ANDRÉ RIEU // THE SSE HYDRO, GLASGOW

ANDRÉ RIEU RETURNS TO SCOTLAND TO END HIS 2018 WORLD TOUR AT GLASGOW’S SSE HYDRO WITH A CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR!

ANDRÉ RIEU PERFORMING AT GLASGOW’S SSE HYDRO - 22.12.2018
PICTURE BY: CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

★★★★★

The sound of Seventy Six Trombones heralded the arrival of Andre Rieu and his sixty piece Johann Strauss Orchestra to the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.  A loud cheer went up from the crowd, as ladies dressed in colourful satin and rhinestone appliqué ball gowns and men in formal evening attire marched down the central aisles of the auditorium.  The audience immediately rose to their feet. 

The popularity of Rieu is immense.  Dubbed the King of Waltz, he has a devoted legion of fans around the world.  Through his ability to create a blend of romantic waltzes, pop, well-loved arias and folk songs, he has brought the world of light classical music to the wider public.  It is said his music resonates more with mature audiences, but children, parents and grandparents were all captivated by his Christmas extravaganza. 

The Platin Tenors, Gary Bennett, Bela Mavrak and Serge Bosch, instantly had the audience feeling they were in sunny Italy as they sung Volare and the next moment in Jerusalem with The Holy City.  This global whirlwind tour didn’t end there.  Holland had a surprise for Glasgow.  No, not cheese, clogs or tulips, but carillon bells, expertly played by Frank Steijns, as he performed Concierto de Aranjuez.  It was a novelty to see a mobile carillon, but toes were certainly tapping, as Steijns on the carillon and Falize on the xylophone, performed a speed contest to Circus Renz.  Not to be outdone, The Three Sopranos were in top form with a beautiful rendition of O Holy Night.  Anna Majchrzak pulled at the heart strings of the audience with You Raise Me Up, but a personal highlight of the night had to be Donij van Doorn’s crystal clear voice as she sung Rigoletto’s love song, Caro Nome. 

ANDRÉ RIEU PERFORMING AT GLASGOW’S SSE HYDRO - 22.12.2018
PICTURE BY: CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

An Andre Rieu concert is indeed a memorable experience.  As one concert goer remarked, “You’ve got to be here to appreciate it.”  Friendships are formed and fans become one big family.  Rieu raised this theme to call for a ceasefire to war around the world and to make personal comment on Brexit, “There are no borders with music.  Music unites people.”  It was not surprising then to see so many people get up to dance as soon as The Blue Danube began to play.  Fans expect this magical moment now.  One lady even received a proposal of marriage.

No Christmas concert could be complete without snow or could it?  The plastic snow did indeed descend, nestling two to three inches on some fans, but it all added to the merriment.  This romantic winterland feeling continued when a trio of Russian musicians made a guest appearance with their balalaika to play the haunting melody of Lara’s Theme.  The lull did not last long, however.  Flashes of lightning lit up the night sky backdrop to the rousing beat of Poliushko Polie and the Russians were on the march!

And what about an Encore? Balloons cascading down with the audience swatting them in all directions, Stephanie Detry ripping off the lower half of her dress to dance atop her piano to Tutti Frutti and a sea of mobile phone lights as the orchestra played Can’t Help Falling in Love, are only some of the reasons why the Encore is worth staying for.  No one could leave that concert in a less than Christmassy mood.  Jingle Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas rattled from the roof tops.  Perhaps it was more than fitting to end on Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.  The likelihood is that many of these fans will meet again.  Music can unite people.

ANDRÉ RIEU PERFORMING AT GLASGOW’S SSE HYDRO - 22.12.2018
PICTURE BY: CALUM BUCHAN PHOTOGRAPHY

REVIEW BY: CATHERINE BUCHAN

The Modern Record