought has anyone seen Seth Lakeman recently? You see it’s not only just the music that counts to the general public but that sense of showmanship and, dare I mention the words ‘marketing-hype’. Well, bring it on, I’m sure the ‘folk’ world is man enough to take it with the inclusion of the ‘folk’ influenced sounds of Beethoven’s “5th”, Bach’s “Tocatta” and Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” all getting a shout. The ostentatious flourishes of say Andre Rieu (the Classical world’s answer to James Last) are knocked for six here with genuine ‘rock’ attitude from Garrett’s gifted fingers and the inclusion of well established, popular standards continuing that theme of ‘folk’ influences it is on the opening track (Nirvanas “Smells Like Teen Spirit” no less) that proves an all together different beast turning the melody into an unorthodox wild Gypsy style dervish. I’ve long given up the thought process of trying to ‘pigeon-hole’ my tastes in music but have learned to embrace the wilder excesses of ‘folk and acoustic music’ as I see it. Perhaps some of you reading this review might be encouraged to broaden your attitudes to include something ‘a little different’. If so, then I’ve succeeded in my job and I can die a happy man.

PETE FYFE

http://www.david-garrett.com/


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