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Duration 16' 333 - 4431 - timp 2perc harp pf str( "Ariadne combines transparent lyricism with dramatic progression. The piece constantly changes color and texture, making use of the whole orchestra." *REVIEW* *SCORE*
After the Great War
Duration:::32'3(picc)3(eh)3(bcl)3(cbn) - 4331 - timp 4perc 2hp - str( "2018 marks the ending, one hundred years ago, of the First World War. Today, it is almost impossible to reconstruct the shock of war on such a massive scale. The way that particular war began reveals a disconcerting image of international politics. That image, however, bears some disturbing parallels with current times. After the Great War originated with the idea of a confrontation between the two styles of musical composition prevalent one hundred years ago: the German/Austrian late Romantic style of Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler on the one hand, and, on the other, the French Impressionism of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and others. Neither style had boundaries that were clearly defined, and there were even some similarities, including a fascination with cultures outside of Europe. After the Great War has a five-part palindrome structure: A B C B A. This structure is underlined by the alternating musical tempos: slow-fast-slow-fast-slow. The total duration of the piece is thirty minutes. The work was commissioned jointly by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and the Residentie Orkest in The Hague."- Theo Verbey
Lumen Ad Finem Cuniculi
Duration 18' (2015) "The title of my orchestral work Lumen ad Finem Cuniculi means: Light at the end of the tunnel. It is a one-movement piece for orchestra, composed in 2015. For some time I had been intending to compose a sequel to my 2009 orchestral work, Orchestral Variations. I wanted to again use the set-up in which a quartet consisting of two marimbas and two vibraphones forms a prominent rhythm section within the orchestra. The orchestra's remaining instrumental groups would then be placed both above and below the music of the percussion quartet. The work is characterized by a balance between a clear structure and appealing sound. The structure of the piece consists of an alternation between two fast and two slow movements: ABA' B'. The four movements are played without interruption. The reason for writing the piece is the proclamation of 2015 as the Dutch Year of the Mines. Fifty years ago, the mines in South Limburg, the Netherlands, were closed. The parties involved look back on that decision with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it was clear that coal extraction in that area would never again be profitable. In that regard, the closing of the mines was a completely correct decision. On the other hand, the promise to create other employment on a large scale has never fulfilled, resulting in a certain deterioration of the region." -Theo Verbey *REVIEW*
Traurig wie der Tod
Duration: 20' for choir and orchestra. Based on poems by Hans Bethge (1876-1946) from "Die chinesische Föte." Nachdichtungen chinesischer Lyrik (1907)"Each song has its own character, which originates from the text and is reflected in a separate motif and key. Sorrow is eulogized in each instance from a different perspective. The structure is ABCBA."- Theo Verbey *VIDEO*
Orchestral Variations Play
(2009) Duration: 23'56" 3343 4331 2hrp timp 4perc str( "Historically, the variation has been seen as one of the most basic techniques in the composition of music. Usually such a piece begins with a complete theme followed by several more or less recognizable variations on that theme. However, this is not the case in my Orchestral Variations. There is no theme. The variations are based on four different sequences of chords. In the baroque period, this compositional technique resulted in forms such as the passacaglia, chaconne and passamezzo. In the twentieth century, it’s more reminiscent of improvisational music and jazz standards. The larger form of Orchestral Variations is based on the numerical relationship between the four movements with proportional lengths of 3:6:4:7. The four movements are played without interruption, and flow seamlessly into one another. An important aspect of the sound of the piece is the percussion group which consists of two vibraphones and two marimbas: this quartet forms the rhythmic basis of the piece and plays overlapping rhythmic patterns which function like cogs of various sizes in a complex timepiece. Woodwinds, brass, and strings form the second ‘layer’. They play music that develops in an arc of tension using recurring melodic ideas. Orchestral Variations was composed in the second half of 2009 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of The Brabants Orchestra, in a commission supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL (Fonds Podiumkunsten)." -Theo Verbey
Tractus Play
