Do you Rieu?

December 25, 2016 at 01:23 AM · Another NY Times article from the Arts Section. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/arts/andre-rieu-dutch-violinist-dazzles.html?rref=collection%2Fspotlightcollection%2Fclassical-music-reviews&_r=0

I've seen some PBS broadcasts of Rieu and his orchestra and my personal feelings are mixed. He seems to be quite popular and performs music that a lot of people enjoy as well as providing employment to a good number of musicians. However the range of his music is limited to really popular stuff that suits the taste of the geriatric set (of which I am a card-carrying member).

Although many of his musicians are young and seemingly talented his performances don't seem to attract the younger audience which perpetuates the stigma that traditional orchestral music is only for the grey haired fans.

What are your thoughts?

Replies (61)

December 25, 2016 at 05:46 AM · Can.Not.Stand.Him.

December 25, 2016 at 06:41 AM · I do not like his music at all but let's face it : it is difficult to make a lot of money in the classical music world, regardless of how good you are. He must have seen the writing on the wall a long time ago and decided to go in a different direction to most other violinists. Good luck to him ; he must be a good businessman as well as a decent violinist.

But I still don't like his music !

December 25, 2016 at 07:19 AM · Definitely not my cup of tea. Pretty much all that I dislike in the genre packaged into a performance. My wife teases me as if I'm a fan whenever we see him on television. That said, there are plenty of super popular bands that I don't care for mostly for their style being over the top, or a lack of talent. It's great that A.R. has a following and maintains a base of "classical" fans.

December 25, 2016 at 12:39 PM · I liked his hair better when it was longer. It's fun to watch him play with a famous fiddler or a child guest. So Rieu doesn't play Schnittke-- he sure beats Welk, and he is so cute!!---from another card-carrying geriatric fan

December 25, 2016 at 04:36 PM · I will not say anything against him. He has recorded on CD and youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHb62K6bANg) a march written by a cousin of my grandfather named Abe Holzmann. I asked the folks on v.com and my history/theory teacher whether I should feel honored or slimed. The response on v.com was mixed, but my teacher was clear that Rieu was a serious musician, so I should feel honored. All that said, most of the sort of stuff he does is not my thing, but, ...

December 25, 2016 at 05:57 PM · I don't know what Rieu does, but what I read a lot is his bad fame as artist. Where that bad fame is coming from?

December 25, 2016 at 07:04 PM · The "bad fame" is envy. Maybe not for his music, but for his success. He is a working musician who makes some people happy with his music and is making lots of money. He has has a Strad,is surrounded by good musicians and is bringing music to people who might not to go classical concert. He is not Hilary Hahn, my favorite player,but why must we all tread the same pathway?

December 25, 2016 at 07:18 PM · I think Jeff put it well. The envious probably feel he has "sold out" in some sense. Too bad for them.

December 25, 2016 at 07:19 PM · A.R. was a student of Herman Krebbers, one of the foremost Dutch violinists and teachers in his day. Frank Peter Zimmermann was a student of Krebbers as well.

A.R. fills a niche in the violin show business - why not. Might even

get some people curious in going to more serious opera or classical concerts.

Don't think his audience is more grey haired than the average classical music audience from what I have seen.

December 25, 2016 at 07:49 PM · I'd rather listen to the music than watch him play with the orchestra. Mostly for background when I'm doing other things. Even if he's not my favorite, I have to applaud the fact that he has more of an audience than I ever will!

Also, years ago my two year old niece was infatuated with him on PBS, which motivated her to start playing violin very early. She wanted to be like Andwe Woo, and continued lessons for years.

I don't really include him in the list of artists that I encourage my students to listen to, there just seems to be a lot better options out there.

December 25, 2016 at 09:07 PM · I've seen Andre Rieu several times on TV and listened to his music from various sources. Not intellectually demanding perhaps, but enjoyable, well-played music for dancing.

