Willem Boogman




M. Vasalis


16 minutes


6S 5A 5T 5B

dedicated to

Ivar Munk


buy the score


Vijf Vasalis-liederen [Five Songs of Vasalis]

for 21-voice mixed choir (2004)

The Vijf Vasalis-liederen are taken from La Passione della Parola, in which they fulfilled an essential function in the architecture of the piece as a whole. But from the inception of this work I also envisioned the possibility of performing these songs independently. In the first place, the songs then assume a more prominent role; secondly, this version makes my music for chorus and soloists more accessible, in a practical sense, to choirs. (La Passione lasts, in its entirety, some 54 minutes!)


Mijn hart lag uitgespannen als de dageraad
[›My heart lay spread out like the dawn‹]
Alto solo, Soprano, Alto and Choir (SATB)

Vasalisliederen - sample of the first song score sample

Diep van mijzelf en van mijn zang vervreemd
[›Profoundly alienated from myself and my song‹]
Bass solo, two Basses and Choir divided into three groups

Vasalisliederen - sample of the second song score sample

Weer wordt het alles anders,
[›Again it all becomes different,‹]
Quintet (SATTB) and Choir divided into two groups

Vasalisliederen - sample of the third song score sample

Soprano solo, Alto, Bass and Choir (SATB)

Vasalisliederen - sample of the fourth song score sample

Aan het verre lief
[›To the distant beloved‹]
Tenor solo and Choir divided into three groups

Vasalisliederen - sample of the fifth song score sample


Choir I consists of ›tutti‹ singers. The sopranos can be subdivided into two groups: S1 and S2 (the higher voices from which S1 is a high soprano) and S3 and S4 (slightly lower sopranos). S5 is a soloist and should have a good low register as well as a good high register. The altos may be mezzo-sopranos, but A3 should have quite a good low register. T3 is a high tenor, T2 and T5 may be ›lower‹ than T1 and T4. A few ›basses‹ may have voices approaching a baritone range, but B4 must be a true low bass and B3 flexible baritone. Choir II consists of singers accustomed to performing as soloists (S5, A4, T3 and B3). Choir III consists of a harmonious, flexible quintet.


The set-up must be followed (see score) in order for the music to be heard optimally by the audience (the rotations of sound and the various groups). This means that the performance requires a wide stage or performance space. If the choir were to stretch out in a single line, the distance from S1 to S6 would be at least 16 metres. A slightly curved line (see score) is ideal. Should the choir stand in a semicircle, the distance between S1 and S6 would be approximately 8.5 m. Such a formation is less than ideal, because the outside singers would then sing more towards the centre of the circle, rather than in the direction of the audience. The stage must therefore be a minimum of 8.5 m wide and ideally at least 16 m wide.

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