ANDRÉ RIEU RETURNS TO GLASGOW'S THE SSE HYDRO FOR SOLD OUT CONCERT
Glasgow saw the return of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, as they marched through the arena of the SSE Hydro to the sound of Seventy Six Trombones. This eagerly awaited concert, one of a series of rescheduled UK dates following the death of orchestra trombonist, Ruud Merx, was greeted by enthusiastic clapping from an audience of passionate fans.
Rieu, the Dutch violinist, has the ability to bring light classical music to the masses with his unique blend of waltzes, well-loved arias and popular songs. With the beautifully decorated stage, panoramic backdrop of changing colourful scenery and ladies wearing an array of exquisite ball gowns, Rieu’s concerts are as much a visual spectacle as a musical event.
André Rieu draws together an amazing variety of talented musicians and singers from all over the world. The light-hearted spirit of the orchestra could be seen during Tales from Vienna Woods, when Frederic Jenniges played his solo moments on the zither, while stifling yawns and cracking his fingers. Toes were tapping throughout the arena to the Jewish-folk song, Hava Nagila Hava and the audience sang together to The Wild Rover. The Platin Tenors gave a powerful rendition of You Are My Heart’s Delight and the first half closed on a high note with the sopranos singing You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Concert goers remarked on Rieu’s brilliant sense of humour and use of facial expression, especially when he cheekily asked the audience if there was only one toilet available on seeing latecomers returning to their seats after the intermission. This playful mood continued into the second half, which began with a memorable performance by one of the three sopranos of On My Own from Les Miserables. From the haunting melody of the Russian song Poliushko Polie to the famous aria On My Lips Every Kiss Is Like Wine, the audience was truly entertained. When Rieu announced that every time his orchestra plays The Blue Danube, people get up to dance, the aisles were soon filled with couples waltzing.
As the concert reached its finale, the father and son percussionists, Marcel and Glenn Faliza, came to the front of the stage to play the drum rhythm to Ravel’s Bolero. This in turn led the orchestra into an encore of several songs which included Hallelujah, Tutti Frutti, the upbeat Y Viva Espana and Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love, at which point the arena was aglow with mobile phone lights. The night came to a spectacular close with pianist, Stephanie Detry, unexpectedly tap dancing on top of her piano and André Rieu reminding us that music makes people happy, which indeed it does going by the happy audience.
REVIEW BY: CATHERINE BUCHAN
PHOTOS BY: CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY