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VARIATIES OP EEN DAME

Flairck

Prog Folk


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Flairck Variaties op een Dame album cover
3.68 | 25 ratings | 5 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aoife (6:28)
2. Voorspel in Sofia (7:06)
3. April 3rd (5:39)
4. Oneven Wals (7:17)
5. Variaties op een Dame (21:25)
6. Dubbelspel (1:22)

Total Time: 49:17

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Erik Visser / 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars
- Hans Visser / acoustic bass guitar
- Peter Weekers / flutes
- Judy Schomper / violin

Releases information

LP Polydor Netherlands 2925 072
LP Polydor PD-1-6234 (8-track 8T-1-6243, cassette CT-1-6243) US

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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FLAIRCK Variaties op een Dame ratings distribution


3.68
(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
25%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
46%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

FLAIRCK Variaties op een Dame reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Beyond the vaguely erotic and promising title, Flairck's debut album came out in 78, when acoustic folk groups were blossoming in Continental Europe, even if the folk music movement was getting a little passé by then. Whether in Germany with Emme Myldenberger, in France with La Bamboche or Tarentule or Spain's Basque Province with Izukaitz, Itoiz and Errobi, Holland came out with its own Flairck.. Lead by the Visser brothers, both guitarists, but Erik is also the main writer, the group also has Judy Schomper on violin and second writer Peter Weekers on wind instruments (flute principally), a line-up that to my knowledge would remain constant in their first four albums.

Whether Flairck is really progressive as in "prog" is rather difficult to say, because in their debut, there isn't the slightest rock element in their music. Indeed the group is more of a folk group that symphonizes its music, of a classical quartet (but fronted by two guitars) that composed some traditional folk tunes. But in either case, there are some unaccredited borrowings from classical composers, something that seems to be a Dutch specialty, as most group. The A-side is made of four instrumental "songs, starting on the Aiofe, a slow developer that sticks to acoustic guitar arpeggios with a pan flute. Quite a contrast on the much faster-paced Prelude In Sofia, where the violin and bass ensure a quick evolution to second, than third gear, with some excellent developments, turning into birdsongs. Next up is April Third and its sitar, a quiet but ultimately boring piece, even if the flute joins up. The Weekers-penned Odd Waltz closes the side in an all-too-predictable waltzes and jigs and reels and other stuff and tricks and treats?.. Next, please!!!

And indeed the second side is held mostly by the "epic" 21 mins+ title track, a slow starter on guitar and flute, before the violin enters around the third minute, before borrowed movements and reels enters the dance. A little later, a lengthy window is given to Schomper and her violin, where she chooses boldly to go Paganini, and on her return, the group finally shifts into second gear and then almost right away into third, but it's to late: when their better moments sound like the Quebecois band Maneige, in their first two albums. Indeed the whole second part of the title track finally holds its own, even if Weekers almost gets lost in his meandering flute solo. The album closes on the short Double, which is a guitar duo between the brothers, a last tidbit before saying goodbye.

If you're a fan of acoustic instrumental classical-derived folk music, Flairck's debut should be right up your alley, the only frustration being that you couldn't try different positions with their cute violinist. All macho considerations aside, the playing is very good, but rarely brilliant, and all too rare are the occasions to get excited about the music or the virtuosity of the individual members. Variations is a debut album that could be described as soporific if it wasn't for the sheer beauty of some of their passages. Let's call it sleep-inducing, without forgetting the unfulfilled promises of its title.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#230190) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 06, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Flairck are hardly known outside their home country Holland. They might have reached a few Belgian ears as well but they certainly haven't dawned on the masses of PA yet. A shame really given how much potential their music might have amongst prog fans, especially amongst those to whom a mix of acoustic instrumentation and symphonic composition sounds alluring.

Flairck are a virtuoso acoustic instrumental quartet where each member plays a whole array of different mutations of his basic instrument. Erik Visser plays 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars. He also handles most of the song writing together with flutist Peter Weekers. Brother Hans Visser does acoustic bass guitars and the violin on this debut is caressed by Judy Schomper.

The music takes inspiration from both classical and flok/world sources, and due to the influences of Celtic music, there's some similarity to early Oldfield, be it in an entirely acoustic version, which is a plus as far as I'm concerned. Further similarities can be made with the softer side of Belgian chamber rock, with a band like Aranis for example. But it can't be compared to the more avant-garde and harsher sounds of Univers Zero. Flairck keeps things very melodic and harmonious, delicate and gentle. Which doesn't mean they don't play at raging speeds!

Their debut album is an exceptional career start, there's so much inspiration in the songwriting and arrangements that each of these tunes would become classic live staples for years to come. The execution and recording of the material is generally a bit better on the live albums but that might just be because I've only heard this album on my second-hand vinyl. I'm sure it sparkles and shines in the recently released boxset!

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#268495) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 26, 2010

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars Acoustic ensemble from Ulvenhout, Holland, performing around guitarist Erik Vesser.The first rehearsals of the band took part in 1976 with Peter Weekers on wind instruments, Erik's brother Hans on bass and female violin player Judy Schomper.Two years of preparation followed before the band signs a deal with Polydor and releases the debut ''Variaties op een Dame'' in 1978.

Flairck were like no other band regarding Holland, they were a band with an all acoustic but very rich sound, somewhat divided between Classical Chamber Music and Folk.The first side of the original LP contains rather laid-back musicianship with many folk references, the guitar playing of Erik Visser remains in the background with no particular surprises and the majority of the instrumental arrangements is led by the talent of Weekers and its dominant work on flutes, pipes and whistles.On ''Oneven wals'' though things become more serious.Plenty of great interplays and beautiful harmonies on an uptempo acoustic piece full of lovely soundscapes and balanced work on bass, flutes, violins and acoustic guitars, sounds a delicate piece stepping both into symphonic and folk territories.Of course the album is mostly known for its almost sidelong eponymous suite, clocking at 21 min. long, and offering all the basic tunes met in the first side.From melancholic passages with crying violins and depressive flutes to energetic Chamber Music with Classical references and some nice, fiery battles between the musicians.A great track, however the middle-based violin solo prevents from being rather great.

The album received some high praise back in the days, winning several awards as a very innovative release.And actually it is, with its deep energy hidden behind the acoustic instrumentation making it almost a must-have for fans of challenging acoustic experiences.But even a more rock-friendly prog fan will met some desired interplays in here.Recommended.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#672982) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars A relaxing listen on the sofa. I have yet to subscribe to this Flairck idea of only acoustic instruments. But this is a platinum selling album and the Dutch people cannot be that wrong ? Well, they are not wrong because Flairck's debut album is actually a deserving platinum seller. Which ... (read more)

Report this review (#272475) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 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 , P ... (read more)

Report this review (#179995) | Posted by trackstoni | Tuesday, August 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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