The Solo Traveller's View

David Garrett’s Interviews

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An attempted Analysis of a Musical Phenomenon – Part 7

David Garrett is an old hand at giving interviews, as the evidence stacked up on the internet shows. Interviews have been recurring events in his life for two decades, and so it is not surprising that he should have such impeccable interview manners. Sometimes, a question makes David wince ever so slightly, yet he never loses his composure.

WDR Interview 1997

1997 – WDR

2007-11-16 NDR Talkshow a

2007 – NDR

On the whole, the questions remain the same throughout the years. They usually concern his early success as a child prodigy, the amount of practice necessary to master an instrument, his home-schooling and the resulting lack of friends, the ambitions of his parents, the value of his Stradivari, his move to New York, his sideline as a model, his rock star image, his single-or-not-single status … All tediously repetitive.

It would be understandable if David showed fatigue at times, but he deals with these questions in the same way he approaches O sole mio and O Tannenbaum: by pausing to reflect, and then responding in a way that makes his answers sound fresh and new. But though his replies are always sincere, they often seem guarded. David does not reveal what he deems to be private, no matter how directly or slyly the questions are phrased. He has a delightfully inoffensive way of evading prying questions as he turns his answers to the only topic he ever really wants to talk about: MUSIC.

Of course we anticipate where each question is headed. So does David, and he rarely gives the expected answer. Though he remains unfailingly charming and polite, he will slip the net and talk once more about his passion for music, his understanding of music, his approach to music and his living through music. At times, you sense his interviewers’ frustration. It is their job, after all, to glean juicy bits of information from their subject, and as they hope to draw David out about his ‘unhappy childhood’, his ‘abusive father’ or his ‘many girlfriends’, they must be thinking, just a moment – how come he is talking about music again?

Fan comments: “So much talent, yet humble in his perspective. The combination makes a truly great man. Could listen to his music all day! Well actually I do.” – “Großartiger Mann. Tolles Interview.” – “These TV shows: like pieces of a mosaic, I collect them little by little.” – “David, gracias por compartir tus videos y tu bella música. Dios te bendiga.” – “He delights us with his charm, humbleness, wit and musical wisdom. Impossible not to fall in love with this man!” – “Speaking in front of audiences is very difficult and he does this with ease and consideration to the subject.” – “I guess he’s my favorite artist … he seems to be a humble guy.” – “I love the way he thinks, and how he explains music.” – “His answers are well thought out, intelligent.” – “Great wisdom and ideas about music, thank you for that!”

2008-03-14 Volle Kanne

2008 – ZDF Volle Kanne

2009-11-09 FrühstücksTV

2009 – FrühstücksTV

2010-10-05 Volle Kanne

2010 – ZDF Volle Kanne

2011 Behind the Scenes

2011 – Behind the Scenes

2012 Thailand

2012 – Thailand

2013-09-27 Face to Face

2013 – Face to Face

2014 Echo Klassik Interview

2014 – Echo Klassik

2015 Brazilian TV

2015 Brazilian TV

2015-10-09 NDR '3 nach 9' a

2015 – NDR 3 nach 9

2015-11-19 ZDF Volle Kanne a

2015 – ZDF Volle Kanne

Interview 3

2015 – WDR Daheim und unterwegs

Interview 6

2015 – ORF2 Vera bei …

When watching these interviews, doesn’t it amaze you how David Garrett always launches into his musical samples without the slightest pause? There is never a moment of gathering himself, no sign of his mind switching gear. He has barely finished speaking and already he is playing at breakneck speed, almost as if he never stopped in the first place. And on the faces of his interviewers there appears that very same look of quiet admiration that, we assume, is glazing our own features as we look on.

David has claimed to be a one-trick pony and to have no other skill but music. But think about it: Isn’t it a very special skill to talk so much about your own self, publicly and year after year, without coming across as conceited, vain and self-obsessed? To accept that your person is a topic of eager interest, and to satisfy that curiosity with such good grace? To share so much about yourself while still retaining some boundaries? – (Could you do it? Would you even want to try?) – But of course this is not a skill David himself could mention without coming across as conceited, vain etc.

As all DG Insomniacs know: When one has watched his interviews on YouTube, one has become attuned to David’s highly consistent way of expressing himself. It then comes as a bit of a shock to read interviews in print that make him sound peevish, vain or boastful. Any student of DG footage knows that he would never have said certain things, or certainly not expressed them in such a way. We recognize this misrepresentation and deplore the attempts of journalists to cut David down to their own size; assuming at once that they must be short, ugly, bald and talentless. Because in his televised interviews, David Garrett always comes across as patient, humble, mindful and emotionally literate – in beautiful, educated German. Fans from other countries and cultures have commented repeatedly on how agreeable he makes the language sound:

“I don’t understand a word of German, but I love to hear him speak it.” – “Och, he speaks in German so beautifully.” – “Ha una bellissima inconfondibile voce perfino quando parla in tedesco, lingua che come sappiamo ha fonicamente suoni duri.” – “I have never listened to so much German in my entire 41 years of life as with David’s interviews. Don’t understand anything except danke and geigen.” – “I cannot understand the conversation but I love watching and hearing David speak.” – “He is so cute and endearing, just love him to pieces. I watch this even though I understand not a word.” – “Never was interested in learning German, but now I do because of violinist David Garrett.”

