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VÖ: JULY 11, 2017


David Garrett presented "Virtuoso," his first classical crossover album, in Germany in November 2007. Hardly anyone knew the 27-year-old violinist at the time. Just a few months later, his name was drawing hundreds of thousands to completely sold-out halls. Garrett's image as a classical music rebel with the raw sex appeal of a rocker and the expressive depth of a highly sensitive virtuoso catches on. In the perception of the general public, the newcomer's success seems to come suddenly and effortlessly. In just a few years, David Garrett rises to become one of the most prominent people in Germany and also an international star. He even succeeds in taking the step into the cinema. In 2013, he plays the lead role in "The Devil's Violinist", a lavishly produced film adaptation of the life of Niccolo Paganini.


The foundation for David Garrett's success story was laid early on: It is less well known that ten years before the release of "Virtuoso" he was already looking back on a first career as a musical prodigy, which he had abandoned in order to pursue his own self-determined path. This early period of his life and all the recordings of the exceptional violinist that were made at that time are the subject of the new 5-CD edition "David Garrett - The Early Years" dedicated. Prodigy. The term raises many questions. "Music is higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy," Ludwig van Beethoven formulated. Does the child possess the intellectual maturity and spiritual depth to do justice to a masterpiece of classical music as an interpreter in Beethoven's sense? In the case of the young David Garrett, everyone agreed, parents, teachers, colleagues, experts and audience: his playing did not sound like that of a child. Yehudi Menuhin recognized in the boy the "greatest violinist of his generation".

Born in Aachen to German-American parents, David Garrett began playing the violin at the age of four. At ten, he gave his first public concert with the Hamburg Philharmonic. At the age of 13, Deutsche Grammophon signed him as the youngest exclusive artist in its history. Garrett spent the next four years in the studio, practicing and on concert tours to major European cities and Japan. He played with major orchestras and great conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinpoli, Herbert Blomstedt and Charles Dutoit, to name a few.


David Garrett's debut album is released in October 1995, and the young talent wows the professional world with brilliant performances of Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. "Spring Sonata", J.S. Bach's D minor Partita and Mozart's Adagio KV 261. "At the very least, this young violinist must be called a phenomenon," raves music critic Wolf-Eberhard von Lewinski, "I am eagerly awaiting the upcoming Mozart concerto recording with Abbado," writes the reviewer of Gramophone.


The album with the Violin Concertos No. 4 and 7 and the Violin sonata in B flat major by Mozartrecorded in 1994/1995 during a tour of Italy with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and conductor Claudio Abbado, appears just a few weeks later. "Garrett's] playing, with its full sound and intense vibrato, does not sound like that of a 15-year-old," judged the BBC Music Magazine.

At the time of the agreement reached between Garrett's management and Deutsche Grammophon to release the next recording to the 24 Caprices by Niccolo Paganini the young violinist has only mastered three of the technically highly demanding pieces. He has just two months until the scheduled recording session. For the album, Garrett goes to his physical limits and sometimes even beyond them, suffering a slipped disc. Finally, however, accompanied by pianist Bruno Canino, he delivers a masterful performance, which is released as planned in April 1997 and receives very good reviews. "The combination of youthful enthusiasm, fine recording and exceptional piano accompaniment make this CD a bull's eye," finds the Gramophone Magazine.


In October 1997, David Garrett travels to the USA for the recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major and the Violin Concerto in E minor by Jules Conus to Russia. Together with the Russian National Orchestra conducted by Mikhail Pletnev he performs the works in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. "For Garrett, the future has already begun," proclaimed the magazine Audio. "To the myriad recordings of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, he adds an emphatically lyrical one that pushes the virtuoso aspect of the work into the background. This concept works under Pletnev's baton, even in the catchy Conus Concerto."

The album "14″ appears in March 2013. It has a fascinating background. Produced in April 1995, this virtuoso recital of pieces by Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Elgar and others was Garrett's third recording, made at the age of 14. It had not been released at the time. "Throughout the years, I never forgot that there was unreleased material of mine lying dormant," David Garrett wrote in the preface to his "lost" album. "For myself, it was incredible to look back and see what I had done at that age."

All the albums David Garrett recorded for Deutsche Grammophon between 1995 and 1997 now appear for the first time in one box set. The 5CD edition "David Garrett - The Early Years" is a worthwhile purchase for anyone who wants to complete their picture of today's superstar or experience an exceptional talent in his early prime.

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