(2009) Duration: 10'26" harm cimb str( "Tractus is originally the name of one of the Gregorian chants. In the Middle Ages, the tractus repertoire grew considerably and was seen as a form of lamentation. In my composition for cimbalom, harmonium and 22 strings, I have used the tractus Exáudi me from Feria III post Diminicam Septuagesimae, but just the first section of it. The lament itself is only heard at the beginning and at the end of the piece. By using a system of what's known as metric modulation, the slow initial tempo is first doubled, and then tripled, before finally returning to the slow tempo of the beginning. In addition, I have adopted something of the tractus's church mode: the so-called hypodoric, but again, only at the beginning and the end. Most of the time, however, there are a limited number of chords, which are usually repeated in a fixed order. In addition to the string orchestra, the piece consists of cimbalom and harmonium. I got the idea of using these two instruments while completing the 1919 version of Igor Stravinsky's Les Noces, which I worked on in late 2007 / early 2008. The instrumentation of that version consists of piano, 2 cimbaloms, harmonium and percussion. The cimbalom is mainly used to indicate tempo and meter, so the piece could be played without a conductor. The harmonium is used to color the sound of the string orchestra and, in a way, to distort it." - Theo Verbey
Inquietus Play
(2008) Duration:7'36" 4343 4431 2hrp timp 4perc str( "Inquietus (Latin: restlessness, restless) was born in the course of 2008 from an idea I had been working on for some time. I had wanted to write a short orchestral piece in which the texture, ie "the sound" of the piece was the main subject. In the end I decided to use a very large orchestral line-up: 16 woodwinds, 12 brass, 8 percussionists, harp and piano, as well as 60 strings (96 musicians in total). Swelling and fading chords alternate with very soft passages with a static character. Halfway through, a short acceleration takes place, in which the ideas from the beginning return, but in reverse order. The piece is both the counterpart and the mirror of Invitation to a Beheading. Inquietus has the same slow tempo, but the music has a completely different character. If Invitation to a Beheading is a kind of funeral march, then Inquietus can be seen as a sort of calm before the storm. Inquietus was written at the request of the Residentieorkest The Hague on behalf of the Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten." – Theo Verbey
No Comment -Ringtone for Orchestra
Duration: 0'16" 22224230 timp 2 perc str "No Comment was written as a Ringtone for Orchestra on the occasion of the 2008 Dutch Classical Music Week (Week van de Klassieke Muziek). The piece is exceptionally short, even for a ringtone: between 16 and 20 seconds. Within this time frame, three different musical elements are performed simultaneously: one in the high woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet), one in the brass and one in the strings. The three come together just before the end. It is possible to play the piece with so-called natural trumpets and natural horns, which are trumpets and horns without valves that can only play the natural tones." – Theo Verbey
Invitation to a Beheading Play
Duration: 7' 3333 4331 timp 4perc str( “Vladimir Nabokov had this to say about his 1938 novel: 'Invitation to a Beheading is a violin in a void.' The main character is Cincinnatus C., a political prisoner, who has been condemned to death because of a “lack of transparency.” No one seems willing – or able – to tell hem when he will be executed. A restrained, somewhat stark tone dominates the short orchestral work I wrote after reading Nabokov’s novel. In a slow tempo, a melody is laid to rest. Shadowy percussion attempts to interrupt the procession, but to no avail. After a few orchestral outpourings, we find ourselves back where we began.” – Theo Verbey The premiere of Theo Verbey's Invitation to a Beheading took place during the Vrijdag van Vredenburg series in 2008 and was performed by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. The work was inspired by Vladimir Nabokov's novel of the same name, a Kafkaesque tale about a man condemned to death for obscure reasons. *SCORE*
LIED for Trombone and Orchestra (2007) Play
Duration: 18' trombone-solo 3333 4221 timp 2perc hp str( “LIED for Trombone solo and orchestra was written in the years 2006/2007, commissioned by the Performing Arts Fund NL and the Royal Concertgebouworkest. One striking feature of the trombone is the way the instrument combines the range of both the high and low male voice. My original intention was therefore to write songs for a kind of "super male voice", which I would later rewrite for trombone. As a point of departure, I took a number of poems from such poets as Rilke, e.e. cummings, and Borges, and I tried to imagine what they would sound like if they were read aloud and translated into a totally unfamiliar idiom. I imagined the solo trombonist as a singer who does his utmost to make something understandable without ever succeding. The soloist never loses sight of the cantabile tone, even in moments of virtuosity. That also means that the soloist is accompanied sparingly and never drowned out. Another feature of the trombone is its enormous dynamic range. The instrument can play increadibly loud but also very soft. I made little use the most extreme loudness , because even in quieter dynamics, the tone still has great impact. To me, it’s more like a powerhouse rocking a baby. Most of the music is quiet in character. Structurally, the work is in line with some earlier concertante works I wrote in recent years: Clarinet Concerto (2005) and Piano Concerto (2006). There are four movements: slow-fast-slow-fast, which follow each other without a break. The slow movements each strongly resembles a monologue, and both conclude with a solo cadenza above a long low note.” – Theo Verbey
Man Ray: Le Retour à la Raison
