A CONCERT REPORT BY John Williams.
Andre Rieu is a phenomenon. A Musical Phenomenon no question. For years he has travelled the world giving music lovers what they want. Something the TV Channels and the majority of Concert Halls I suspect Worldwide have totally neglected: The music tastes of the 40 – 50 plus year olds. Time was, and we are going back years here, that the BBC gave us many years of musical magic from Sir Andre Previn, in the aptly called ANDRE PREVIN’S MUSIC NIGHT. Here well known and some less so, Musical favourites from the Classical repertoire, couple with Sir Andre ‘s superb knowledgeable commentary were played with skill by the LSO. Going probably further back, BBC 2 used to show MANTOVANI IN CONCERT , easy listening, I think just orchestral, and no singing. Going back even further, there were plenty of song and dance shows on all TV Channels
That music is still sought after today, but the Controllers of the main channels, think that all we want is BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT, and if there is a Concert, it usually by some obscure group or singer I have never heard of.
Mr Rieu’s Concerts aren’t earth shattering. You don’t got to one of his concerts for something new. You go because you know what you are going to hear, and that is the pleasure of it all. It’s a stylish combination of so much. New Year’s Day concerts from Vienna, Henry Mancini, The Three Tenors. Christmas Carol Concerts . A bit of humour, Ladies in beautiful ball gowns, and it is combination that could go on for years – and has already done so . The concert in Birmingham was near capacity, and the Arena is big venue. I liked his sense of humour, The concert started at 8-00 on the dot. and believe it or not, at around 8-25 people were still arriving. One Gentleman trundled down to the front row, I think at that time. Very courageous. Mr Rieu cordially said ” Good Evening” then looked at his watch. The gentleman took it in good part, and I am sure there must have been a good reason why he was so late, yet he wasn’t the only one. The same occurred after the interval, when some of the audience were still coming in with drinks well over 20 minutes after the second half started.
It must be me, but I really couldn’t’ do that. If Mr Rieu has come thousands of miles for the Concert, then well you know the rest!!
I noticed as we arrived, some coaches from Felixstowe and Cornwall, so they covered some miles that day.
Watching a small part of his Christmas Concert in London from 2017 on Youtube afterwards , I noticed a lot of the patter between each song is virtually identical, almost word for word,, but again I reckon that is part of the appeal. You know what you are getting, no surprises here.
Towards the end, he played “The Blue Danube” and as if on cue, couples from the Audience got up to dance. They enjoyed it, and I think everyone in the audience did as well. After the well controlled number of encores, Mr Rieu and his happy band exited, leaving a arena full of happy souls, ready to face the cold late night air, and take the long journey home.
Whatever it cost, I think everyone would be happy to do it one more time.
He defies criticisms. He is criticism proof. You just enjoy and thank him for making your life a bit more richer for his well loved brand of humour, musical taste, gloss and sheer enjoyment.
It make look even better on the DVDS but it is hard to beat the atmosphere of actually being there.