André Rieu (65) Finally AOW (old age pension)
On the eve of a concert tour and the release of his new album "Love in Venice" André Rieu is celebrating his 65th anniversary. "Finally AOW (old age pension), finally out of the financial worries." At the invitation of the violinist/conductor, the European press went en masse to Limburg.
The waltz may have somewhat a stuffy image, but I am not ashamed of it.
The Limburger: More than sixty journalists and camera crews gathered together in André Rieu’s music studio in Maastricht. There the violinist and his Johann Strauss Orchestra play a few extracts from the new album "Love in Venice" which will be released November 3 worldwide, and of course is made of 24 carat Romanticism.
"O Sole Mio"," Serenata"," the Lagoon Waltz", That's amore ... gondolier Rieu takes his audience on an idyllic cruise through the Grand Canal, under the Bridge of Sighs, direction Dogan Palace. The maestro is bathed in a sea of flashes. He raises his hands to heaven and smiles benignly. Eyes twinkling behind the horn-rimmed glasses. The stand-alone violinist and conductor is visible in his element. "When I see a smile on the faces of my musicians, I know that we can go ahead and record," as he explains the process of intensive rehearsals to record a perfect recording. A German journalist writes this all down with his mouth wide open.
Hey, there's Pierre Rieu, Andrés son and Vice President of the Rieu organization. "At least, that's what my business card says, "he says laughingly." "I'm here to relieve my dad and that is necessary, since he was overworked. Now he takes his rests, jogs and trains in the weight room."
Whether Pierre, father of the twins Lieke and Linde (4), also watches his own condition? "We're going on tour to Brazil the day after tomorrow. But I can come back earlier to celebrate the twins’ birthday. That is possible since I know the boss very well. Incidentally, my father hates it that he will not be in the Netherlands then. He is crazy about his grandchildren, he’s a great grandfather. At home we call him 'the stalker'. If he finds the time, he comes over."
Pierre is delighted with his Dad’s Venetian adventure. "His Abba record from last year, following 40 years of Waterloo, somewhat affected him in a way. Fine album mind you, but "Love in Venice", that's my father."
After the studio session, the entire entourage travels to André Rieu’s castle at the foot of the Saint-Pietersberg. There is champagne, exquisite Italian pastries, Italian espresso and Italian ice cream cart. Extras in colorful Venetian carnival attire stroll across the inner courtyard.
In the extensive gardens, major German TV channels are waiting patiently for Rieu to come in front of the cameras and speak about "Eine Nacht in Venice – the new Album. The organization is perfect. The international media circus from Poland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austrians and Turkey (who just arrived) is split up in blocks split up so that Rieu can be asked questions about his Italian production. ("As is always the case with my wife Marjorie when she joins me on the couch) "'I still want to waltz all over the world, " he says." "The waltz may have a somewhat a stuffy image, but I'm not ashamed of it."
The 'King of the Waltz, "who broke through 20 years ago with the album "Strauss & Co.", has built a powerful empire with the sounds of his 1732 Stradivarius violin. He sold over 40 million albums, won 411 platinum and 100 gold records.
With his concert tours - his next Dutch tours will bring him on the 13th (Ziggo Dome) and 14th of November (Ahoy) to the Netherlands - seems to be no end. In fact, when everyone was merrily waltzing on all continents, Rieu had his sights set at the North Pole and the moon. That ambition, to perform in cold regions, ended up in the refrigerator.
"My stadium tour with the completely copied Schönbrunn brought me to the brink of bankruptcy. Here, in this room, Rabobank wanted to pull the plug. "Well, I said there is no pulling the plug." But I realized that it was too big for me. It was in excesses which distracted from the music."
Making music is his passion and his life, the waltz interacts with his existence, but "I'd like to go into politics. To bring back respect for each other. Marjorie forbids me that. "I cannot keep my mouth shut," she says.
"What I am very concerned about right now, is the extinction of the elephant. There, I have to do something. It surely is inexcusable that I'm here to talking about it and not lend a hand. " ... Elephants? Suddenly in our minds we hear "The Elephant Song (1975)" by singer Kamahl. In three –quarter time, of course.
Translation by John