Maastricht scientists follow orchestra leader for a year and a half to explain his formula for success
Rieu Creates Swaying At a Filled Square
The Limburger by Peter van de Berg: The formula for success is very simple. André Rieu is a master in creating "a square filled with swaying." It seems simple, but behind his approach in trying to tie the audience together with a sense of community, often has hidden logic, which goes contrary to all the artistic laws.
So states cultural sociologist and gender expert Maaike Meijer in her book "Rieu, Maestro without Borders" which she and her fellow scientists Peter Peters and Jac van den Boogard, all of the University of Maastricht wrote. André Rieu has a reverence for classical music but also likes to deviate from that. He has stripped his repertoire from solemnity and stiffness. His shows are airy in nature and therefore he waltzes literally over the prejudices." In aversion to the cultural elite who have little or no respect in the manner in which the famous stand-alone-violinist presents his performances to his audience.
Ever since the first day the Maastricht violinist and his Johann Strauss orchestra harvested worldwide success the condemnations by the critics are not light at all. Maaike Meijer admits that initially she too viewed the concerts of "phenomenon Rieu" with some of her own skepticism."I was part of that elite group and had an aversion to massive events. But when I went to the Vrijthof, matters changed." The shows start right away with a climax when Rieu and his musicians enter through the audience to the music of "Seventy-six Trombones." "A thoughtful approach that instantly creates a festive mood and creates an atmosphere of togetherness amongst the spectators." Maaike Meijer is convinced that ultimately the protectors of the "great art" will come about. "Look at André Hazes. He has long been reviled. Suddenly everyone raved about with him. You cannot understand culture if you are not open to the popular segment."
Meijer, Peters and van den Boogard followed Rieu and his orchestra intensely for a year and a half. They accompanied him to concerts in Istanbul, Amsterdam and London. They were also present at the concerts in Maastricht. The Maestro afforded them the opportunity to watch extensive from behind the scenes, to be present at rehearsals and spoke to the orchestra leader, his musicians and other employees of the Rieu Company. According to the scientists Rieu is so immensely popular because he presents an integrated work of art in which emotions play a major role. "He puts it all out there.
Music combined with a tantalizing sense of images creates a sense of nostalgia. When someone becomes emotional, it becomes easy for other people too to let their feelings run free. Human emotions are contagious. His camera people have developed a sense of finding the right people from the audiences and to bring them broadly into view. That creates a flow which then easily spreads to other spectators." Meijer notes that Rieu largely acts on intuition. "Not everything he does is new. In fact, he returns his massive performances back to the folk feasts of centuries ago. Music back then too was largely focused on city squares. We are in a phase of creating festivities. People like to be together. Repetition in the world of cultural is quite normal. Rieu’s public is not geared up every year to see an entirely new program. For them it is important to just "be there."
One thing is certain: André Rieu cannot be copied. Meijers: "There is some thought within the company about how to proceed when the time comes when he can no longer perform. They would rather not talk about that. A ready-made solution is not immediately at hand. Rieu and his musicians live in the present and that is what they continue to do."
Thank you to John for this and his Translation