HEIDELBERG, September 18~19, 2009

Friday September 18th 2009
By Ineke

Ruud and I traveled about seven hours by tram, train and taxi from our home in The Hague, the Netherlands, to our hotel in Heidelberg, Germany (in the district of Baden). We passed through Cologne, where we'll attend the New Years concert on January 1st 2010. We had to change trains three times, but the German High Speed Trains are very comfortable, so it was a joy to travel with beautiful sunny Autumn weather and beautiful landscapes outside.

We arrived in Heidelberg just in time to attend the sound check at 5 pm. A few of the ladies in the orchestra still had rollers in their hair (I think Freya and Jennifer). On Thursday there was a dress rehearsal and we heard it was very amusing, as usual.

The venue for the Heidelberg concert was a small square, named Kornmarkt (Grain market) in front of the Town Hall, which formed a natural romantic decorum. Frank's mobile carillon was placed on the balcony of the Town Hall.

We had already met a few German fans including Beate Gundler who was in our hotel. We spent two enjoyable days with Helma, Uschi, Elke and Nino Freitag, Biggi and Petra. Peggy was also there, and to our surprise we ran into Torben and Kirsten Esbensen, from Denmark. Like us, they also traveled for seven hours by train from Denmark! Another surprise was the presence of Alice and Dan Lycan, all the way from the USA! Dan (the bannerman) brought no banners this time, but he provided us with the printed lyrics of the Heidelberg song, in German and in English! It was great to meet them all.

André had based the program on this well known song, "I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg". Of course he also made the connection of Students and University, since Heidelberg is Germany's oldest University town. He also played a few more German songs, also known in Holland. Before the concert started, nice ladies were selling chocolate hearts. The benefits went to the regional music school, to purchase new instruments for the pupils. We found another specialty in the shops, "Student's Kisses" (also chocolates). So everything in Heidelberg has to do with hearts and (student's) kisses! No concert programs were sold, so we had to write down the program for you.

Entering the concert we were welcomed by ladies offering the audience glasses of champagne. Well, I believe it was either Italian Prosecco or German sekt, but the gesture felt very nice. The square had 600 seats and a few rows of standing places were added. So that brought the audience up to a total of 850. We were lucky to have tickets for seats in row 6. The streets leading up to the square were also filled with people.

A surprise was a harmony singing group of five men, from Berlin. They sang a naughty song about a girl named Veronica, "Spring has come and the asparagus grows”, very funny!

Half way through the second soft and tender song (André's favorite) "Somewhere in the world must be a little bit of happiness", we heard the wailing sirens of paramedics coming closer and closer to the square! André stopped the Berlin Singers. Such a thing can happen during live performances! We don't know what happened, it was somewhere behind the square, but one of André's production team (Pierre?) went there and after awhile André got the sign that he could continue. No more sirens. He started the song again, it was really beautiful!

Mirusia was very funny in a traditional German dress (yellow), singing a song from our youth (I remember Connie Frobus from the 1950s) about two Italian lovers. During the song Franco and Vincenzo both tried to draw her attention, acting jealous and ended up in a kind of a fight ...

After the intermission, Mirusia, in a fantastic blue dress, sang the wonderful and touching song, "Within Me Sounds a Song". The first standing ovation of the night was for her. I had goose pimples and we saw that André was also touched.

Time went by too fast. After the Radetzky March and the confetti canons, he played encores for another half an hour. André brought the concert to an end at 10.45 pm with the Brahms lullaby.

We finished the night with a drink at an outdoor café terrace with some fan friends.

SATURDAY, September 19th 2009

Today another beautiful day. We went sightseeing throughout Heidelberg, and up the hill on the cable car to visit the Castle. From above, we had a wide view overlooking the town and the river Neckar. We could see the Grain Market with the stage and the light poles, and over in the next square were the tents of André's catering service. To our surprise a group of jolly good fellows passed by. We knew them! They were also roaming around the castle. Downtown again, we visited the center of Heidelberg with narrow little streets, big churches, medieval houses and cobble stone pavement.

SECOND CONCERT ... again champagne, same program but, a much more enthusiastic audience! We noticed that right from the beginning. A standing ovation for the three tenors and more standing ovations, long before the intermission ... Wonderful! Béla told a joke about a recipe with "tenor brains". He had seen it on a restaurant's menu card. I will not spoil the joke by telling it. The Eurovision TV will air this "special" in October and afterwards a DVD will be released. Frank played on the Carillion and also together with Marcel Falize "Circus Renz", with the smoke ... As usual, the wind section made a mess out of some pieces.

During this concert somewhere close by, a car honked once. André stopped again and started the song all over. All during the 30 minutes of the encores, the audience kept standing, clapping, cheering, and whistling. It was a wonderful experience.

After the concert we again had a drink and a chat, to let the adrenaline subside. We had an unforgettable weekend in Heidelberg with wonderful friends. Another pearl is added to our string of great André concerts/events with fan friends.




.. ..

.. ..

Heidelberg Concert Program

76 trombones
(Espana Cani (bull song))
I lost my heart in Heidelberg (Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren)
Drinking song
Claudiamus Digitus (student's song)
La Danza
Gold und Silber
Julitza aus Budapest
Concerto d'Aranjuez
Lonely little Bell (Einsam klinkt das kleine Glöckchen)
Circus Renz
My fair lady (I could have danced all night)


Veronica (Berlin Comedian Harmoniums)
A little bit of happiness (Berlin Comedian Harmoniums) Irgendwo auf den Welt gibt's ein bisschen Glück.
Sailor Song (dass ist die Liebe der Matrozen) by Berlin Comedian Harmoniums.
Mirusia: I lost my heart in Heidelberg
Two little Italians (Zwei kleine Italiener)
Volga Song
Lorelei Song (Ich weiss nicht was soll es bedeuten)
Heide Rösslein (German song)
Hoch auf den gelben Wagen (German song)
Mein Hut,er hat drie Ecken (German song)
Varia (Lustig ist das Zigeuner Leben) German song about Gypsy's life
Mirusia: Within me sounds a song (In mir klinkt ein Lied)
An der schönen blauen Neckar
Alle Menschen werden Brüder (Ode to Joy)
Radetzky March

Strauss and Co
Amazing Grace (Manoe on the bagpipe)
Adieu, kleine Garden Offizier
Good Night (Brahms Lullaby)