German violinist David Garrett has had a good deal of success in his effort to extend the concept of the 19th century violin virtuoso, from Paganini on down, into modern times. To this end, he has performed the likes of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in classical concerts. Fans of Garrett's who are potential buyers here should know that this recording contains none of his rock repertory. But they may find that they like it anyway. As the title suggests, what you have here is a recording made by Garrett when he was 14, in 1995. He had already recorded several albums for Deutsche Grammophon by that time, but, for reasons unexplained, this one was shelved by Deutsche Grammophon and never released. Garrett writes convincingly in the booklet that he can still "fully vouch for the result," even 20 years later. In fact, his confidence is justified. Prodigies have come and gone, but Garrett delivers unusually clear and enthusiastic versions of violinistic chestnuts here. He's perhaps a step ahead in purely virtuoso repertory than in more tuneful pieces like Fritz Kreisler's Liebesleid, but in the likes of Paganini's La campanella his tone is startlingly clear. Accompanist Alexander Markovich realizes that job one is to stay out of Garrett's way, and in general this is an accomplishment of which Garrett can be rightfully proud, and that his fans will treasure.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
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