He is said to be the king of the waltz, but to more than 11,000 people gathered at the Videotron Center on Thursday evening, Dutch conductor and violinist André Rieu reminded an audience that he was also a master in the art entertain.
To achieve this, he has three trump cards up his sleeve: his extensive reinterpretations of great classical, gospel, opera and pop melodies from Ravel and Verdi to Elvis Presley and Little Richard, his charismatic personality and his sense of humor.
We have an eloquent demonstration of this just a few minutes after the concert begins.
His Johann Strauss Orchestra had just made a triumphant entry to the sound of the military march “Entry of the Gladiators” and crossed the entire floor of the Videotron Center on the way to the stage when André Rieu noticed two spectators hastily taking their seats.
“You’re too late,” he told them expressionlessly. We come from Holland and are on time. »
Dynamic gospel choir
The tone was set. The humor of the 73-year-old artist, who learned to express the expression “goosebumps” in French so amusingly that he used it for the rest of the evening, was the common thread of this large concert, which brought together almost a hundred artists in total on a semicircular stage.
André Rieu and his orchestra in action, Thursday, at the Videotron Center. Photo Pascal Huot / QMI Agency
Although the musicians were numerous and in perfect command, it was the voices that made the difference. In this context, we must welcome the integration of a gospel choir. In a section consisting of I Will Follow You, Amen and Oh Happy Day, the singers amazed with their flexible and powerful vocal cords as well as their infectious dynamics.
Also worth mentioning are the theater sopranos Anna Majchrzak and Micaëla Oeste, who are responsible for the interpretation of I Belong To Me and Caro Nome by Verdi, respectively. Amazingly, they also moved the audience.
Liveliness and melancholy
Since we can’t imagine a Metallica concert without Master of Puppets, André Rieu’s performances feature a number of classic repertoire elements.
Placed at the start of the course, Volare and Funiculi Funicula brought liveliness to the concert, while the moving The Rose and Highland Cathedral, the latter lulled by a bagpipe band, beautifully played the melancholic card.
A detour to Strauss, Rieu’s idol, was obviously on the agenda, and while the master of ceremonies brought out his famous Stradivarius, several couples on the dance floor were able to dance the waltz to the Blue Danube before an impeccable and magnificent Boléro was played. by Ravel.
André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, Thursday, in Quebec. Photo Pascal Huot / QMI Agency
As a reminder: André Rieu successfully used the same strategy of different moods. So after a Libiamo with a celebratory drink in hand, a majestic “Can’t Help Falling In Love” from the King and “Amazing Grace” brought everyone back on the path of pure emotions.
- After Quebec, André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will stop at the Bell Center in Montreal on Friday evening.