The Solo Traveller's View

David Garrett’s Audience

17 Comments

An attempted Analysis of a Musical Phenomenon – Part 14

Does the title conjure visions of screaming girls in your mind? Crowds of female fans in a frenzy of passionate adoration, such as the world witnessed repeatedly since the heyday of Elvis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and others? Yet, as far as I can see, there is not a single video of David Garrett’s events on YouTube that shows such scenes. Some might argue that he obviously can’t compare with Elvis, the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Others might reply that they have nothing on him.

Be that as it may, David appears to have more than enough of whatever it is that might make girls scream. But the people who come to his shows, including love-struck girls, are remarkably restrained in their behaviour, especially in Europe. Adoring, yes – but also respectful; shy even. Overawed, it seems. By contrast, the Latin American countries provide his noisiest, most exuberant audiences, according to David’s own words. Videos of concerts in South America and Mexico record a lot of background noise as people chat, sing along, laugh, or call out in their enthusiasm, and the occasional “I love you!” is clearly heard above the din.

David Garrett’s critics like to suggest that his audiences must be mindless, uneducated, unmusical masses who have fallen easy prey to clever marketing strategies because they “could not tell a C major chord from a car horn”. But David, who has personal and direct impressions of the individuals who make up those crowds, speaks highly of his fans. The affection, respect and gratitude he shows them does not pass unnoticed. Letters, cards and gifts are heaped on him wherever he goes. And, as YouTube comments show, David’s fans are at least as intelligent, literate and musically sensitive as his critics:

“David is my hero, and the hero of other open-minded violinists. He has drawn so many people of all ages to classical music and to the violin. At his concerts, children sit completely mesmerized by the passion he brings to his music and the manner in which he reveals the full range of what is possible in playing the violin. His lovely, pleasant, open manner is so endearing and creates a wonderful concert experience.” – “Whether playing the classics or pop-rock tunes, he rocks! No other musician brings together people of all ages to appreciate such a wide spectrum of musical styles.”

05 Looking at DG

These days, David Garrett’s audiences are a mix of all ages and come in several sizes: moderate, large, extra-large, huge and enormous. The moderate-sized are usually classical concerts in beautiful architectural settings, such as traditional concert halls or even the occasional church. But his crossover shows use vastly more technical equipment and draw much larger crowds, filling supersized arenas to the brim. In neither case, however, are screaming girls in evidence.

2015 Enescu Festival 7

2012 Hannover (2)

The front rows tend to be occupied by loyal fans who have the time and the means to follow David from concert to concert and have sometimes been doing so for years. They have become experts on his shows, his life and his music through long-time study and observation, and the reward for their passionate interest is the beam of his luminous smile as it sweeps them during their standing ovation at the end.

04 Looking at DG

“Absolut genial! Die pure Freude, die David Garrett empfindet, springt sofort über und bleibt im Herzen. Ich juble Dir zu, mit einem ganz großen DANKESCHÖN!” – (“Absolute genius! The pure joy David Garrett feels sparks across and stays in the heart. I hail you with a great big THANK YOU!”) – “Dear David, all my respect to you with love for the beautiful music and energy that you give to people.”

09 Looking at DG

Pensioners, young couples, parents with children, music students, music teachers, teenagers and middle-aged women seem to mix equably as they fill row upon row of huge auditoriums and arenas. And as the cameras pan across their faces and pick out a few close-ups, they capture that same look of quiet reverence we already encountered on the faces of David’s interviewers on talk shows as he plays for them:

01 Looking at DG

It is a calm, a wondering look, captivated by the sight this beautiful musician offers to the eye; and an enchantment, a marvelling at the soothing or sparkling sounds he coaxes from his violin at will.

02 Looking at DG

Touched by such grace, the delighted stillness on each face becomes a mirror of that beauty, rather as the calm surface of a pool would reflect the brilliance of a star. Screaming would shatter that mirroring, this reflection and wonderment, like a rock.

03 Looking at DG

“Dear David, stay right with your feet on the ground, then you will be someone who never will be forgotten. For my wife and me you are the BEST violinist.” – “Wonderfully played, just beautiful! And that contagious joyousness of his playing, one would like to join in directly.” – “A great performance by an outstanding musician. I love his passion when playing the violin.” 

Over the years, David has learnt to overcome his initial shyness and has discovered and developed a talent for engaging with his audience. Although he claimed repeatedly in interviews that he really dislikes going on stage, one would never guess. He seems so perfectly at home up there, owning the space, the show, the love of the multitude – and he knows how to give them a fantastic time too. Whether a piece is calm or lively, classical or contemporary, contemplative or explosive, well-known or new: with consummate skill, David Garrett entices his listeners to celebrate MUSIC in different forms. He radiates pure joy as he plays, and that joy is reflected in each individual member of his audience, many thousand souls strong, at each event in turn.

2012 Hannover 11 Let it be

2012 Hannover 14 Let it be

What a great gift and skill it is to be able to do this! It calls to my mind Morgan Freeman’s lines in the moving film The Bucket List. “You know, the Ancient Egyptians had a beautiful belief about death. When their souls got to the entrance of heaven, the guards asked two questions, and their answers determined whether they were able to enter or not:  ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ and ‘Has your life brought joy to others?’”

