Variaties Op Een Dame/Gevecht Met De Engel (2CD)

Budget price but nicely slipcased 2CD set from this superb acoustic progressive band from Netherlands.  Set includes "Variaties Op Een Dame" and "Gevecht Meet De Engel"

"The Year 1978 , one of the most productive years of Progressive music in Europe . Specially in Italy , Netherlands , France , Germany ,Greece & Belgium . During my trips to these countries , i've discovered bands like Sensation's Fix , Machiavel , Parzival , Can , New Trolls , PFM , Banco , le Orme , PLJ band , and so many others . Surely i had also the first album released by Flairck in 1978 by hazard , from amsterdam airport , i really liked the sleeve cover first , THEN , back to Lebanon the same day , had a special flavour in my life . This album was & still the best progressive work i've ever heard in 40 years . I have no words to describe such beauty , except it was the first & the last interresting & excellent work by Flairck . Still i'm not disappointed by some of their works during 30 years . This instrumental album full of harmonies & new musical inspirations is a must for all proggers , it contains maybe the first trips in fusion between Classical / jazz / rock / blues & folk . Varieties is a real complete journey between these genres of music in a perfect globe . Tracks are all amazing , they have the same value , and i can't skip anyone . Erik Vesser was really accurate in selecting these songs , specially Variations on a lady (21 minutes) & Voorspel in Sofia , these two tracks are amazing & adorable , it's a progressive rock music played by essential classical equipments . this album took more than two years in the making , but got a perfect recognition all over Europe , specially in France / Belgium / Italy / , and went Platinium in Netherlands . So , if you haven't discover this magnificient Dutch band yet dear proggers , this is the right place to start with Flairck ( Variations on a lady ) 5 Stars for musicianship , 5 stars for all songs included , 5 stars for the technic used in combining Classical - Folk - blues - jazz & rock , and 5 stars for the sleeve cover . One of my best 10 albums ever , and a Masterpiece of progressive music , suit yourselves and Enjoy this wonderful piece of art . Highly Recommended " - ProgArchives

"I'm not too much of a folk fan but this band from Holland has always been at the top of my folk charts. Their ambitious compositions and instrumental craftsmanship have a drive and timeless quality that could charm folkies, lovers of classical music and progrock fans alike. Next to the brothers Visser on acoustic guitars and Peter Weekers on flutes, the band is completed with Sylvia Houtzager on violin. Her name translates to 'Sawyer' in English so playing the violin must have been her born destination. The band would continue to perform in that line-up throughout the 80's.

Gevecht Met De Engel is Flairck's strongest studio offering and can successfully claim not to have one wrong or misplaced note for its entire 44 minutes of dazzling virtuosity. Each part radiates with playing pleasure, regardless whether it's melancholic and quiet or fast and cheerful. One of the secrets is the perfect interplay between all members. The leading instrument is the acoustic guitar, complemented by dazzling bass guitar and an array of flutes and violin. The arrangements have plenty of breathing space though and never get overcrowded nor bombastic.

While it's difficult to point out any particular standout piece, the main focus of the album is on its 3-part title track, a 23 minute tornado raging through European folk music, ranging from Spanish, Celtic and Eastern European traditions. It's particularly essential as it doesn't feature on any of the official Flairck live albums. If you want to hear it then it will have to be here.

Gevecht Met De Engel is probably one of the best acoustic folk albums ever made. Given its impressive compositions it's nothing short of essential in any prog rock collection. So it's particularly distressing having only one other reviewer on this page joining me in my praise for this masterpiece." - ProgArchives

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