Brexit joy: Andre Rieu has Britain’s top single

Brexit joy: Andre Rieu has Britain’s top single


norman lebrecht

January 30, 2020

We warned you no good would come of Brexit.


Andre Rieu’s version of Beetjoven’s Ode to Joy is this morning top of the iTunes UK singles chart.

Read how it all happened here.



  • George says:

    LOL :-))))

  • Perhaps, since this ghastly recording has only made it to its top position because it is being used as a political statement, Mr Rieu might consider donating his royalties to charity. And that goes for the companies involved in the recording too.

    • George says:

      Pfff, artists hardly make money from downloads and streaming, especially not classical musicians.

      Rieu just donated 425.000 Euros in December to children’s music education in his home region. I saw a Slipped disc article from last month about this.

    • Karl says:

      He generates more to charity than almost anyone I know. I’m not a fan of his music but I am a fan of his philanthropy.

  • IC225 says:

    Glorious irony. The “Europe” we all think we love = Abbado, Kaufmann, Bartoli, Barenboim…

    The EU as it actually is = Andre Rieu.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Andre Rieu brings a huge amount of pleasure to a great many people. You’ve only got to watch 15 minutes from one of those mega-spectacles of his to see that. People dancing, drinking wine, locking arms and swaying, looking longingly into each other’s eyes, smiling and laughing. There’s not very much wrong with that and AR has developed the business model to make himself very rich. But he supports full time musicians with regular work and is loyal to his performers. On top of that he donates money to music schools.

      I don’t see anything wrong with any of it, but it is ‘light music’ of the type we used to hear from other famous light musicians from the past. These audiences are not going to make the transition over to the concert hall and I’m not sure I want them to, since it would result in less adventurous programming – which is a bit of a problem already.

      • V.Lind says:

        As I understood it, ” ‘light music’ of the type we used to hear from other famous light musicians from the past” was indeed “light music” — familiar bits from Rossini or Bizet or even their betters, not bastardised versions of important works.

        You are endorsing dumbing down. You are not entirely wrong about people enjoying it etc., but were you not advocating the other day some author who despised the death of culture in America? Dumbing down is accepting the ersatz for the real because you are no longer able to tell the difference. That is what has led us to the fake news environment of today and to the dumbest moron ever to inhabit the Oval Office (leader in a crowded field, if you remember back to the start of the century). It is what has led to triggering and safe spaces and no-platforming and snowflakery and the utter inability to participate in critical argument — these people who refuse to accept ANY difference of opinion from their own because they see it as oppression and insult, not as debate and dialogue.

        It starts with reducing everything to bite-sized pieces. The nation that brought you McDonald’s deluded millions into believing that this was tasty and nutritious food — which ANYONE who has been brought up on real food knows is not true. The sort of concert experience you understand is true of rock concerts and Sinatra concerts back in the day. But Sinatra and the Stones and the others are authentic. What Andre Rieu does, despite the pleasure it may give, is essentially empty calories — it is dishonest.

      • Callas says:

        Very true. If you look at the aftermovie from his Christmas concerts this December, it seems there‘s a huge energy going on and people of all ages, including kids, come to his concerts from all over the world.

        • Brian viner says:

          You can take your grandmother and grandchildren to his shows they will enjoy it . They may not enjoy bartok piano concerto no 1
          His gigs are fun