David Garrett - Alive
Classical concerts are a thing of magic, but a David Garrett performance is one step beyond that. On this Alive Tour stop at the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, the violin prodigy seamlessly weaves together melodies several centuries apart, which he has picked out from his favourite movies, television series, and computer games. The concert is a perfect amalgamation of classical and popular music where the common denominator is the performer’s otherworldly ability and the audience’s familiarity with the material. And yet, David Garrett’s arrangements find a way to breathe new life into the well-known tunes that showcase different aspects and new angles, making the title of his show – Alive – truly fitting.
Garrett’s concept for the album and tour of the same name was to interpret pieces of music that have appeared prominently in various soundtracks, putting his own unique spin on each of them. This creates a sort of double popular culture prism, through which the violin virtuoso puts some of the best-known melodies in the music catalogue. Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ from Despicable Me 2 thus finds its place next to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s ‘Confutatis’ from the biographical Amadeus, and the ‘Allegretto’ from Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony from The King’s Speech feels not out of place alongside ‘Paint It Black’ by the Rolling Stones off Full Metal Jacket. The list of near-universally known melodies continues with ‘Hit The Road, Jack’ by Ray Charles (as heard in Ray), ‘Circle Of Life’ by Elton John (from the childhood favourite The Lion King), ‘Shallow’ from the smash hit film A Star Is Born and ‘Beauty And The Beast’ from the eponymous Disney classic.
Across this vast and varied repertoire, David Garrett’s musicianship and versatility shine bright. He is gentle and narrative on John Lennon’s tender ballad ‘Imagine’, flashy and furious on ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica, hopeful and wilful on ‘What A Wonderful World’ by the immortal Louis Armstrong. With each tune, the adroit instrumentalist puts another piece into the rich musical puzzle that makes up his self-styled soundtrack. The scale and breadth of David Garret’s Alive tour find a perfect venue to match in Terme di Caracalla, the Roman ruins that have blossomed into a beloved open-air concert location where monumental musical moments happen.