A Well "Oiled" Orchestra in The Ziggo Dome
January 9, 2017, The Limburger by Jan Cuijpers It is a rock hard rule: The show must go on.Last Saturday André Rieu and his orchestra performed again for the first time since the passing of trombone player Ruud Merx. The Ziggo Dome received their monies worth.
Amsterdam Just a remark by André Rieu half way through his performance in a fully packed Ziggo Dome. "During our concerts many friendships are established between people who previously never would have known each other. I am proud of that." That comment confirms the expression "music unites." Those connections also exists within the Johann Strauss orchestra, where several relations originated. That is where Ruud Merx, who passed away on 22 December, learned to know his wife, violinist Alina-Lin Jong. And between various band members there are friendships which far transcend the ordinary good fellowship. The passing of the much beloved Merx also caused emotional reactions within the group.
Happiness André Rieu immediately canceled the remaining five concerts of his England tour after the heart attack of his trombone player. The Maastricht citizen's motto is, that he and his orchestra want to bring happiness to the people, and that is why under those circumstances, he and his musicians were not able to perform, so said the conductor.
Between Christmas and New years, André could not be turned away from the TV. By channel surfing you could always catch him on a Dutch, German regional TV station. Unwittingly the broadcasts ensured that Ruud Merx was still alive. He not only filled an important role as a musician, but if we go to face book and the speakers at the impressive memorial service at the Rodahal, he was also the man of jokes and witty remarks and the instigator in the orchestra.
He was also prominently featured in several broadcasts, balancing his trombone on his chin. But that was missing for the first time in Rieu's New Year's concert in the Ziggo Dome on January 7th. Would the front man be able to be the humorous entertainer again and how will the orchestra react to the loss of the trombonist - who until that fateful December 22nd had been a vital link for over two decades. Very important, since after Amsterdam there will be a volley of 25 concerts, primarily in Germany.
Top form The answer to the first question: André is in to form. He is living proof that a (world)star must not only be a good musician, but also a super performer. It is not for nothing that he is in the top 100 of the successful touring artists worldwide. Just the ticket sales for his concerts alone grossed a whopping 32.1 million in 2016. His whole appearance radiates that he is the leader of the company and with his tongue-in-cheek announcements he enchants his audience. If for instance someone calls out that he should speak English: "Are there many English here?" When there is a massive reaction: "I thought you all left Europe!" And he easily continues the show bilingual. A concert that attracts an international public. The British have already been mentioned, but also Belgian, Spanish, Mexican and even Columbian people occupy the seats in the Ziggo Dome.
Yesterday's rehearsal was crucial for today's success. There, that was the place for sorrow and tears.
Machine There were only smiling faces in the orchestra. The venue looked and sounded like a well oiled machine. There is only one word for that: "PROFESSIONALISM." "Today everyone was in good form," said manager Pierre Rieu after the performance. "The rehearsal we had yesterday was crucial for today's success. There, that was the place for sorrow and tears. Today we purposely did not say anything about Ruud. That would have been too difficult and it is also our sorrow. We do not want to burden the public with that, even though they understand 100%. Fortunately we persevered."
Thank You to John for this Translation