He was awarded the Premier Prix at the end of his studying at the Brussels Conservatoire, which says something positive about him as a classical violinist. About that time he spotted an opening in public performance and exploited it very successfully.

I'd say that somebody embarking on any sort of solo career could learn something useful from Rieu's showmanship and sense of humour (like when he sent himself up trying to play an Irish jig on stage alongside one of the foremost Irish fiddlers), and there's nothing wrong with either of those attributes.

Finally, he must have been doing something right to have been awarded a couple of European knighthoods in the course of his career!

December 25, 2016 at 09:46 PM · I am a semi-fan of AR. It started while waiting in the car with my wife to pick up one of our grandchildren from middle school 15 or so years ago when the local classical FM radio station played Rieu's violin solo version of "Song to the Moon" from the soprano solo in Dvorak's opera "Rusalka."

This led us to buy the new CD with that and other romantic Rieu (and his" Johann Strauss Orchestra") songs. This led me to the local music store where I found the one old copy they had of the song (for soprano solo with piano) that I talked them down from the $20 marked to $10. So - I played the song and made some mods for violin solo. A half dozen years later our community orchestra played it with a soprano solo (I prefer it with violin - even with Andre Rieu).

I think the AR shows are fun to watch with the pretty ladies and their gowns more than to hear. I'm OK with the semi-classical selections, many of which were part of my pre-teen learning years. The videos are well filmed and have some nice location spots.

I don't think he does any damage to the more complex (heavier?) music scene I love and he encourages that audience close to my age group that sometimes says to me, "Oh you play the violin, do you play…?"

December 26, 2016 at 01:48 AM · Prior to knowing anything about him, I was standing in a Target looking at his cd. A woman came up to me and started telling me how much she loved him. She turned red and was actually gushing about him. Since women don't normally start talking to me, I took this as a sign that this man had something special. Having learned something about his business, I greatly admire his abilities.

I like George Foreman also.

December 26, 2016 at 03:43 AM · Well Bob, you missed a hint. Blushing was because of you.

December 26, 2016 at 03:50 AM · I'm anti-Rieu. And I'll bet the musicians hate those costumes :-D

December 26, 2016 at 08:48 AM · Rieu plays classical music with flair and his concerts are sold out, makes people happy with his music and spreads the classical music. No more can be asked of an artist.

December 26, 2016 at 11:35 AM · So, is he hated because he plays pop and modern music plus some classical stuff? All easy?

December 26, 2016 at 12:42 PM · I guess he's mostly hated for his quite insensitive emotional sell-out, not for his success (although this may be a part of it).

For sure he's not the only one, and classical music is not the only victim of these crippled souls. Just remember the Fugees with their musical pop massacres. Usually a song they touched is dead and lost for a generation's life span...

I'm not categorically defeating kitsch and sugar icings. At the right time and at the right place this can also be quite nice. But he's overdoing it. By far.

The good message is: different to pop music, usually nobodys forces you to listen, e.g. in the shopping malls. So let him live...

December 26, 2016 at 12:47 PM · I had a very similar experience to Bob's. I was in a Barnes&Noble browsing among 'usual suspects' like Hahn, Ehness, Mutter etc. when a lady came up to me and said "oh you should check out AR - he's sooo good!" I didn't want to argue with her. I just smiled pleasantly and said "I think I'll continue here for now."

No, he's NOT very good as a solo violinist. I base this on my catching him once playing the Meditation from Thais. (Maybe he was good when he was younger.) BUT, that's really beside the point. I actually admire him for discovering a certain niche, exploiting it and becoming (I assume) rather wealthy from it.

I didn't know that he cut his hair shorter. No worries - I've been growing mine longer, so the galaxy will hopefully stay in balance! (Before we eventually all get sucked into the black hole at the center, that is. But what are you gonna do?)

December 26, 2016 at 01:01 PM · What's wrong with being a commercially successful entertainer?