Duration: 4' 2121 1211 2perc str ("Program note: Le Retour à la Raison – a film by Man Ray. My original idea was to make the music completely independent of the film. On second thought, I that would have been a missed opportunity. By following the film closely, I could acquire a new experience in composition, so that is what I did. The short film by Man Ray consists of a chain of abstract fragments with—for our time—a rather naive character. I have tried to maintain that innocence as an aspect of my film music by referring to early American minimalism, a style in which I found the same combination of naivety and optimism. The title, Le Retour à la Raison (the Return to Reason(ability)) is one I strongly associate with American music from the 1970s. My film score also has the same static use of a very limited number of motifs and a reference to tonality. The harmonic rhythm is either very slow or very fast and can never be completely pinned down. In the instrumentation, I used nothing but primary colors by not blending the four different groups (6 woodwinds, 5 brass, 2 percussion and 2 pianos and 6 strings) for most of the time." - Theo Verbey
Piano Concerto (2006) Play
Duration: 20' 5555 8532 2timp 4perc pf-solo "If we assume that it is possible to distinguist in music between beauty of sound and beauty of emotion / affect, then the above sequence is exactly the one I am aiming for. Beauty of structure comes first, because music is in some ways exclusively a sounding structure." This statement, made by Theo Verbey, is reminiscent of Stravinsky's assertion that "art is only about art." The Dutchman Verbey also seems to regard emotion as a kind of by-product of form, as something inherent to the musical structure and not as an end in itself. Verbey, who teaches instrumentation and composition at the Conservatories of Amsterdam and The Hague, is known for his thorough knowledge of music history and his artisanal approach to musical material. Verbey: "Musical thinking is a non-verbal activity. You start with a few melodic, harmonic ideas and a rough idea of how a piece should sound. The challenge is then in devising a structure, imposing limitations on the material, as it were, and from there looking for solutions, from the large to the small.” With regard to "the small," or the musical structure, Verbey was influenced by the discoveries of fractal geometry—a mathematical system with which organic shapes can be calculated and reduced to their smallest units. In this way, underlying numerical ratios determine the layout, the proportions and also the rhythmic-harmonic processes of the composition. Verbey has this to say about his "fractal technique": "I think it is nice to bringsuch an abstract division of time into alignment with musical ideas, in the field of harmony and development as well. In some ways, this technique is related to the tone rows of the serialist composers. I make a rhythmic plan, even though that plan or "sequence" does not consist of twelve but perhaps four or five elements. I primarily use that plan to time the chord changes." Such mathematical structures, however, form a hidden layer within the composition that is hardly perceptible to the listener. Beyond that, Verbey writes a very recognizable type of music that is rooted in the experiences of many centuries of music history. His compositions are characterized by allusions to historical models, a unique sense of dramatic tension and musical structure, and the use of tonal-modal chordal connections. Verbey's Piano Concerto, commissioned by the ZaterdagMatinee, is an exceptional addition to the genre because of its unusual orchestration. As the composer explains: "The ensemble consists exclusively of wind and percussion. The use of wind instruments are the same as those used by Stravinsky in Sacre. These orchestral forces were available because such a large wind group was needed for this concert. What I didn't want is what you have in a traditional piano concerto, where a symphony orchestra surrounds the soloist. An alternative would have been to use a reduced orchestra, but I chose not to do that this time." Formally, the work consists of two slow "dialogues" alternating with two fast "toccata" movements. Verbey: "The dialogues are what they are, namely an alternation between fragments in the piano with fragments in the ensemble. As far as the toccata movements are concerned, I focused on the historical form which is characterized by a hammering motion. In some places I deliberately referred to famous toccatas from music history, such as those from Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin, Debussy's Pour le Piano and Prokofiev's op. 11—although not literally. It's more about the idea. (In modernism, those sorts of musical forms are no longer referred to in the same way.) The second toccata refers to Berio's Points on the Curve to find for piano and 23 instruments—that also has a similar type of motion, a very fast 32nd-note movement, but there, it is no longer called a toccata. The piano is an instrument in which the tones resound relatively fast, and that gives it a completely different characteristic of sound than almost all the other orchestral instruments. " The Piano Concerto is dedicated to the pianist Ellen Corver, with whom the composer shared ideas extensively during the preparation phase: "Ellen had a whole list of things she wanted in the concerto, such as silences, dialogues, horizontal woodwind chords and a coda. She wanted a kind of mirror effect in the material, so that elements played by the pianist plays also return in the orchestra. Composing means carrying out an intention, and suggestions from the peformer can make a contribution to that. They result in melodic ideas that you can then use in developing of the musical form. They are ultimately a tool to help realize a piece of music."
