André Rieu And His Johann Strauss Orchestra - Happy Days

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Decca CD 5487980 (67’) + DVD (58')

As sure as day follows night, here is the charismatic Dutchman’s annual album selection of our kind of music to brighten the dark days of December and beyond. Needless to say, it immediately shot to the top of the Classic FM best-seller chart. This one is a bit special as it celebrates André’s 70th birthday. The accompanying DVD, shot in André’s “spiritual home” of Vienna, has the present-day King of the Waltz himself explaining the background to his choices for this release.

Among the 20 tracks are Shostakovich’s Second Waltz (60 million clicks on André’s YouTube channel), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Amigos Para Siempre (The official anthem of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics), Johann Strauss II’s Chit-Chat Polka, Leroy Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday, Those Were the Days, I Could Have Danced All Night and With a Little Bit of Luck (from ‘My Fair Lady’), Love Unspoken and Can-Can (from ‘The Merry Widow’), Viva España, Paloma Blanca, Happy Days are Here Again, Come Share the Wine, and Robert Stoltz’s Adieu, Little Captain of My Heart.

Dubbed the ‘maestro of the masses’ by the New York Times, André says that “with this record (sic) I hope to pass on my joy of life that I feel daily to everybody in the whole world. I heartily invite you to celebrate love and life with me.” Our pleasure, I’m sure!

Peter Burt.

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