December 26, 2016 at 03:00 PM ·

Some are entertainers and some are instrumentalist. If you can do both well, all the more to you, because that should be the goal. If you can't do both, or you lean to one side more than the other, well that's ok too. It isn't a negative to be more of an entertainer than a instrumentalist.

It's negative to fake being better than you are: if someone uses auto-tune or play syncs to a recording.

December 26, 2016 at 03:03 PM · @Kevin - nothing I can think of. I suspect that many folks out there, who are very into classical, jazz, or some other particular type of music, and who are not commercially successful, look upon him with a sort of holier-than-thou perspective because what he does seems impure and schlocky to them. Which I can understand, but no one requires them to listen to him or play with him.

December 26, 2016 at 03:34 PM · A first word that comes to me is "fake", then "phony", but for some reason unknown to me, people (women in particular) love him the way he is. We often forget how much violin is loved and for some people all it takes is to be presented in more accessible way.

It has happened to me a few times that, no matter what repertoire I play or how (badly) I play it, some people are mesmerized by violin itself and will listen in delight.

There is nothing bad abound entertaining people and making them happy for a few hours. However, as some actors said, it is a slippery slope when one starts to please the audience at the cost of lowering artistic standards.

December 26, 2016 at 04:10 PM · I'm certainly not jealous of his success. Much like Lindsey Stirling, he has found a lucrative niche and has exploited it--and while he is without a doubt a far better violinist than Lindsey Stirling, I think it is true for both of them that their real genius is in marketing.

I don't enjoy his music but I don't go around criticizing those who do; the question that was asked here was what *we* thought. I can't stand him and I would never voluntarily listen to or watch his performances, though honestly what I find even more offensive than his musical choices is his orchestras full of young women dressed in evening gowns who have clearly been told to smile nonstop when performing.

You know, it is possible to dislike someone successful without the dislike being based on envy or resentment. I am quite happy and content in my own life.

December 26, 2016 at 05:02 PM · I'm anti-Rieu in the sense that I'd never fire up a Rieu CD for enjoyment.

As far as his success, I'm all for it! I wish him the best.

As far as capturing a wider audience -- I'd be careful with that statement. He's certainly capturing an audience for himself, with the dazzling costumes and showmanship. But I don't think that will translate into people "getting into" classical music, or attending concerts where we play in tuxedos largely in 4/4 rather than 3/4 time :-D

December 26, 2016 at 05:27 PM · @Mary Ellen - I agree that it is possible to dislike someone successful on some basis other than envy or resentment because of his/her success. A lot of people have standards for what they consider to be good music, and Rieu certainly can be viewed as bringing down or not living up to those standards. And, his performances tend to be on the schlocky side. While I am grateful to him for recording my relative's piece a century or so after it was written, I have no desire to go to one of his concerts or listen to his music on CD (other than my relative's piece, perhaps).

December 26, 2016 at 05:47 PM · @Rocky - well said.

@all: I think it's a problem when someone dilutes music, and he gives the audience the impression of being a soloist.

If people like easy listening music, ok - but Rieu sells by making his audience think it's classical music.

I was rolling on the floor whe I first saw his "orchestra" with an added keyboard player to fill the sound up.

December 26, 2016 at 06:07 PM · What about David Garrett and his high-tech shows?

December 26, 2016 at 06:12 PM · Okay here is a philosophical question: What exactly is "diluting music"?

I love that David Garrett has been so successful, and Andre Rieu as well. And Lindsey Stirling. I think that when culture goes a new direction, it takes from what came before, but it does not take AWAY from what came before. If both could exist hand-in-hand, our communities might all be culturally more rich.

December 26, 2016 at 08:09 PM · He employs some very talented artists:

I would gladly put up with the showbiz approach to hear this lady:

music starts at 1:45

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkfpKqzPFZA&list=PLEQIZEQmlGPUwebF7t_jo72hQoa0QYh1F&index=19

December 26, 2016 at 10:30 PM · Interesting responses. What do we all think about the Strauss repertoire? Most if it is exactly what A.R. performs and a whole lot of the "Top Orchestras" have recorded the same music - albeit without the over-the-top costuming and marketing. That, of course leads to the growing place of composers like John Williams who writes for movies and orchestras play that as well as the classics.

