Liner Note Author: André Rieu.
Photographers: Pierre Rieu; Govert de Roos; Gregor Ramaekers.
André Rieu is simply the most commercially successful classical musician in history. The charismatic violinist and conductor (he conducts the orchestra with great energy, verve, and visual effect using his 1732 Stradivarius) has sold more than 30 million albums, and his tours consistently gross at pop superstar levels. His 2011 world tour was massive in scope, and the stage came complete with a replica of the Viennese Schönbrunn Palace, several fountains, and two ice skating rinks, making it the biggest stage to date in the world. For this holiday set, which was recorded and filmed on a massive winter wonderland stage in Rieu's hometown of Maastricht, Holland, Rieu delivers (along with his Johann Strauss Orchestra) a two-hour Christmas spectacular. Ever the entrepreneur, Rieu has released the show on CD, as a two-hour DVD concert, and edited, as a one-hour television special. Among the highlights nestled in among versions of "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Silver Bells," and "White Christmas" is a new Rieu composition, "December Lights," one of the highlights of this fun and festive set. ~ Steve Leggett