There's no denying André Rieu's rock star status. The modern day "Waltz King" is among the top 10 global touring artists, having grossed $100 million in ticket sales in 2009 alone - not far behind sales from recent rock tours like those of Lady Gaga, U2 or AC/DC. Now, Rieu's international release Forever Vienna, is finally available in the United States. The Dutch violinist has reignited a passion for this three-quarter time dance as no one since the Strauss Dynasty in 19th century Vienna. Forever Vienna captures the magic of Rieu's live concert spectacular - the resplendent staging of his beautiful Johann Strauss Orchestra, the big-screen camera shots of the maestro conducting as he plays along (just as Strauss Jr.) and the audience vying for space in the isles to join in the dance.
These arrangements on Forever Vienna are Rieu's own, creatively packing the most beloved Strauss melodies such as "The Blue Danube," "Vienna Blood," and the "Radetzky March" into this joyous collection.
"I want to give classical music back to the people, where it belongs," explained Rieu. "Mozart composed his music not for the elite, but for everybody. He was a fantastic, lively guy; he was drinking and having fun in life and being a genius at the same time."
Classical music snobs be muted. Rieu has touched the hearts of the masses, resurrecting the waltz craze dormant for a century. Sometimes one must get out of the way and let the music speak for itself.