Perhaps we're getting to the crux of the old joke: How many musicians does it take to change a light bulb? Two: one to change the bulb and another to complain that the old bulb was better...

December 27, 2016 at 12:27 AM · Orchestras these days often play video game music as well.

The spectrum from pure entertainment to pure art is so wide. With the now overcrowded traditional classical violin world, I am surprised to see how few violinists are following the footsteps of Rieu and Garrett.

December 27, 2016 at 01:39 AM · "Orchestras these days often play video game music as well."

Maybe you are referring to the music pirated from Carl Orff and stuck into video games??

December 27, 2016 at 05:42 AM · Responding to the David Garrett. I really like David. He seems like he is able to do crossover, yet still maintain a classical side as well. I've seen him do Brahms, Bruch, and Mendelssohn on YouTube, so he is pretty good.

December 27, 2016 at 07:25 AM · Every time, without fail the wife will stop and watching him on PBS, partly cause she enjoys his playing of schmaltz, but mostly to drive me insane. I don't have an issue with somebody being successful and he's definitely very successful in Europe, where I think the culture itself is more respondent than in the USA, but between the bright pastel all woman orchestra that drives me to seriously think about poking my eyes out to the music that is all schmaltz. I do get a good chuckle watching the camera pan to the audience members, a lot of whom are crying quite a bit over a song which has absolutely no emotional value even when used in its proper opera or the likes.

Sterling, yeah I won't comment on her. I think it's great these, I'm not entirely sure what to call them, can appeal to a different culture than the traditionally stuffy, elderlies who tend to fall asleep while playing a pieces which younger generations just do not really grasps in todays fast paced society. Then again, as I mentioned, the people (Sterling, Rieu, Garret...Yanni?) appeal to a much broader audience in Europe than they do here. I'm sure this whole topic would be vastly different from another continents perspective, especially when speaking with non-musician types.

December 27, 2016 at 12:15 PM · Garrett is amazing, I love him so much he's one of the top performers in my list. I discovered him through classical music, not modern music. I guess many of his fans discovered him because he plays modern music. I like it when he covers rock music or popular music. I enjoy it a lot. Nevertheless, last year he kind of upset me when he mainly covered electronic music ("music", I call it acoustic contamination) in his last album. I'll just skip that album and forget about it. Anyways, he's a tip violinist, he studied in Juilliard under the tutelage of Perlman, so he can only be a master.

Is he hated in the same way Rieu is hated?

I don't think so but let's read your replies.

December 27, 2016 at 01:46 PM · If Rieu is opening a door to the vast treasure of more "profound" classical music to his incredibly wide audiences worldwide, then maybe in the long run he is performing a valuable service.

And as for so-called "crossover" artists like Garrett, it's not so new. Wasn't Paganini a "crossover" artist? Just think about his arrangements of then "popular" melodies and songs (including, "My hat, it has 3 corners," yes, the Carnival of Venice). Heifetz arranged Gershwin songs. Menuhin recorded jazz with Grappelli and raga with Shankar. Kreisler made encore pieces out of everything. And how many of the most "serious" classical composers and violinists make use of ethnic folk music and the popular music of the day.

And (dare I suggest it) was not Bach actually a "crossover" artist, making classical music for religious services?

Ooops. I forgot to mention movie music, Broadway musicals, and national anthems, and military music (isn't that an oxymoron?), and music for TV commercials, and....well, the list goes on.

So, maybe in the final analysis, all music is Rieu-sable.

December 27, 2016 at 02:36 PM · @ John A.: Especially from a european point of view this kind of cultural self-castration is really painful. And this is even more to say from an austrian or even Viennese point of view (where I used to live for quite some time, and where the Strauss dynasty was born, made their living and died). Here we are used to belive - if something is successful but extraordinary painful - that, well maybe they are selling it to the US and Japan, and maybe northern Germany...