Fractal Variations
Duration: 8' str("Fractal Variations is a string orchestra version of my work for string quartet, Spring Rain. Spring Rain was written at the request of six string quartets, who, around 2000, had come up with a plan to organize their own chamber music series in a number of country estates in the Netherlands without the help state subsidy. Despite the programmatic title, the work is composed as an abstract piece. The composer leaves the listener to harmonizes the title with the music in whichever way they choose. The piece has a light-footed character with both smooth and abrupt transitions. Within eight minutes, it follows a path in which an important role is played by the repetition of musical elements on both a large and small scale. The syntax in this music is very similar to that of the Viennese classics, but came about in a completely different way." - Theo Verbey
Clarinet Concerto (2005) Play
Duration: 20' 3333 4230 timp 2perc hp cl-solo str(
Fractal Symphony Play
Duration: 30' 3333 4331 timp 4perc hp pf str(
Schaduw (Shadow) Play
Duration:18' 2vl vla vc (solo string quartet) 2perc str(
Duration: 25' 4444 6431 timp 4perc 2hp pf str(
Conciso Play
duration: 9' 2020 2000 perc hp pf 4vl 2vla 2vc cb "Conciso (1995/1996) for large ensemble is a direct follow-up to such pieces as Notturno (1995) for solo oboe and 11 instruments, and Passamezzo (1994) for saxophone quartet. In these pieces, written since Triade (1991), I have continued my pursuit of a more consonant, simple musical language. I found many of my own general artistic principles beautifully expressed by Italo Calvino in his "Six Memos for the Next Millennium." Calvino wrote his 1985 collection of five lectures for Harvard University (the sixth was never written), shortly before his death. The memos sum up his vision of universal values in literature. His "memos" are: 1. Lightness 2. Quickness 3. Exactitude 4. Visibility 5. Mulitplicity 6. Consistency. At a time when sound imposes itself more and more on us purely through quantity, I am looking for a music that tries to banish any association with the industrial noise of, in particular, transport vehicles. Detailed, vulnerable music that moves within clear boundaries, without too many pretensions. Above all, music that not only holds the attention because of the sound, but also because of "the story," and which avoids any form of longwindedness. In short, music with characteristics that are more likely to be found in the French / Italian tradition of composition rather than in the German / Dutch. Conciso in its current form is a two-part piece in a slow-fast sequence with the length ratios of 4:5. Much of the structural idea behind the piece is taken from Beethoven's Piano Sonata op.101, in which the 4 movements relate in time as 4:5:3:6. I used these proportions as a starting point for the temporal division when composing the work. For the harmony, I used the opening chord of Sonata No. 8 op. 66 by Scriabin as a point of departure. That chord is a 6-tone chord which I have placed opposite a second 6-tone chord, so that together, these two chords form a chromatic total. I previously used a similar technique in Expulsie (1988-1990) for large ensemble. In Conciso, I have for the first time made use of a semi-spatial arrangement of the ensemble. The ensemble is placed in its entirety at the front of the stage, but not in its usual set up. It is split into two groups of winds and strings, made up of eight and seven members respectively, positioned to the left and right. Harp, piano and percussion form a buffer between these two groups and sometimes function as a game changer." – Theo Verbey *VIDEO*
Pavane oubliee for Harp and Strings Play
Duration: 10' harp-solo str(
Notturno Play
Duration: 12' oboe-solo 2h 4vln 2vla 2vc cb
Duration: 11' 1111 1110 2perc hp g pf 2vl vla vc cb
Triade Play
Duration: 20' 2222 2000 perc hp str(
Expulsie (1988-1990) for large ensemble Play
Duration: 22' 1131 1211 2perc hp pf str(
Tegenbeweging (Contrary Motion)
Duration: 11' 4343 4331 timp 5perc 2hp pf(cel) str(
Duration: 42' 1231 2131 vl 2vla 3vc cb
