Last Sunday, I had the privilege of attending an André Rieu concert at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. As a connoisseur of classical music, I looked forward to hearing the sweet sounds of the Dutch violinist and his waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra. An André Rieu concert is part music, part comedy and part entertainment. From the operatic voices of the soloists, to the melodic sounds of the soothing strings, to the comical interactions between Andre and his orchestra, an André Rieu concert appeals to all ages.
André Rieu is The King of the Waltz
André Rieu, also known as “The King of the Waltz,” is one of the best-selling classical musicians of all time, and one of the most popular musicians in Europe. He has sold over 40 million CDs and DVDs and notched 30 No. 1 chart positions worldwide.
As leader of his own Johann Strauss Orchestra, the largest private orchestra in the world with 60 members, Rieu has played for more than 15 million people. Over the years, his concerts have featured Mary Poppins flying over the audience, the sweet accompaniment of the Soweto Gospel Choir, and special guests like Jermaine Jackson and Sir Anthony Hopkins.
During his concerts, Rieu likes to make jokes, tell stories, and even indulge in a bit of slapstick comedy in between performing some of the most beautiful waltzes in the world, along with hits from musicals and films, and beloved popular and romantic songs from all decades.
In particular, one of my favorite moments during the LA concert, was when clarinetist, Manoe Konings, played Hava Nagila. She not only toyed with the audience, but encouraged them to get up out of their seats and dance in the aisles. In addition to the clarinet, she also played the saxophone and sang and danced on stage.
Another memorable moment was when soprano soloist, Donij van Doorn, sang the hit song Think of Me from the musical Phantom of the Opera. Donjj soured over the tops of the high notes unlike any other I had ever heard and was flawless in her vocal runs.
Attending the André Rieu concert was similar to being an honored guest at a soiree. Attendees at the LA concert were dressed in fancy attire and elated to be in the presence of such a talented entertainer.
There was not an empty seat in the house. From the moment André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra entered the theatre, to their final encore, the audience greeted them with a standing ovation and numerous cheers. At the end of the performance thousands of balloons descended from above onto the crowd. It was a beautiful ending to a beautiful concert.
“Shall We Dance” by André Rieu
On October 6, André Rieu released a new ablum called “Shall We Dance“ on Decca Gold and features some of the world’s most beloved classic songs including “The Blue Danube,” “Love in Venice,” “Bolero,” “Zorba’s Dance,” and more. The album package also includes a separate, live DVD which captures his visually spectacular, party-like live concert experience.
“Shall We Dance” Tracklisting
- Second Waltz
- The Blue Danube (This is my favorite song on the album. During the concert itself, audience members of all ages danced with their partners in the aisles. Young and old alike were serenaded to the sweet sounds of this classic waltz.)
- And The Waltz Goes On
- Godfather (Main Theme)
- Strauss & Co Medley
- Love In Venice
- Radetzky March
- A Time For Us (Romeo & Juliet)
- Zorba’s Dance
- Carnival Of Venice
- My Heart Will Go On (When I was younger, I remember seeing the movie Titanic in the theater. It was a heart wrenching story of love, loss and adventure. The same holds true to Rieu’s version of this song on “Shall We Dance”.)
- Time To Say Goodbye
- Music Of The Night (From Phantom Of The Opera) (Target Exclusive)
- Lara’s Theme (From Dr. Zhivago) (Target Exclusive)
As a bonus, Target has an exclusive version of “Shall We Dance” with two bonus tracks – “Music of the Night” (from Phantom of the Opera) and “Lara’s Theme” (from Dr. Zhivago).
André Rieu on Ovation TV
Furthermore, you can watch Andre Rieu live in concert during a special upcoming 10-part series on Ovation TV.
Happy Field Tripping!