the awesome andre
We had spent the day sight seeing in the nation's capitol, working our way through the crowds at the Washington Monument, standing in long lines at the National Archives, along with the 500,000 boy scouts who were jamboreeing for the week.
At the end of a very long day, we collapsed on the steps of the capitol building. The balmy breezes from the Potomac calmed our bodies, the music from the U.S. military band calmed our souls. "A Night in Vienna" was the theme for the evening and the strains of Strauss filled the night air as darkness came on the city. That night I fell in love with Strauss.
I had not heard live Strauss for nearly 16 years....until last night. My friend, Renee, and I had tickets to hear Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss orchestra. It was a tremendous night....not only Strauss but Italian opera, "Memories" from Cats, Celtic tunes played on a tin whistle, the evening held it all.
Perhaps the highlight was watching tiny, white-haired couples gingerly making their way out of the bleacher seats to waltz to the lilting echoes of "The Blue Danube." In another time, these dancers, these old lovers, would wear tuxdoes and floor length dresses that swish to the beat of the orchestra. Last night they donned polyester and pink shoes....it was wonderful.
Andre himself held everyone in the palm of his hand. Flowing tails and curls, he made his violin weep, sing, and fly. Leading his musicians and standing audience as we sang the "Hallelujah Chorus" and thanking American for liberating Europe 60 years ago, his violin cried out "America the Beautiful."
It was a grand evening.