Feast for the Eye, Horror for the Sound: The Grand Master played Schunkel’s classics at the Chemnitz trade fair on Friday. But despite the poor acoustics, it was a fun party.
If you want Rio, get Rio! Even with the delay: Fans had to wait a good two years for the master of classical music to finally be allowed to hold his concert at the packed Chemnitz exhibition center on Friday. He’s almost at the “center of the universe,” he jokes — and his audience is in the bag with his bold style. Accordingly, he was placed in a dense place from the beginning: the Johann Strauss orchestra, which could easily satisfy the women’s quota, marched through the hall in exquisite sissy dresses and elegant tails. After many gray couples who were in the best mood for Shank – but also whole families came: children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren don’t want to miss the Dutch artist’s lavish show.
“Tonight we just want to enjoy the music,” André Rio set the tone—a stern murmured of approval in the hall. Then the fit 71-year-old strummers and behaves – and creates a good atmosphere with funny facial expressions, glasses of champagne and all kinds of orchestral chatter. Even if you’re not a fan of Umtata’s tunes, the three-hour program will put you in the mood: “Schneewaltz” includes La Ola’s choreography, and the front rows are mercilessly showered with artificial chips. Lots of fun and laughter pre-programmed, because half a dozen cameras and detailed live guidance bring the fun to the big screens. Additional TVs have been installed in the stands: the typical Rieu bombast is above all a feast for the eyes.
And what about the ear? Chemnitz gallery hall has long been considered an acoustic hell for sound engineers. And certainly not easy mike more than 60 orchestra musicians. But how the sound can be tampered with in this way remains a mystery: the bass is missing at the bottom, and the upper acoustics are terribly cut off. When three platinum performances come on stage and smash the already dreamy Nesun Dorma, it’s almost borderline physical damage in the front rows. In the back hall, on the other hand, there was no music left due to the sound of applause. My heart aches when world class instrumentalists play music, but unfortunately lobsters are served on paper plates only. Glamorous comedians from Berlin will attend as guests singing “Somewhere in the World” as well as the dead song “Veronika”. On the other hand, the beautiful soprano Anna Majcherczak plays the princess in a fantasy dress and sings “The Phantom of the Opera”. How cool would all this be with the right acoustics!
So be it: When the soft first bars of “An der Schönen Blaue Donau” sound, die-hard Rieu fans know full well that the dancing leg is finally rocking. To Strauss’s assorted waltz, couples walk around in rows, loving glances are exchanged, and there is laughter and applause. You don’t have to love all this kitsch. But in these moments, one feels that Ryo is right despite all the feelings: “Music seems to have a therapeutic effect.” Hence the plentiful swing was short-lived: in Little Richards’ “Tutti Frutti” trumpet and saxophone she was allowed to stand out in the finest jazz style with short solos. Elvis Presley’s “I Can’t Help” is mercilessly smeared with strings, but it’s still fun to sing along to — because beautiful melodies never die. All that’s missing is the racy ‘weekend and sunshine’: yes, dear Andre, that was a great start to the fifties!