Joey Roukens – Angeli

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No Biennale would be complete without the Cello Octet Amsterdam – an ensemble that has graced us with their presence since the very first edition. Joey Roukens wrote ‘Angeli’ especially for them…   

‘Recently, I’ve been composing several energetic works, but there’s a serene, more spiritual side to me, too. I think the ability to offer comfort is the greatest power music has to offer.’ During discussions, an idea arose to combine the Cello Octet with the five-part female a capella Wishful Singing. Roukens selected two passages from the Requiem Mass’s comforting ‘In Paradisum’ (‘Into Paradise’) and used the cello’s higher register to emulate the human voice.

Joey Roukens wanted to present a more meditative side, having recently written several highly rhythmical works. He made a deal with Cello Octet Amsterdam and Wishful Singing’s musicians and singers very early on in the composition process, ‘I wanted to know what their strengths and weaknesses were, and what they absolutely didn’t want to perform. I didn’t listen to their music too closely either, otherwise, I’d have inhibited myself, but it’s great that Cello Octet Amsterdam has since released a CD with music by Arvo Pärt and that Wishful Singing has been singing Gregorian chants. In terms of affinity, I’m certainly on the right track.’

Angeli at Donemus
Joey Roukens at Donemus
More info about the concert