Looks like Andre Rieu will have a Brexit #1

Looks like Andre Rieu will have a Brexit #1


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2020

The UK anti-Brexit movement is urging Remainers to download the European Union anthem Ode to Joy in Andre Rieu’s version as a gesture of defiance at our imminent departure.

The track has leaped from #48 in the downloads chart on Sunday, to #24 yesterday, to #2 this morning.

The Dutch bandmaster, as ever, manages to turn a dross arrangement into gold.

I hadn’t heard this adaptation before. I hope it makes the EU very happy for a very long time to come.



  • Simon Funnell says:

    There are some things even I won’t do to show my support for the EU.

  • Peter B says:

    The horror. The horror.

  • M McAlpine says:

    So this means ‘All men shall be brothers’ only applies to those in the EU? Americans, Canadians, Chinese et al excluded?

    • Gustavo says:

      You’ve got your Commonwealth to celebrate.

      Take the same anthem. Ludwig and Friedrich won’t mind, they’re universal.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    He ought to put his fiddle down when not playing. All that shaking will do it no good

  • Araragi says:

    There are many good reasons to be a Leaver. This may be the best.

  • Gustavo says:


    Remain in European Union!

  • Gustavo says:

    Only Anne-Sophie could have done better.

  • Paul Joschak says:

    Brexit hero Dominic Frisby’s “17 Million F-Offs” is the go-to choice for all democrats – an arrangement of Widecombe Fair (Uncle Tom Cobley And All). Currently in second place on Amazon Music…And all profits go to Help For Heroes.

  • Paul Joschak says:

    Apologies. Profits go to the Maggie Oliver Foundation for victims of child rape gangs (according to Guido Fawkes website)

  • IC225 says:

    I imagine the number of people who are still throwing a tantrum over Brexit is probably quite close to the number of people who still care what
    song is No.1.

    All those years laughing at swivel-eyed Eurosceptics with their weird, faintly tragic obsession with passport colours, flags and obscure abstract principles. Funny to think that from now on it’ll be the Euromaniacs who fill the same role. Two sides of the same coin. Most people will continue paying no attention at all, I suspect. Hope they enjoy their Andre Rieu, anyway. Maybe he can do a Disney medley as an encore?

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Except Britain has left without any real coherent plan of what comes next. Just shouting at the EU “we’re British” isn’t really a policy. Unfortunately, the EU will dominate British government policy for the foreseeable future, regardless of what people like you think. Britain will continuously have to decide how to engage with their powerful neighbour; and that engagement will mean there is very little room for making independent policy choices.

  • CYM says:

    Horrific !
    Beethoven’s deafness is a blessing, so he won’t hear this massacre and turn forever in his grave.

    • George says:

      I love the whole 9th Symphony, and all other Beethoven Symphonies, too, but I also like this arrangement. When you hear it live, it’s actually quite impressive. It’s a different arrangement, nothing more, nothing less.

      PS: “I think it’s better for people to turn around in their graves than to rest forever”. Karl Lagerfeld

      • CYM says:

        So, no difference between: Trash – Pretty bad – OK – Pretty good – Very good – Sublime ???

        • George says:

          Yes, but what’s trash and what’s sublime s highly personal.
          I go to the Vienna Philharmonic to be impressed by Mahler, Beethoven, Mozart.
          I go to an André Rieu concert to have a fun relaxed, romantic night. I am aware that for most people it is one or the other.

          • CYM says:

            MacDonald is trash; A 3-Stars French restaurant is not trash.
            That’s not a personal view..
            – Lets look at the Grammys : more than 200 honored in Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Country, Disco, Heavy Metal etc…
            – Less than 20 honored in Classical, Opera, Jazz, Chamber Music, World Music etc…
            – Is there no differences anymore ?

          • Sue Sonata Form says:

            There in money in “fun”.

  • Gustavo says:

    This is the version to be remembered…

    (nicer occasion than Brexit)


  • V.Lind says:

    I never understand people like Rieu. He is clearly a highly-trained musician. What does he think people will not accept about the real thing? The cello? The solo voice? A tempo that’s not sped-up 4/4 throughout?

    Even something like this is better, as it clearly emanates from a genuine love of music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBaHPND2QJg

    And the sort of enthusiasm I see in the young children watching gives me hope that there really is a future for real music. It almost wipes out the almost bovine response I see to Rieu’s version, which just makes me angry.

    • George says:

      “What does he think people will not accept about the real thing?”

      His concept is different, his concerts are different from regular symphonic concerts.I don’t see any harm in this, on the contrary. Let people enjoy it. He’s build a full orchestra from the scratch, provides work to hundreds of people, without getting one penny from the goverment etc. And more over he brings joy to millions of people, some of whom will just never ever go to a classical concert because the atmosphere and the audience intimidates them. He took a huge risk and managed to suceed.

      If you want to see the real thing there are many, many other possibilities to do so.

  • pjl says:

    hard to believe his father was a genuine serious musician; he makes Willi Boskovsky seem like Furtwangler

  • Steven van Staden says:

    They have no taste police?

  • Willymh says:

    My goodness there are a lot of broom handles that have disappeared on this one!

  • Una says:

    And what about us Brexiteers? Download ‘Here we go, here we go, here we go-oh!’

  • BrianB says:

    Andre Rieu? Are you serious? Anyway, thanks for the bit of satire.

  • Miko says:

    Musical gammon!
    Looking forward to seeing you seethe and sizzle with outrage at the last night of the proms 2020. I promise you there will be more EU flags than ever.

  • Diction Police says:

    No expression at all and they mispronounce Elysium! Roll over Beethoven!