An Extraordinary UK Premiere at Queen Anne’s for Joep Franssens

Wednesday 25th October 2017

On Tuesday 3 October, Queen Anne’s School hosted the UK premiere of The Gift of Song by Joep Franssens – a composition for two pianos: one pre-recorded and one live. The work was performed by Anita D’Attellis with Joep Franssens present at the concert.

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Although Joep Franssens’ multi-faced musical style does not make it easy to classify him, he is often regarded as the Dutch representative of the so called New Spirituality in the Netherlands. In his music Franssens aims to express the Universal; his sources of inspiration are to be found amongst writers and philosophers like Fernando Pessoa and Baruch de Spinoza. In a rich tonal language his music evokes strong emotions by the public, both unacquainted with contemporary classical music as well as specialised listeners.

The performance of The Gift of Song by Anita D’Attellis was extraordinary. Anita demonstrated musicianship of the highest order and incredible technical virtuosity . Before Joep’s work, Anita performed Steve Rich’s Piano Counterpoint – an arrangement by Vincent Carver of Reich’s Six Pianos; this work also involves pre-recorded material and live piano writing.

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The evening was very well received. It was an amazing privilege to hear these two seminal works being performed by Anita.

A massive thanks to Joep Franssens, Anita D’Attellis and Alec Boulton (sound engineer). A special mention to Alec who was responsible for over 25 hours of recording and editing of the pre-recorded material. To have Joep present at the concert was also a privilege; he will now have a deep association with Queen Anne’s with hopefully further performances of his music.

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