Joep Franssens (1955)
Harmony of the spheres : cycle in five movements for mixed choir and string orchestra (2001)
Netherlands Chamber Choir
Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Tõnu Kaljuste
Dedicated to Tõnu Kaljuste and the Nederlands Kamerkoor
Joep Franssens is a Dutch composer. He studied piano in Groningen, and composition in the Hague and Rotterdam with Louis Andriessen and Klaas de Vries respectively. He is representative of the post-serial generation of Dutch composers who use tonal means and an accessible idiom without neo-Romantic features, even if the pathos-laden, highly emotional nature of his music appears to contradict this endeavour. In his works, which consist of chamber music and choral and orchestral works, Franssens aims at a synthesis of monumentality and euphony and is initially guided by J.S. Bach and the Ligeti of Lontano and Atmosphères. Later a trend towards radical austerity becomes apparent under the influence of American minimalist music, East European mysticism (e.g. Pärt) and the symphonic pop music of the 1970s, culminating in the static diatonicism of the ensemble work Dwaallicht (1989) and the serene counterpoint of Sanctus for orchestra (1996, rev. 1999). The instrumentation increasingly shows a preference for warm, luxuriant colours.