Frozen Echo
Ballet version of Schaduw Music for a ballet by Regina van Berkel Instrumentation: 2(picc)2(ca)2(bcl)2(cb-bn) - 4231 - 2perc [I:Bass Drum,1 Pauk,Glockenspiel,Vibraphone, Sandblocs,2 Bellplates II:Tam-tam, 4 Thai Gongs, Marimba, Windmachine etc. *VIDEO*


Duration 8' trb, pf "The piece has a three-part structure. The loud opening is part of a slow introduction in which the piano plays broken chords as an accompaniment to the trombone's melodic phrases. This is immediately followed by a fast section." - Theo Verbey *VIDEO* *nkoda*
La Malinconia
Duration 9'solo Piano "La Malinconia I (the melancholy) for piano solo was written in 2011 for the ballet 'Simply Marvel,' created by Dutch choreographer Regina van Berkel on behalf of Cedar Lake, a renowned modern dance company in New York. The piece has a clear build-up of tension and is based on the use of a very short, two-tone motif." - Theo Verbey *nkoda*
La Malinconia II
Duration 9' solo harp "La Malinconia II is a sequel to La Malinconia I. La Malinconia I (the melancholy) for piano solo was written in 2011 for the ballet, 'Simply Marvel,' created by Dutch choregraaf Regina van Berkel in 2011 on behalf of Cedar Lake, a renowned modern dance company in New York. Malinconia II (like Malinconia I) also has a somber undertone. Both pieces will be part of a longer cycle of works devoted to melancholy; something that these times (the year 2013) demand. In contrast to La Malinconia I, La Malinconia II is much shorter and more compact. The piece has a clear build-up of tension and is based on the use of a very short, two-tone motif."- Theo Verbey *nkoda*
LIED for Trombone and Orchestra (2007) Play
Duration: 18' trombone-solo 3333 4221 timp 2perc hp str(
Pavane oubliee for Harp and Strings Play
Duration: 10' harp-solo str(
Cadenza (for Trumpet Concerto of A. Arutiunian)
Duration: 2' trp *VIEW* Only on request
Clarinet Concerto (2005) Play
Duration: 20' 3333 4230 timp 2perc hp cl-solo str(
Piano Concerto (2006) Play
Duration: 20' 5555 8532 2timp 4perc pf-solo "When I wrote my Piano Concerto in 2006 I had a clear vision of austere moments combined with hectic motorism...using the wind/brass/percussion instrumentation from Le Sacre was really enjoyable."- Theo Verbey
Notturno Play
Duration: 12' oboe-solo 2h 4vln 2vla 2vc cb
Five Pieces for Violoncello solo
Durations: 8' Solo cello "Commissioned by Maarten Mostert and the Dutch National Cello Competition in June 2006. The titles of these five short pieces are:: 1. On Rhythm, 2. On Colour, 3. On Speed, 4. On Intonation, 5. On Double Stops. The subjects are therefor partly musical, and partly technical. In terms of content, these pieces are somewhere between etudes and concert pieces." - Theo Verbey *VIDEO* *nkoda*
Hommage (1992) for flute Play
Duration: 2' fl
For piano with electronic sound Instrumentation: pf, live-electronics date: 2008

Chamber Music

4 Preludes to Infinity Play
Duration: 11'30'Oboe, Violin, Viola, Cello "The work consists of 4 movements, each separately expressing one possible aspect of infinity. It doesn’t try to define infinity, but to shed light on which facets we are able to differentiate." - Theo Verbey *nkoda*
Perplex Play
Duration: 14' fl cl vibr pf vl vc "The subject of Perplex (l perpléxus = perplexed, confused) is the confrontation of several musical textures. The unison opening is repeated three times in the course of the piece; as an ending of the first and the second part and as start of the fourth part. Aside from this opening, other musical subjects vary with one another. The subjects contrast strongly and are hardly connected. The piece has no transitional stages and a suggesting character. Motifs and phrases are revealed but not developed further in a romantic way. The four components of the piece are in the proportion of themselves in time as 5:7:4:8. These number proportions stipulate at lower levels the mutual length in relation to the individual motifs and phrases. This manner of composing is based on the planned rhythmic structure analogous to the isometrics of the Ars nova analogous (14th Century) with composers like Guillaume de Machaut and Landini. The foundation of the piece is formed by a succession of four chords, which remains unchanged and is invariably repeated. This too, is a process with a long history. These chords have a strongly tonal identity, but cannot be easily placed in a key because the relationship of the chords is unclear. It is only at the end of the piece that freedom is added to this technique. Through the use of three instrumental duos: flute/clarinet, violin/violoncello and vibraphone/piano the piece has a truly own sound with strong percussive character. Vibraphone and piano have a function similar to the continuo section (i.e. the combination of keyboard instrument with a bass instrument) from the Baroque." - Theo Verbey *VIDEO*
Spring Rain
2001 Duration: 8'2vl vla vc "Lenteregen (Spring Rain) was written at the request of six string quartets, who, around 2000, had conceived a plan of organizing their own chamber music circuit in a number of country estates in the Netherlands. Despite the programmatic title, the piece is composed as an abstract work. The composer steps aside to allow the listener to harmonize the title with the music however they wish. The piece has a light-footed character with transitions that are both smooth and abrupt. A trail is followed for eight minutes, in which there's an important role for the repetition of musical elements on a large and small scale. The musical syntax is very similar to that of the Viennese classics, but has been derived in an entirely different way, namely through the use of fractals. (These are structures with a recurring repetition pattern; just think of the picture within a picture on a Droste tin." - Theo Verbey *nkoda*
Trio Play
Duration: 20' vl vc pf "In this Trio, I decided to have a group of 4 numbers in a specific order which would determine the whole piece: 7:4:3:6. All 4 movements are subdivided by the same group of numbers, and so are the sections within a movement." - Theo Verbey *nkoda*
In the Garden of Paracelsus Play
Duration: 3'string quartet and soprano "In the first half of Peter Huchel's poem he portrays the image of a garden once used for lively discussions and the presence of Theophrastus, another name for the medieval alchemist Paracelsus." - Theo Verbey *nkoda*
Duration: 6' 8perc
Sestetto Play
Duration: 18' fl hp 2vl vla vc "Sestetto was written in 1998 to celebrate of the 15th anniversary of the Almelo Chamber Music Foundation. The 6 instruments of the piece (to which the title refers) are flute, harp, 2 violins, viola and violoncello. Part 1. Andante, is characterized by slow, continuous movement in the harp, which is continually placed in a different light by the string quartet. The flute, which is treated like a soloist throughout the work, always brings variations to the same musical phrase. Part 2. Tempo di tango, is based on the principle of classical sonata form and also refers to the Argentinean tango. Part 3. Adagio, has the characteristics of a passacagliaone, one of the freest forms in the Baroque, in which a continuous bass line in the harp forms the foundation. Part 4. Allegro, is a repetitive fast movement with a strinkingly North American character." - Theo Verbey
Duration: 9' 4rec *SCORE*
Duet (1992) for two trumpets Play
Duration: 3'2trp *nkoda*
Passamezzo Play
Duration: 8' 4sax *nkoda*
Duration: 6' vl vla vc "The idea behind the piece harks back to an old technique from the late renaissance and early Baroque: variations on a fixed chord progression. Several musical ideas are alternated; the interrelationship lies in the harmony." - Theo Verbey *VIEW* *nkoda*
De Peryton (1990) for seven wind instruments Play
Duration: 14' fl ob eh cl cl-b fg h "The Peryton is a mythological hybrid animal combining the physical features of a stag and a bird. The Peryton was created and described by Jorge Luis Borges in his 1957 'Book of Imaginary Beings.' The piece has a four-part form; very slow, very fast, slow, fast, played without a break in between. Parts I and III (ie the slow movements) contain an extensive flute and clarinet solo. Parts II and IV (the fast movements) have significant thematic similarities. The piece was composed with the help of fractals. These are patterns that repeat on every timescale." -Theo Verbey
