Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My grandmother is visiting from Johannesburg and has been dead keen on seeing Andre Rieu, so she forked out an eye twitching amount of money so I could help her navigate the maze of Grand West.

The performance was probably best described as joyous - which is, surprise, not entirely up my alley. Nearly every piece of music was selected for the 'joy it brings'. I know this because Andre Rieu took every possibly opportunity to tell us this. Also, loads of cheesy jokes - mostly surrounding not-so-sly drinking of J├Ągermeister by the brass section, also a bit about an anvil that only seeing is believing [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxaH1254mvA] - this video is from a performance in Vienna and is *exactly* the same as what I saw on Sunday night.

Incidentally, when searching for the above video link, the first suggestion by google autocomplete was 'Andre Rieu... wife' and then again later 'Andre Rieu... wife Marjorie' so he must be a real hit with the ladies!

Hammy jokes notwithstanding, the music was beautiful and it was wonderful to hear & watch some very talented, classically trained musicians. I could have done without the 7 encores though!

If you can get by the stupid joking in the video posted above, it's actually a great example of how amazing the orchestra is. That Andre Rieu can play perfectly while kicking a sledgehammer out of the way is testament to how good he is.

As my caveat: I don't know why I prefer moody depressing music, but Nick Hornby wondered in High Fidelity whether we listen to depressing music because we're depressed or if we're depressed because we listen to depressing music. I vividly remember lying on my bedroom floor in the dark, age 14, listening to Siamese Dream by The Smashing Pumpkins and feeling overwhelmed by the beauty of that album - even though it's probably some of the most depressing music I've heard. Just last week in the car I was bawling my eyes out listening to Soma, brought on mostly by the crescendo half-way through. I also think that it's wonderful that I'm turning 30 this week and I still actively listen to and have as much of an intense emotional response to a song / album I first heard when I was 14!

Anyway, I'm going to try my level best to get out and see more varied musical performances this year, so this was good start :)


  1. Life is at its best bittersweet; dark music is just that - Sweet because its beautiful and bitter because it's honest about the difficulty of life.

  2. When I was about 15 I had 'Today is the greatest day I'll ever know' printed out and stuck to my bedroom wall. Still love that album...