I was listening to this just now and it reminded me that in December I have tickets to see Andre Rieu in concert at the O2 in London. I am so looking forward to it. Rieu isn’t to everyone’s taste but to me he epitomizes what music ought to be about. Music is about entertainment and enjoyment, and anything that promotes that is absolutely to be encouraged. I have seen many Andre Rieu concerts via the medium of Sky Arts and I have always got the impression that they are about having a huge amount of fun. Yes, Classical music is a serious business but it should also be about fun. If it isn’t it becomes the staid medium of the boring and terminally short of joie de vivre.
Strauss was writing dance music in the 19th Century, in some ways he was analogous to DJ’s and MC’s nowadays. These were in effect the club tunes of their day. This was about having fun letting your hair down and dancing. It should be fun, too often classical music is over reverentialised and it really shouldn’t be. Of course there are limits but from what I’ve seen Andre Rieu knows that to engage people with out of date music you have to put on a show. More power to his fiddle arm I say!!