Well, David will be able to answer with a resounding yes both times. He clearly loves what he does, is aware of his privilege and willing, for the sake of it, to take the strain of a life on the road, thereby sacrificing almost everything that makes up a normal adult life. But then, what is really so great about a normal adult life? Who wouldn’t willingly trade with him if it were at all possible? … Surely even those guards at the entrance of heaven will want his autograph.

Driven by his purpose, his ideas and intentions, David Garrett has hit the fast lane and shows no signs of slowing down. His loyal fans see it with mixed feelings. On the one hand they can’t get enough of him, but on the other they worry about his health. Does he get enough rest? Does he look after himself? More importantly still, does his management? Every pound lost or kilogram gained is immediately noted and widely discussed, his life examined and possible reasons scrutinized: Such is the price of fame and success.

***

We come, at last, to David Garrett’s Beauty. If you click ‘follow blog via email’ you won’t miss it.
To leave your comment, please click on the little orange ‘comments’ link next to the date, at the top of each article. This will open a box for you to write in, below the other comments. (After posting, your words will disappear from sight until they have been approved.) Apparently this tiny link is not user-friendly, for there have been questions repeatedly on how to leave a comment. So I hope this helps, because I love to hear from 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

17 thoughts on “David Garrett’s Audience

  1. Dear Fabienne, you can indicate some music that David composed? I think I have not heard. Thanks.

  2. Oh, another enchanting, smile-bringing, heart-warming beauty! Thank you, dear Fabienne!

  3. Week after week I wait impatiently for your article on David, Fabienne. As fans including myself have commented, you appear to get into my head with a lot of your words on David. Aside from the fact that he is an amazing and talented musician, he also draws his fans in with his humanity, his kindness to his fans, his good looks and lovely smile. You have done such a great job of covering the man and the musician in your articles, is there any chance you will be combining all into a book about David? If so, I will be first in line to purchase.

    • Really, a book? Do you think there would be much call for that, Darlene? It is lovely to hear that my writing means so much to you. Thanks for letting me know!

      • Dear Fabienne! Thank you for your articles about David Garrett, the musical phenomenon. I am also a fan to him! I love his music, seriousness, his kindness, his sense of humor and his pure charisma and natural male charm. Please, think about writing a book for him! Thank you 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

      • I really like the idea of a book about the life of David, please Fabienne, would be good to think about it …

    • Up to a certain extent I agree with you, and I would love an authorized biography of David to be written by such an insightful, but considerate and respectful writer as Fabienne. But for a biography to be written, the subject must first agree to it, and be interviewed extensively by the biographer, who must also do a lot of research on his own for the biography to be as unbiased as possible.
      There are several reasons why I think it would be premature to do it now. First and foremost, while sincere and transparent when interviewed, he is an extremely sensitive man, jealous of his private life. There is no way to write an in-depth study of someone’s life without invading and exposing it to the prying eyes, and criticism, of those who read it. Then, he is still too young to have his biography written without missing what may be the most important part of his life, both as a musician and a human being.
      Finally, the best biographies are written in retrospect, and David is still a masterpiece in the making. Let him show us his full potential, both as a performer and as a composer; as a young, adventurous man, and as a fully developed and mature man.

      • I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment, Galina, but I’m not entirely sure that Darlene had such a biography in mind.

        • You’re right Fabienne. Maybe Darlene was just asking for an ongoing series, just as the one you kindly provided us. In that vein, I’d love to read one of your beautiful chronicles comparing his approach to music, his behaviour on stage, and the rapport he establishes with the audience, while playing a classical music concert, and one of his crossover concerts.

  4. Fabienne, another beautiful installment about our favorite violinist. I do not need to be able to tell a major C cord from a car horn to recognize beauty and perfection in David’s music (although I hope I can). I am very much enjoying your sentiments about this wonderful man. Please keep them coming.

  5. Again, you have managed to mirror my thoughts and emotions to a tee. I have attended 4 crossover shows here in the USA. To attend a classical show is one of my biggest dreams; but so far, he has not played a core classical show here. Every time you walk out the venue doors, you know you have witnessed greatness! There is a sense of awe, a sense of reverence in knowing you have witnessed something very special … all while having your socks rocked off at the same time!! David is a phenomenon all unto himself! There is no one like him … anywhere!

  6. You describe beautifully what David does beautifully. It is very good to read what you write. Thank you also for reminding me of the two questions we hear: ‘Have you found joy in your life’ and ‘Has your life brought joy to others?’

  7. Gracias, mi estimado por tan linda ilustración de nuestro David Garrett, realmente el hace sentir emociones increíbles al escuchar su música. Lo escuche hace poco, soy de Latino-América – Ecuador, pero desde que lo escuche en YouTube por casualidad, no he podido parar en escuchar todas las publicaciones de David y saber sobre su vida, en fin toda información sobre Él. David es un Gran Músico, completo y un ser humano excepcional, transmite una energía iluminada. Gracias.

  8. I loved it Fabienne. You described our feelings so well! As to his critics, none of them may claim to know better than Ida Haendel, Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta, who have praised his talent, the quality of his performances, and consider him, if not the best, one of the best violinists of his generation.

  9. Dear Fabienne, once again you are inside my mind. I totally agree with you. I couldn’t describe better how David makes us feel when we watch him performing on the stage … The comparison that you used concerning the pool and the brilliance of a star is so beautiful …

  10. Well … I’m not an old fan as I started to follow him not long ago, but all I can say, I agree with everything you wrote. He’s magic and he’s able to get everyone involved.

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