Langzaam, uiterst langzaam (2006)

Duration: 7'30"

Texts: Peter Verhelst

2 sopr, 1 mezzo, 2 fl (picc/bassflute), cl, 2 sopr. sax (ten./bar.), hrn, flüg. hrn, 2 trb, tb, perc., el.g and el. bass.

Commissioned by Orkest De Ereprijs

Premièred on jan. 28th 2007 at the city townhall of Apeldoorn by Orkest De Ereprijs conducted by Wim Boerman. Soprano's are Maria Marquez and Lilith Verhelst, mezzo is Inbal Hever.

Although the tempo of this piece indeed is rather slow, the title actually refers to the last two lines of the poem I used for the piece.

Unnoticed the essence of something precious slips away, and only when it has been vanished completely we start to realize it disappeared, while all that’s left is memory.

It seems that lately a lot of valuable things are starting to disappear slowly, unnoticed, and few people seem to bother. Their silence, the feeling of powerlessness against highly professionalized institutions that once started from idealism....

What is not being heard will disappear from people’s memories and eventually slowly, very slowly......


nihil memini


non mundum


nihil ad me refert mundus


assidue mihi effluunt voces


noli reminisci eas


nemo mei meminerit


(I remember nothing


not the world


the world has got nothing to say to me


words float from me


forget them


I don’t want to be remembered)

er gebeurt niets

alsof het eindelijk achter de rug is

terwijl er geen sprake meer is van een rug

alleen maar rust

tot ook de herinnering aan rust

zichzelf vergeet

hoe dat stralend aan het glimlachen gaat

tot ten slotte ook die glimlach


uiterst langzaam

(Nothing happens

as if everything is behind us

while there’s nothing left behind

but peace

until even the remembrance of peace

forgets itself

and how it starts to smile radiantly

until also this smile finally


very slowly)

Peter Verhelst (Alaska)