So, to be honest, as a population we are all just the same. In average the intellectual niveau as well as the sensibility for music and arts ist rather - well, not so high as we tend to rate it in our self-perception... In Europe commercial success based in musical skills might still be easier to achive than on other continents because subvention for concert halls and operas are much higher. With commercial success based on a sell out of faked second hand emotions, I guess it's the same in everywhere...

December 27, 2016 at 03:00 PM · In the end, we have to accept that classical music doesn't belong only to us. On the other hand, what's wrong if we'd ask for a minimum of responsibility in handling this music we have a right to love, too?

Unfortunately I seem to know the answer. If something does not belong to a certain person or group but to mankind (and maybe not even this...), then people believe they can do with it whatever they like. Or at least they think they don't have to care for it. Just mention all kind of environmental issues, global resources etc. pp.

December 27, 2016 at 08:19 PM · Sanders, et al.,

Points well made but, let's make sure that we get our musical snobbery included. There is Early Music (Middle/Dark Ages) followed by Renaissance music, followed by Baroque and Rococo, then comes Classical, followed by Romantic, followed by 20th Century (a.k.a. Modern) and now Post-Modern. Of course there is the practice of putting a "Neo" ahead of any of these to accommodate living composers who write in that style.

John A.: At least Rieu openly employs women musicians. It wasn't that long ago that, even in "blind audition", the sound of high heels walking to the stage denied an aspiring musician a place in any professional orchestra. (It wasn't until the requirement that all auditions be done without shoes that women actually got chosen.)

In the end music is something that humans have been doing for multiple thousands of years (think about those pre-historic bone flutes) and I'm sure that nobody liked the new stuff until it became old stuff, or at least re-packaged old stuff.

December 27, 2016 at 09:22 PM · "and I'm sure that nobody liked the new stuff until it became old stuff, or at least re-packaged old stuff."

Sorry, that's double nonsense.

All music (until Schönberg put it from heart to the sliding rule) was successful in it's time; and Rieu et al. haven't brought anything new at all.

edit.: triple nonsense:

Rieu et al. in fact are successful in their time.

Only a minority of people, who respect the invaluable heritage of classical music, seem to find this cheap exploitation a bad thing.

December 28, 2016 at 05:06 AM · "At least Rieu openly employs women musicians. It wasn't that long ago that, even in "blind audition", the sound of high heels walking to the stage denied an aspiring musician a place in any professional orchestra. (It wasn't until the requirement that all auditions be done without shoes that women actually got chosen.)"

Huh? I have never heard of an audition done without shoes, though it is customary to have carpet pieces down for candidates to walk on in order to mask the sound of heels. And many women don't audition in heels. I certainly never did, not because of any concern about discrimination, but because heels are horribly uncomfortable and throw me off balance.

I also have to wonder what you mean by "not that long ago." I won my first U.S. audition in 1985 and women in professional orchestras were hardly a rarity then.

December 28, 2016 at 06:16 PM · Allow me to Rieu-nite with something I wrote on the "Sarasate" thread:

======I've always thought that at its heart, Sarasate's muse is the performer who gives you the feeling that technically and emotionally the music is nonchalantly "tossed off," like an elegant trifle - a musical bon bon - tasteful, an afterthought, a sparkling diamond in sound - musical and emotional champagne, to be be savored and tasted in the moment. And perhaps most of us don't experience moments like that in life, so a performer who can project that and share it with an audience - that is perhaps something really special. That is what I would call "speaking with Sarasate's voice."=========

It occurs to me that perhaps Rieu is (to give him credit) striving for that same unique feeling - that special sparking moment - but on a much bigger scale. IF this is true, he may be succeeding, but then perhaps only partially. I'd love to see him (or anyone) try to use all of his extra-musical trappings to perform, say, the Brahms Violin Concerto (which I'll take anytime over lighter fare).