The Simorq
Duration: 12' 1020 1000 vibr hp pf 2vl vla vc cb
Contractie (1987) for flute, bass clarinet and piano Play
Duration: 11' fl cl-b pf
Inversie (1987, rev. 1987) for 10 instruments Play
Duration: 9' fl-a vibr cymb hp g man pf vla cb

Vocal Music

Two Poems of Bloem
Duration: 11' 4part mixed choir or : 4part female choir *nkoda* Based on poems by Dutch poet and essayist J.C. Bloem. First performance during the national Dutch ceremony to commemorate the war dead on 4 May, 2007 with Queen Beatrix in attendance.*VIDEO* *nkoda*
Sechs Rilke-Lieder
Duration 24' -version for bar pf -bar 2222 2000 perc hp str(*VIDEO*
Duration: 7' sopr 4343 4331 timp 5perc 2hp pf str(
In the Garden of Paracelsus Play
Duration: 3'string quartet and soprano "In the first half of Peter Huchel's poem he portrays the image of a garden once used for lively discussions and the presence of Theophrastus, another name for the medieval alchemist Paracelsus." - Theo Verbey *nkoda*
Traurig wie der Tod
Duration: 20' for choir and orchestra, based on poems by Hans Bethge (1876-1946) from "Die chinesische Föte." Nachdichtungen chinesischer Lyrik (1907)"Each song has its own character, which originates from the text and is reflected in a separate motif and key. Sorrow is eulogized in each instance from a different perspective. The structure is ABCBA."- Theo Verbey *VIDEO*


Berg: Sonata for Piano, Op. 1 Play
Arranged by Theo Verbey (1984)
Duration: 11' 3333 4331 timp 4 perc hp str
Janacek: Sonata 1.X.1905 "From the street" Play
Arranged by Theo Verbey (2007)
Duration 15' 3333 4331 timp 4 perc. hp st Published by Universal Edition Wien *SCORE*
Berg: Lyric Suite for String Orchestra Play
Drei Stücke (I,V,VI) Arranged by Theo Verbey (2006)
Duration: 10' string orchestra "Alban Berg arranged Three Pieces (I, III and IV) from the Lyric Suite (originally for string quartet) for string orchestra in 1927. My arrangement of the three remaining movements (I, V and VI) means it is now possible to perform the complete Lyric Suite for string orchestra as part of a larger concert programme. In orchestrating it, I have kept as close as possible to Berg’s style. From previous experience (my adaptation of the Sonate op 1 for piano [1908] for orchestra of 1984), I know that the enormous intensity of the music asks for a great diversity of ideas regarding texture and individual part writing. On a more basic, technical level this means that the double stops in the quartet version are usually replaced by solo/tutti-divisi or ordinary divisions. The adding of the double bass line often has consequences for the other parts. These “six rather short movements of a lyrical rather than symphonic character” (as Berg called it) are easier to perform with larger groups than with a string quartet. The piece is enhanced by the richness of sound and clarification of structure." - Theo Verbey
Stravinsky: Les noces (1919 version; Verbey completion) Play
Instrumentation of tableaux 3&4 by Theo Verbey (2007)
24 Minutes, Solo Voice(s) soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass Chorus SATB Orchestration 2perc/2cim.hmn.pianola "In the autumn of 2007 I drape the four versions of Svadebka fan-like across my desk: the facsimile of what Stravinsky had completed of the 1919 version, the withheld version of the 1917 orchestration, the definitive 1923 version, and the piano score. Finally I can get to work. I make it my task in scenes 3 and 4 to be as faithful as possible to the character of Stravinsky’s instrumentation in the first two scenes. The important principles here are the central role of the pianola, the degree of difficulty in the writing for the individual instruments, the (sometimes daring) balance between voices and instruments, and finally the rediscovering of the correct manner of notation. During my work I constantly compare the different versions with each other and draw my own conclusions from the discrepancies." - Theo Verbey *SCORE* *VIDEO*
