Everything is in place. The costumes are festive. The wedding couple takes center aisle. The debutantes are paired off, ceremoniously dancing to perfection. And the Maestro is in fine form. As the great master of ceremonies, he conducts his orchestra, the audience, and the performances superbly. With suave smoothness and good humor, he has seldom hosted a better, more tightly themed evening.
But something went wrong. Unfortunately, whenever the camera shifts around it sticks on images, showing a sort of stagnant catch of every subject, leaving jarring, blurred shots--not unlike 'Andre Rieu - The Homecoming' DVD. Pit Weyrich directed it, and Hans Penders was the senior editor. Something happened on the way to shooting and processing the DVD, and like a perfect wedding with pictures that don't turn out right, we feel that the event has somehow been marred.
And that's a shame really. Most of the selections rarely repeat other DVD outings (except for the perennial 'Blue Danube,' which Rieu and company continue to do ad nauseum--even if it is a classic waltz. How many times can you laugh when he stops the piece and leaves the dancers awkwardly in a lurch?). Australian singer Mirusia Louwerse performs one of the outstanding highlights with his orchestra, and The Platin Tenors as well as Carmen Monarcha provide familiar brilliance. The pacing, overall, is vivacious and entertaining. I am particularly glad my version has a CD to go with the DVD. How can you go wrong with that?!
I was hard pressed to rate this DVD two stars, but I feel many will find the DVD to be too distracting as a visual experience. The defects are only noticeable when the camera moves around, so it remains still during most of the performances. For diehard Andre Rieu fans, this night of "Dancing Through the Skies" is a must, but most people will be better off buying the CD and renting the DVD first to see if it is worth buying later.
Selections: 1. Wiener Melange 2. The Wedding March/ Hochzeitsmarsch 3. Hoch sollen sie leben 4. Vienna Blood/ Wiener Blut 5. Plaisir D'Amour 6. Figaro Cavatina 7. Dancing Through the Skies/ Ich tanze mit dir in den Himmel hinein 8. E Lucevan Le Stelle 9. I'm off to Chez Maxim/ Da geh' ich zu Maxim 10. Espana Cani 11. I Hear The Sound of Cymbals/ Hor ich Cymbalklange 12. Wer uns getraut 13. You and You Waltz/ Du and Du 14. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again 15. All I Ask of You 16. The Beautiful Blue Danube/ An der schonen blauen Donau 17. Radetzky March/ Radetzkymarsch 18. Strauss & Co. 19. Adieu, Little Captain of My Heart/ Adieu, mein kleiner Gardeoffizier 20. Dancing Through the Skies/ Ich tanze mit dir in den Himmel hinein
(The CD has fifteen of the twenty selections. The last five on the DVD listing are omitted from the C.D.) I apologize for the lack of proper markings on the foreign portion of the titles.