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2005-12-06 Nijmegen, NL

reviewed by Veronika

Nijmegen is the oldest Dutch town, very beautiful,2000 years old, founded by the Romans, and the inhabitants are happily celebrating the town's anniversary. Nijmegen is sited on the river Waal,and just a few kilometers back, southeast, the same waters are called The Rhine. My Rhine!

I love Nijmegen for the fact that the The Celtic Tenors had a gig there and the Concertgebouw is only about 30 kilometers from our doorstep! Never before did they have a concert so close to my home! It was a big chance to bring friends, neighbours and colleagues. For the last three years I had been promoting the CT music to everyone around me, and last night I could fill nearly a row on the right, and I was very excited if they would all like the show.(Or if likewise I would no longer like any of my friends;-).Helmut and I were the only ones who had already been to CT concerts, for the rest of them it was a first time!

The tenors started the concert with 'Irelands's Call', 'Wild Rover', and several other wellknown songs from CD 1. If you know me you'll know that I never remember the order of the songs, and the last thing I'd do in a CT concert is make a list or think in any numerical dimensions. I just sit and enjoy and forget everything and everyone around me.I don't want to miss any note they sing. I am Sponge Celt and let the music float into myself and every bit of me!

So with 'Ireland's Call' the fluid in my veins that is known to be Rhinewater turned warmer and warmer in the old familiar way and I felt nice and cosy and happy and refreshed and fit as a fiddle before the four proud provinces were even named. One last look left and right: Happy faces all around! And quick, eyes back to the stage!

Niall was just holding up his shoe again, explaining why his shoes were not shining and brandnew like the shoes of the other two. He was wearing an older, wider pair, because he had twisted his (right?) ankle, he demonstrated his taped foot, ------------------------ and didn't I know I'd by now hear you all sigh sympathetically Ohhhhhhhh, poor Niall! A little bit more sympathy, please: Ohhhhh, poooooooooor Niall! That's better!

He really had pain and was not able to balance out on both feet, which I believe is most important to be able to do for a singer, an operatic singer! We are all pampering your ankle, Niall, hoping you'll be completely fit again very soon! Gute Besserung! Hopefully the Mainzerins, Dutchess and Shammy, are singing: Heile, heile, Gänschen. This is bound to be effectful.

Well, no Caruso in Nijmegen! Yet, what I heard from Niall - 'You raise me up', 'Non siamo Isole' and all his other parts: Milk and Honey it was, Milk and Honey, and as ever just to melt away, to forgive your worst enemy, to forget the tax return and leave father and mother behind....

I remember the tenors singing 'Brindisi' from La Traviata and 'Remember Me'before the interval, and the first part was over before you could think.....much too quick. Everyone of my little group was enjoying the show and they were all surprised in a positive way and impressed how the tenors' personalities were coming along so well down from the stage into everyone's heart!The men enjoyed it just as much as the ladies, our friend Rainer would like to see them right again, our music teacher Barbara was bringing a good feeling in her tummy even to school this morning, my neighbour Steffi and her sister have to live with their goose pimples from three voices from yesterday on, my Hubby is feeling much better again after his first night out after being very ill. And I don't have to tell you how I was feeling ..... forgiven and forgotten everything and having left behind my home and hearth.....

In the beginning of the show the sound in the venue was not perfectly adjusted, and James mentioned later that he was not completely happy with the sound: I tell you, James, if there was anything disturbing the sound, it must have been my heartbeat. It was beating faster and faster as after the interval the lads and Deirdre were growing and growing into toptoptop form.They started part two with 'Mull Of Kintyre', the first song I ever heard by the CT, and I was carried away again, Deirdre did her 'Once in a very blue moon' with the black vocalists, Phil the Fluter this time proudly presented a Widow Cafferty like the world has never seen one! James must be exhausted after the hard and long Canadian Tour,too, but he must have just left in his pocket! He was amazing! His voice was brilliant and he was charming and topfit and witty! As they were introducing themselves in the beginning Matthew mentioned the Book of Kells, and that he was from the place called Kells, and James added: and his father wrote the book! And James was going on and on like that.

The audience! I think it was nice! There were several standing ovations in the end.But you know: I did not see much of the audience, as I mentioned above. John, you wanted to know if there was a dry eye after Deirdre and Matthew sang The Prayer: I don't know, I really don't know about the others! My eyes were dry, as my tears always sit in my throat and steal away my voice. and the devil may get me if I ever cry when I see Matthew! No tears and nothing should ever obstruct my sight when I have a chance to see Matthew!! And, just between the two of us oldies: 'My' Prayer when I see Matthew is a constant: Thank you God Almighty that I am old and wise and not 25 and foolish.Thank you God Almighty that I am old and wise and not 25 and foolish.Thank you God....but, John shhhhhhhh, shhhhhh, my little prayer is Veronika's secret and just between the two of us!

I have to come to an end, friends! But you see, it is the same every time,I get carried away. I have not yet told you that we heard 'Stille Nacht, Silent Night' and 'O Holy Night' . It is the most beautiful moment in the christmas time to have the pleasure and honour to listen to James, Niall and Matthew singing these two songs.....it leaves nothing, nothing, nothing, or as Mare puts it: nuffing to be desired. Heaven is the state you're in!

'Danny Boy' was beautiful as ever, but deserves to be mentioned again: Beautiful! For the encores they sang 'White Christmas' and 'All Out Of Love'(WOWWWWWWWW).

At one point in the second half Niall was announcing a song from a beautiful country holding 70% of the rain, and they sang 'Caledonia', and before they did, I was dreaming Niall said they dedicated it to Veronika.I must have been dreaming! But if I was not, this made me the happiest little melt away puddle of Rhinewater on this continent.

Thank you James, Niall and Matthew, Deirdre and David and Martin, for a beautiful concert. You raised me up and made me happy, and my thanks are also on behalf of Helmut, Barbara and Karl, Traute and Rainer, Hannelore and another Helmut, Steffi and Michaela, now living with the goose pimples.

Much, much love, and looking forward to see you again soon, maybe next week?