André Rieu & his Johann Strauss Orchestra performing at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Thursday 23rd March 2017

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

No friend of subtlety and absolutely no bedfellow of modesty, the violinist and conductor André  Rieu is one of the world’s best selling artists and last night it was a packed Motorpoint Arena who witnessed a rescheduled show after the original December date was cancelled when an orchestra member sadly passed away.

To the sound of 76 Trombones, Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra marched their way through the enthusiastic crowd, in the process encouraging a spontaneous clap along.

With a stage complete with flowers, ornate gilded music stands, and a huge panoramic backdrop showing stunning scenes of Austrian Woodlands and Bavarian Castles, it became a kaleidoscope of colours with the men in full dress suits and tails and the women in ball gowns lavish enough to make a Disney princess envious.

Throughout an evening of pure musical entertainment, Rieu brought a wide variety of brilliant musicians and singers from all over the world and the strong camaraderie between them was evident for all to see. With every member having a part to play there was the clarinettist who seemed particularly exuberant, the flautist getting his moment in the spotlight but taken to task with a rather large mallet by his neighbour on the oboe, whilst an enthusiastic sway from a trumpeter resulted in a near comedic stage dive.

Including some popular songs, rousing marches, wonderful waltzes and soaring arias, Rieu was joined by The Platin Tenors for a lovely You Are My Hearts Delight, and the female soloists for a spine tingling You’ll Never Walk Alone. The infectious Blue Danube was a crowd pleaser whilst the dramatic finale of Ravel’s Bolero saw the percussionists pounding the rhythm on their drums.

There was an epic encore with everyone on stage for a subliminal Hallelujah, a boogie woogie of Tutti Frutti and with the small torches supplied, the Arena was lit up for a lovely Can’t Help Falling In Love.

With a real knack for making his concerts musically compelling and rich in entertainment, Rieu with his engaging and self deprecating humour had charmed the pants of this appreciative crowd.