Sample Music Concert Review Paper on André Rieu & Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd

Venue Romania

Source YouTube

The Lonely Shepherd

Composer: James Last

Ensembles: Johann Strauss Orchestra

Performer: Andre Rieu, violin & Gheorghe Zamfir, flute

Conductor: Andre Rieu


The concert I will review in this paper is a 5-minute performance of the Lonely Shepherd by Andre Rieu and Gheorghe Zamfir at a concert hall in Romania in 2017. The first ten seconds of the set begin with Zamfir playing his flute solo with a piano playing in the background.[1] This gives the performance a monophonic texture. When Andre Rieu and the orchestra join in, they continue to play the same notes and rhythms, perpetuating the monophonic texture. This monohonic texture augments the title Lonely Shepherd and part of the audience can be seen crying from all the emotions this performance evokes. It has a sad and lonely feel to it and the performers do well to bring it out.


The sound of the performance is propulsive and buoyant. I favor historic performance as much as the next person but there is definitely a gain in hearing it played by a good orchestra. The orchestra, flute and violin performers make most of their strength with a theme that bristles with confidence, timpani and brass, keeping the sound propulsive and buoyant. The bamboo pan flute consisting of a series of tube, each sounding an individual note are fastened together. The flute produces haunting, ethereal sounds, making it nearly impossible to execute up-tempo passages. It produces a sort of tranquil and slow mood music. Like the texture, the sound of the performance amplifies the theme of loneliness. Listening to this performance, it is easy to picture a lonely shepherd on a hill somewhere as he plays his flute to his sheep. It is no wonder that part of the audience are in tears during the performance[2]. The sound of the flute accompanied by the violin and piano create a slow and tranquil mood.


The performance was in harmony from the individual sounds to the way they were collectively blended. At first, Zamfir is playing the flute, producing ethereal and haunting sounds. Then he is joined by the orchestra and Andre Rieu whose tone is soft and sort of blends with the tempo of the flute. There are simultaneously occurring pitches and frequencies during the performance. I can’t remember the last time I heard music playing so sensually beautiful, classy and silky. And as stated by, “the chords are not simply following each other but forming a larger unit that leads toward a goal.”[3]


The stage is lit in bright fluorescent light while the audience is in dark lighting. This give the audience a clear view of the performance on stage. The members of the orchestra are dressed in historic gowns that give the performance a historic feel.[4] There is an image of hills in the background of the stage to give the sense of a shepherd on a hill somewhere.


The classical concert was perhaps the most emotional piece of music I have watched in a long time. The slow and tranquil mood elicited by the sound of the flute couple with the harmony from all the instruments made the performance very emotional. The Sound, texture and harmony of the performance also kept the loneliness theme which was in sync with tittle of the classical piece-Lonely Shepherd. Part of the audience can be seen crying and it is no wonder because the performance was emotional.

7) What social factors influenced the work

The social factors that influenced the work are the lives of people living in the historic times when shepherding was still a source of livelihood. Shepherds were mostly from the lower class and had to go to far away lands to find pasture. This piece is celebrating and depicting the life of a lonely shepherd out in the field with his flute to keep him company.

8) What influence does the piece have on society

This emotional performance by Zamfir, Rieu and the Strauss Orchestra has a social impact on the audience in that it shines light on how the other half lives. The Lonely Shepherd demonstrates the alienation of people living in poverty. They are separated from the affluent and sometimes from the world itself because they have no means with which to keep up. This piece is perhaps a wake-up call to people to come to the rescue of the lonely shepherd and bring him back to civilization.



Andre Rieu. “André Rieu & Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd,” YouTube, 5:39,    December 26, 2017,

Campbell, Michael. Popular Music in America: The Beat Goes On. Boston: Cengage, 2018

[1] Andre Rieu, “André Rieu & Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd.”

[2] Andre Rieu, “André Rieu & Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd.”

[3] Michael Campbell, Popular Music in America: The Beat Goes On. (Boston: Cengage, 2018), 13

[4] Andre Rieu, “André Rieu & Gheorghe Zamfir – The Lonely Shepherd.”