André Rieu News From Europe ♦ USA ♦ Australia ♦ SA ♦ UK ♦ The World


Number One André Rieu Site For English Speaking Fans Around The World!
With The Latest News - Photos - English Translations and More!

WELCOME AND ENJOY ! FROM YOUR WEB HOSTS ~ JOHN AND SUZANNE

.

.
►Click on Photo to Listen To "Can't Help Falling In Love With You"

Aug 17, 2011

A 1994 Interview With André Rieu

ROYAL APPROVAL
August 15, 2011 by Els Smit: Looking back, you can say that 1994 was the year that André Rieu's Victory began. He had already been conducting concerts with his modest "Johann Strauss Orchestra" for the past six years. In 1993 they produced a record called: "The Blue Evening", recorded in the Casino in 's Hertogenbosch during a Carnival Saturday, containing songs like "Good Times, Bad Times," "Auld Lang Syne" and "Hop Marianneke, stroop in 't kanneke" (Hup Marianne, syrup in the can). "It's only one of the facets of what we do, you know," André told me back then.
In the meantime, he has now of course been honored. He won the World Music Award, an honor he shares with amongst others, Elton John, The Bee Gees, Prince, Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. And he is a Knight in the (French) Ordre des Arts et des Lettres because he promotes and has made classical music popular around the world (and in France of course). In the Netherlands he has also received Royal approval. He has been a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion since 2002.
In 1994, I Interviewed André for the Associated Press Services (SPD) following his unexpected rise in fame.
Johann Strauss Jr. (1825-1829)
Just to have a nice evening together
Who would have thought it? Definitely not the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. But it is a fact that his "Second Waltz", as performed by André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, was a sales success of the first order in the Netherlands in 1994. Better yet, the CD which André produced is full of tunes by Strauss, Kalman, Lehar's, and was named by Radio 2 as "CD of the week". Operettas, the music of "Strauss and Co." as the CD is called, are reliving their second youth. Did Rieu expect that?
"Did not expect it at all, but had hoped it would." said André.
André Rieu has been involved with Viennese and turn of the century music for about eighteen years. Actually, ever since he was asked, while at the conservatory in Maastricht, to play in a Salon Ensemble. Coincidentally or not, that was also the time when he met his wife, Marjorie, who would let him listen to records with operetta music which her father had brought with him when he fled from Berlin.
Not that Rieu did not play any other music during his career. For ten years he was a violinist as part of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. Yet throughout this time his greatest desire was to own his own ensemble with which he could play music of his own choosing.
Secure existence
Johann Strauss Jr. 1895 Poster
 "It is a matter of character. I did not like it too much to be told by a conductor how to play. I did not really like the atmosphere surrounding the orchestra, the board and all. It is fortunate that not everyone is like that. There are musician who do not mind being in such an orchestra their entire lives. That of course can be normal and is a safe existence.
"But that's not suitable for me. What has always bothered me was the atmosphere of sanctity that seems to be hanging around classical music. People come all dressed up for a concert and there they sit in the hall. There is an enormous gap between them and the orchestra. It is obvious that rarely a spark jumps between the musicians and the audience.
"I'm not someone with a mission, but if I had a message, I would like to see the gap between the two parties disappear. Just consider what happened around 1900, which was not so long ago. People were playing cards in the Concert building while music was being played. It was almost like as if someone from the card playing group would turn around and shout; "Can't you play that music a little softer?"
"That was the sort of culture in which Johann Strauss composed his music. And it was also being performed in dance halls, you could call them the disco's of that time. People came there to dance and jump to the music of Johann Strauss' Orchestra, where he stood in front as a stand-alone violinist. What is also important to know is, that the majority of his music was never composed for a symphony orchestra".
"I want to have his music sound just like then. Also on this CD. Only here and there did we change the tone to suit the ears of the people of today. So we added some strings and removed some brass, simply because our ears are more accustomed to strings. But the music we left untouched. We do not play one single note that was not written by the composers. This not only applies to Strauss, but is also true for the other composers on the CD: e.g. Shostakovich, Franz Lehar, Emmerich Kálmán".
Fast, yes of course
"Maybe some people say that we have our own interpretation of the works. However I would like to contradict that and suggest that I went to work as conscientiously as possible, that I want the music to sound just as I imagined the composers designed it. "Unter Donner und Blitz" we play that fast, yes, but I can not imagine a Strauss waltz with such a title was intended to be played lazily.
 "I notice it at our concerts, the approach to it is catching on. It is not only because of the music, but because of the entire package we offer. So we do not just run through all the songs in seconds, I narrate throughout the program and piece it together that way. Kind of cozy like, with a little fun. Together with my wife we write the text. Sometimes it is a strange experience to discover that the text you invented at home on the couch is doing so well in the hall".
"We propose only one thing, sparks must be flying over to the public. Everyone, the musicians, the people in the hall, everyone has to have the idea that together we are making this a nice evening. That as far as I am concerned is basically the intention of the music. Apparently people have a need for it. I notice that by the letters I receive and the number of attendees. They have increased incredibly in recent years.
"I'm not the only one who has noticed that. You'll notice that at the concerts of classical and semi-classical music, the halls are fuller. People are, as you may have gathered, hungry for real music.
Pavarotti
"How does that happen? Never because of one single item. It has to do with the times we live in and there are also a lot of musicians who have done an awful lot of real good work. Pavarotti for example, but also Nigel Kennedy. He dressed in his usual garb, not at all in tails and stood there and played that old music. Point blank, it's not all about the looks, but it is all about the music."
"It is widely understood. It's fantastic, as I recently experienced that in Heemskerk where a lady got up the nerve to approach me and said, "Mr. Rieu, may I look at your violin. I have heard so much music in my life but I have never seen a violin up close." "Something like that makes me just plain happy."
On March 26, 2010 André Rieu and his orchestra performed for Queen Beatrix. It was the highlight of her visit to Valkenburg during the festive opening of the 125th anniversary celebration of the Netherlands' VVV (Tourist Office). Of course the Limburg Anthem was played and the Queen sang along.(At the end of the videoclip Queen Beatrix speaks the famous words: "That was very nice, but too short!" André answers: "I'd love to continue" ...) Click HERE To Watch Video
NOTE: This interview with André was written back in 1994 by journalist Els Smit: www.royalglitter.com. She updated its posting a few days ago. Ineke wrote to her as the article is copyrighted and asked for her permission for us to translate and post this article on the Harmony Parlor in English. Els gladly gave us permission and we do thank her for that and John for his Translation.... It's interesting to read what André had to say about everything 17 years ago, knowing what he has accomplished now.

2 comments:

InekeHolland said...

At the end of the videoclip Queen Beatrix speaks the famous words: "That was very nice, but too short!" André answers: "I'd love to continue...."

Sue Berry said...

Thanks Ineke ~ I added it to the article ...

CLICK ON "OLDER POSTS" TO CONTINUE TO PREVIOUS PAGES ON THE PARLOR

.

.

.

.

.
Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.
Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

.

.

.

.
"Hello to all my fans on The Harmony Parlor!"

Soundcheck in Maastricht 2013 (RTL Photo)

Maastricht 2012 ~ "André on The Theater Steps" by Bee

Maastricht 2012 ~ "André and Pierre on The Theater Steps" by Bee

TOP TEN VIEWED POSTS IN THE PAST WEEK

TOP TEN VIEWED POSTS IN THE PAST THIRTY DAYS

TOP TEN ALL TIME VIEWED POSTS