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Flairck Circus album cover
3.46 | 33 ratings | 3 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. De Overtocht (Oceana) (8:44)
2. Circus Act 1 & 2 - Voor de Pauze (15:51)
3. Circus Act 3 & 4 - Na de Pauze (14:10)
4. Es Vijf (Struggle for Life) (10:35)

Total time: 49:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Erik Visser / 6- & 12-string guitars, banjo, ebow, musical box, siren
- Annet Visser / flutes (alto, bass, silver), oboe, Uillean pipes, accordion
- Sylvia Houtzager / violin, 5-string viola, cello, harp, musical saw
- Hans Visser / acoustic bass, bass pedals, Classical guitar
- Ted De Jong / tablas, xylophone, marimba, sitar, glockenspiel, vibraphone, snare-drum, gong, timpani, cymbal, woodblock

Releases information

Artwork: Poen De Wijs

LP Polydor ‎- 2925 122 (1981, Netherlands)
LP Polydor ‎- 2480 637 (1982, France)

CD Belle Antique ‎- BELLE 142204 (2014, Japan) Remastered by Kazuo Ogino

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FLAIRCK Circus ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

FLAIRCK Circus reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Flairck's 3rd studio album is another successful excursion into symphonic songwriting with acoustic instruments. As the title suggests, the theme of the album is circus music. It makes the album sound a lot happier and more playful then the two preceding albums. Because of that it's somewhat less suited to my taste but the quality of the material is undeniably strong.

Flairck never sounded more like an acoustic version of Mike Oldfield then on the opening track De Overtocht. The mix of accordion, acoustic guitars and soft pastoral melodies comes right out of Hergest Ridge. But this is an album celebrating circus music and halfway in the pensive mood is broken by a fast and playful onslaught of themes with carnival and travelling fair music for inspiration. The dashing pace and virtuosic sequence of circus scenes almost doesn't let off. Only Act 3 and the final track show a quieter and more introspective style.

I have yet to get acquainted with Flairck's output from the 90's, but looking at their first decade this is their last fabulous album before they would lower their profile and ambitions on the following 80's albums. Cirkus isn't as overwhelming as their first two albums but still an excellent album. Highly recommended.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In 1980 Flairck released their classic live album ''Live in Amsterdam'', a show that meant to be among the last contributions of Peter Weekers to the band.When he left, his place was taken by Annet Visser, while the new line-up became complete with the addition of Ted de Jong, the man could play various percussions, the xylophone, the sitar, the vibraphone and several other traditional instruments.The new formation of Flairck returned in 1981 with the album ''Circus''.

You should forget about the deep dives of the band into Chamber Folk and Classical Music, because this third album sounds more like World Music mixed with Ethno Prog, borrowing elements from nearly every possible corner of this mighty planet.Four lengthy tracks, all of them clock at over 10 minutes, exhibiting a wide range of acoustic instruments and several traditional musical styles as well as the standard interplays heard in Flairck's musicianship.At this point they sound like a less-focused MANEIGE, they shared the same taste for an affair between Folk Music and Fusion, creating emphatic instrumental interactions with lack of a vocal content and producing rich, all-acoustic soundscapes.On the other hand the material here contains so many national sounds and sights, that becomes a bit directionless at moments, while the music becomes hard to follow due to a very academic approach.These lovely symphonic interludes have been significantly reduced and instead you get a multi-ethnic proposal, which has its own charm, but leaves much to be desired.Echoes of Eastern, Andean, Balkan, Mediterrenean, Country and Spanish Music can be heard at specific moments during this Folk/Fusion orgasm of different colors, but I guess I am among the few people considering that this ends up to be rather messy.The performances are trully virtuosic and flawless, no doubt about it, and Flairck had to be one hell of an all-acoustic mini orchestra back at the time, but ''Circus'' fails to deliver the great feelings of the previous albums.

So, some strange situation here.I think the instrumental execution belongs among the very best ever to be displayed by the Hollanders.I just believe the result is rather chaotic, unfocused and ultra-professional for casual listeners.At least the title of the album was really succesful and the cover art is among the best you can find around.Recommended for lovers of Ethnic Music and Acoustic Prog...2.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The third album by Flairck follows in the same footsteps as their debut album + probably their second album too. Symphonic acoustic folk music. A blend very few others than Flairck do. The theme here is circus music. And a circus it is. It feels like lions and tigers are lurking in the shadow ... (read more)

Report this review (#331470) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, November 23, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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