Scriabin: Preludes (4) for Piano, Op. 33 Play
Arranged by Theo Verbey (2011)
"For Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello 'The first prelude of opus 33 has a hesitating character with a main melody in the oboe, and the strings playing the accompaniment. The second prelude has the designation vagamente and has an uncertain character." - Theo Verbey
Bach: Three Choral Preludes
Arranged by Theo Verbey (2013)
Duration 9' oboe, violin, viola, cello
Mussorgsky: The Nursery
Arranged by Theo Verbey (1994)
Duration: 14' sopr 2222 2000 perc hp str(
Mussorgsky: Songs and Dances of Death
Arranged by Theo Verbey (1994)
Duration: 21' voice 2perc pf str (
Mussorgsky: Sunless Play
Arranged by Theo Verbey (1989)
Duration: 15' voice 2022 2000 str (
Schubert: Andante from Piano Sonata in A
Aranged by Theo Verbey 1990
2.2.2(Acl).2-2000-str "The Andante from the Piano Sonata in A of Franz Schubert was orchestrated in 1990. I used a regular symphony orchestra (without trumpets and timpani) to keep it close to Schubert's style of orchestrating. The piece has a subdued character." - Theo Verbey
Gesualdo: Sacrae Cantiones - 8 songs
Completed by Theo Verbey 2005
Voices: Cantus, sextus, altus, quintus, tenor bassus; This is one of the motets from the Sacræ Cantiones II whose sextus and bassus parts were lost. Theo Verbey completed the score. Partly due to his work, the Cantiones Sacrae are now available for performance again after many centuries. *LISTEN*
Rachmaninov: Spring Waters Op. 14 No. 11
Aranged by Theo Verbey (2017)
Instrumentation: - - timp, perc[snaredr.trg.cymb.bassdr.glsp], hp - str - soprano-solo,"I was commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to orchestrate a song by Rachmaninoff called Spring Waters. In 2017 this version had its premiere in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Eva-Maria Westbroek singing, accompanied by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons. I made this orchestration last February (2017) and it took me about a week to do it. The song is fairly short (2 minutes), but it has a rapid tempo and a lot of notes. It was especially difficult to keep the balance between the voice and the orchestra."- Theo Verbey
Strauss: Vier Letzte Lieder
Aranged by Theo Verbey (2018)
Countertenor and orchestra. Theo Verbey arranged two of the Letzte Lieder by Strauss (Beim schlafengehen and Im Abendrot) for countertenor and orchestra for a new musical-theatre production called Death in Venice, commissioned by the Royal Concertgebouworkest in collaboration with Internationaal Theater Amsterdam and based on Thomas Mann's classic novella.
Bach: Italian Concerto (Concerto nach italiänischen Gusto), BWV 971
Aranged by Theo Verbey (2000)
solo violin, strings, continuo. Written in honor of the 250th anniversary of Bach's death. Can also be performed as a suite, called "Orchesterübung," together with Verbey's arrangement of Bach's Overture in the French Style for traverso (flute), strings and continuo, plus two original overtures written by Verbey in the style of Bach, based on BWV 1066 and 1068 respectively.
Bach: Overture in the French style in B minor, BWV 831
Aranged by Theo Verbey (1990-2000)
Traverso (flute), strings and continuo. Can also be performed as a suite, called "Orchesterübung," together with Verbey's arrangement of Bach's Italian Concerto for solo violin, strings and continuo, plus two original overtures written by Verbey in the style of Bach, based on BWV 1066 and 1068 respectively.

Contemporary Classical Music Composer

Theo Verbey (5 July 1959-13 October 2019) was the Dutch composer of modern classical music best known for his elegant and rhythmically transparent compositions, characterized by careful and rich instrumentation. His contemporary classical music makes a real connection with listeners.

To purchase or rent sheet music or scores

Theo Verbey's music is published by
Deuss Music
Fijnjekade 160
2521 DS Den Haag, Netherlands
Tel.: +31 (0)70 345 08 65


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