In David, the German language has gained a striking ambassador. This is especially pleasing because it has so long been misrepresented. Those barked commands in Nazi films and Third Reich documentaries seem to be what the world has come to equate it with. But listen to David: this is what German sounds like when it hasn’t been hijacked by fanaticism, or tinged by dialect.

On the subject of preconceptions: Isn’t it amusing to read about the self-confessed confusion of passionate Latinas, confounded by the realization that this man of their dreams is German? Through their words one can almost hear traditional prejudices come crashing down on the other side of the planet.

Finally: the general lack of translations of David Garrett’s cherished interviews is sorely felt and much lamented in the comments sections on YouTube:

“Could someone translate at least some parts of the interview?” – “I need to retake my German classes.” – “It’s a pity for the fans who don’t speak German because the program seems to have been very interesting!” – “These translations on youtube do not come close to being accurate. We should demand better. The alternative is to learn German and it is not an easy language to learn.” – “Now if I only understood German! But it’s always good to to see him happy.” – “I would appreciate very much if someone could make an English translation please. It’s a pity to hear his voice and not understand a single word.” – “Start learning Deutsch, guys!”

All at once, those of us who are at home in the German language feel especially privileged.

***

Note to the reader: It was this sense of privilege that initially prompted me to translate Vera’s interview for the English-speaking world of fans. But where to place such a large amount of text? Obviously Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were out of the question, but my dormant travel blog offered a suitable publishing platform and quite unexpectedly became a kind of crossover project with this series of articles that followed.

To be continued with David Garrett’s Strength and Weakness. If you click ‘follow blog via email’ you won’t miss it. And please leave a comment below. I do appreciate and need your feedback, so please help me by recording those kind words you like to post on Twitter and Facebook on this site as well. Thank you!

(All photographs are screenshots drawn from YouTube, for the purpose of illustration only. I trust the authors will allow this use of their picture material. No copyright infringement is intended.) 

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Author: Fabienne Wolf

writing solo traveller

16 thoughts on “David Garrett’s Interviews

  1. Their reports are wonderful. It’s a shame that David Garret does not do concerts in Spain. But someone has told me that he travels frequently to Valencia and is even learning Valencia. Is it true?

  2. Fabienne, suas palavras descrevem o que penso e sinto sobre o David. Ele e muito transparente e transborda sinceridade nas entrevistas. Voce capta a realidade dos fans no you tube. Amo ler seus textos. Parabens!

  3. Fabienne, gracias por su blog, todos sus artículos son muy buenos, tan interesantes temas sobre David, un talento increíble. Gracias!!!

  4. Thank you very much! All of your publication is very deep, capacious, interesting and has a response in the heart. Thank you!

  5. Thank you very much for all your articles. Extremely interesting, polite and tactful. A great pleasure to read! I look forward to continuing.

  6. Thanks for these articles. Your words seem to express what I have been thinking about DG. I love his playing and his interviews. I only understand a bit of German but that never seems to make any difference.

  7. Amo David; e penso que se não entendemos alemão, poderíamos ter a chance de ver as entrevistas pelo menos em inglês! Obrigada e parabéns pelo trabalho!

  8. Hola! agradezco tus palabras, aunque soy una incondicional de David y ya he rastreado todas sus entrevistas que existen en youtube, me declaro una de las que se frustra por no saber alemán.
    Por desgracia aquí en España él no se ha promocionado, quisiera saber por qué no lo ha hecho, espero que esto cambie pronto, estoy ansiosa por verlo alguna vez en nuestra TV. Un beso!

  9. Hola Fabienne, gracias por el artículo. Comentas con palabras lo que mucha gente piensa. Me gustan ver sus entrevistas, no entiendo alemán, pero siempre me saca una sonrisa e incluso las entiendo, el motivo supongo siempre preguntan lo mismo, siempre responde lo mismo. Lo vemos hacerse mayor y no pierde esa chispa, que naturalmente se pierde con la edad. Es un placer verlo tocar el violín. También es un placer ver sus entrevistas. Su público va desde niños a ancianos. David es una persona muy especial. No es su físico, ni su música, ni su carácter. Es la combinación de las tres cosas lo que lo hace único y especial.

  10. Dear Fabienne, your analysis of David and the way you put it in words makes me know him better and feel closer to him, and I think a lot of us DG insomniacs feel the same. I understand a lot of what he says in the German interviews, but not everything; he speaks so fast … therefore, please do not discontinue these articles. They are some kind of a bridge between DG insomniacs and David Garrett. Thank you very very much.

  11. Thank you again Fab! I really appreciate your articles, your words are precise and go always in the Middlesbrough of the point. I am Italian and have been studying German at University many years ago … and now with David I am studying again! 😉 But please Fabienne, please translate one more interview, do it for all us DG insomniacs outside of Germany!

    • Dear Marina, unfortunately it is not possible to do more translations while I am working on these articles, since either task takes a lot of time. Your flattering request is duly noted, but I would like to complete this series of articles first. If only there were more hours in a day!

  12. Yesssss the people who talk the German Language are very privileged!!! Fabienne thank you very much for the new article!

  13. Love, love, love these exceptionally well written chronicles of the life and times of David Garrett, an amazing talent and a gorgeous man. As soon as I’ve finished one section I’m so looking forward to the next.

  14. Again, well analyzed and formulated 🙂 Thank you for the insight.

  15. Love it! Love it! Love it!
    You managed to put a LOT of my thoughts into words in a way I never could have!!!

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