Roaring Rotterdam, Harmony…., Magnificat
Luister 31-08-2008
Frits Ham

CD-review: Joep Franssens
By Frits Ham in Luister, August 31st, 2008

[…] ” [Franssens’] choral cycle Harmony of the Spheres, of which the first section can be heard here, has brought him international recognition. Twenty-four members of the Nederlands Kamerkoor sing a cappella long-held chords, whose harmonies are constantly changing, on text extracts from the Ethica of Spinoza. The work which the composer entitled Magnificat has nothing to do with the song of praise to the Virgin Mary. It is a song of praise, but about overwhelming nature and the insignificance of man confronted by it – a setting of poems by Fernando Pessoa.
The performances of Franssens’ repetitive, obsessive music given at live concerts by the Nederlands Kamerkoor, the Netherlands Radio Choir and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra sound particularly inspired. The recordings are certainly acceptable, though, especially during the a cappella music, some extremely annoying contributions from the audience can be heard.”