Sandy

As I suggested above (somewhere), any kind of music is Rieu-sable.

It seems I have Rieu-surped my own entry.

December 28, 2016 at 07:12 PM · If André Rieu wanted to perform the Brahms I'm pretty sure that having been a Premièr Prix winner at the Brussels Conservatoire in his youth he'd be able to do it, but if he hasn't performed at concerto level for a while then there'd have be some serious woodshedding to be done.

I've seen this sort of thing happen. A violinist I know graduated from one of the London music colleges in his youth and went into school-teaching, eventually becoming the headmaster of a large high school, which we'd all agree is a very demanding job with little time for violin playing. He took early retirement and returned to music, taking not very long to become the CM of a local symphony orchestra I'm in. In 2015 he decided he'd like to perform the Bruch Gmin, which he hadn't looked at since college, did the necessary woodshedding in the latter part of 2015 and gave an excellent performance with us in January 2016. The notorious 10ths in the last movement, which he said he really had to sweat over (he has smallish hands), were executed perfectly. We decided that he had passed with honours the audition he'd never had! I think this shows that if you've once thoroughly learnt a difficult skill you never really lose it, even after the passage of many years, as in my friend's case.

December 28, 2016 at 08:34 PM · If given the choice between gazing at David Garrett and Andre Rieu, well, um, that's a no-brainer. Heck, if given the choice between gazing at David Garrett and some of you, well, no offense, folks!

I know plenty of people who are not classical music people who love Rieu and his music. Yes, they are middle-aged and up. But I'm grateful they are being exposed to this music through him.

But the feeling I get when I see that cheesy smile or hear an overly schmalzy, overly sentimental rendition being performed, well... ick.

December 29, 2016 at 06:00 PM · Terez, the Brahms concerto could be a special experience under these conditions...

I think he should not do that and also avoid "the irish washerwoman" for the same reason...

;-)

December 29, 2016 at 07:00 PM · I think it was Rachel Podger who said "If you're going to get anywhere in this business, you've got to have something special to sell, but if that's not the music, then I'm not interested."

I think some people dislike Rieu and Garret (both are fine violinists) because they appear to leverage something other than music in their marketing. Lindsey Stirling has the additional problem of not having paid the price (my personal view) of being a decent performing violinist.

December 29, 2016 at 07:49 PM · Nobody who is into classical music takes Ms. Sterling really seriously, so I guess that's why she doesn't attract so much disgust. "Hey, that's just pop music..." A.R. and D.G. are well trained classic musicians, A.R. pretending to follow a tradition but distorting it, D.G. from time to time following it, but trying to find something "new" apart the trodden paths. I'm not a fan of the latter by far, but I'm sure which one I find more interesting and respectable.

All in all, totally agree with Rachel Podger - not only a decent musician, but apparently also a wise person...

December 30, 2016 at 01:53 AM · Interesting discussion. I think he fits squarely into the operetta/Strauss waltz/easy listening/pop concert/Liberace(?)/Lawrence Welk(?) continuum and I guess there will always be an audience for that kind of music. I was watching a clip on YouTube and it is hard to believe that the performers actually are enjoying it, but maybe I was imposing my own view on them. I love playing the occasional pop concert, in fact I wish sometimes my orchestra would do more of them, but a continual diet of this, concert after concert--blech!! I hope they are all going home to read through some Haydn quartets!

December 30, 2016 at 05:28 AM · Watching him the first time when I was having my lunch. Bad idea! One can't argue about taste.

December 30, 2016 at 12:35 PM · Hmmm...I wonder what RieuPaul would be like... ;-)

December 30, 2016 at 02:52 PM · "I was watching a clip on YouTube and it is hard to believe that the performers actually are enjoying it, but maybe I was imposing my own view on them."

I can 100% guarantee that if you are seeing smiles on the faces of the 2nd violins and violas while playing Strauss waltzes, it is because their paychecks require them to do so.

December 30, 2016 at 03:24 PM · One question - how many years would one expect to play in a conducted (work) orchestra for fun - whatever music you are playing?

I did in unpaid community orchestras from 1948 through 2012. It did not take long for it to become an obligation to the "team." If you do it for work it is an obligation to family or just to one's own existence - right? I did enjoy the rehearsals, the growing improvement of the group's playing. And yes, wherever I moved I first checked to be sure there was a community orchestra because that is the easiest way to make chamber music contacts and keep up that part of your life. Orchestra performance was always a relief - nothing to smile about until it was over.

But Strauss waltzes, Bolero, or Sousa marches - give me a break.

In real life (years ago) I was a physicist - one of the main things I liked about that was that I hardly ever had to do the same thing twice - once done it was done forever - published and available for reference.

I find it interesting to observe what musicians do on stage to keep the audience's eyes open, but if the music is "real," I shut my eyes to listen anyway (except when violinists are doing down-bow "flying" staccatos).

December 30, 2016 at 06:32 PM · As a teenager, I enjoyed playing in orchestras for, among other things, the social aspect of it. I now play/practice as a form of meditation. I am perfectly happy with playing/practicing just solo Bach (and etudes and scales so I can get better on Bach).

December 30, 2016 at 07:42 PM · @Nuuska M. Apologies for delayed response, but I wholly disagree with your claim of "self-castration." I've lived in London and Budapest and all over the US as well as toured every which way and I've found Europeans and such quite a bit more appreciative, especially in the middle-older population than in the states by far.

Also, I have never heard of a no-shoe requirement for orchestral auditions. Which major symphony does this?

And I was only referring to the horrible colors, not the fact the majority are females.

December 30, 2016 at 10:18 PM · Andrew, I've been playing in professional orchestras as my full time career since 1984, and around 80% of the time I am still enjoying it. But Strauss waltzes are included in the other 20%.

The "jaded professional" trope gets a little old.

December 30, 2016 at 11:59 PM · @John: Never mind, I didn't intend to insult anybody. My goal was just showing that if something is that abstruse that we are not able to integrate it somehow in our own little universe, we all - no matter where we are from - are used to the belief that "it has to do with the others...?" For I've never traveled the USA by myself my impressions and prejudices are mainly a condensate from the pictures the american "primary culture" likes to transport by itself - usually in prime time... I'm totally aware that this may only be a small part of reality. The same us average Austrians usually don't wear Lederhosen and candy style Dirndln all day long, and thank goodness there are still some folks left here not consuming that sickly sweet sticky "Volkstümliche Musik" (that they even dare to name it music...), about which I recently learned that it's biggest market is - Asia!

Wanna see something REALLY nasty? Then give it a try on YouTube with e.g. "Die Krone der Volksmusik" or "Die Helene Fischer Show" (and there are many more!). If you feel frighened then and stay awake all night, don't blame me - I warned you!

By the way, as long as SUCH crimes against humanity are still legally allowed, it feels nothing short of ridiculous to scratch ones head about tastelessnesses like AR shows...

Please forgive me, all of you folks - and happy new year!

December 31, 2016 at 01:54 PM · Nuuska, schön gesagt. Grüße aus Stuttgart!

Btw. it's not true that in Germany there are 12 days in the year where eating kraut is prohibited by law.

Happy new year (we are ahead of you)!

December 31, 2016 at 05:10 PM · Among the various reasons I had for giving up the cello some years ago was the happy knowledge that I'd never have to play the bass line of the Pachelbel Canon ever again.

December 31, 2016 at 07:37 PM · Rieu is the Joel Osteen of the violin.

January 1, 2017 at 03:31 PM · I remember seeing my niece watch 'The second Waltz' over and over on her iPad, she loves the costumes and the whole 'Sleeping beauty' feel to everything he does, it's what got her into classical music.

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Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

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