Boudewijn Cox

w o r k s

Da Una Certa Distanza (1999)

for orchestra

The immediate cause to compose “Da Una Certa Distanza” was a phone call with the widow of a friend in which she asked to play again the music of their marriage six months earlier, but this time on her husbands funeral. The shock during this call gave rise to strange sensory perceptions; all sorts of experiences were influencing my perception of time. On the one hand, time went very fast because a mass of feelings switched in a high tempo. On the other hand, time stood still. It seemed I was looking at myself and it felt like if someone was looking over my shoulder, trying to reassure me. This was a very hallucinating experience.

I decided to write down this experience. After a few years I had clearly in mind how to get these feelings into the right sound and got an opportunity to compose an orchestral work for the Beethoven Academie. They premiered “Da Una Certa Distanza” in Tienen and Tournai, January 2000, with conductor Daniël Gazon.

“Da Una Certa Distanza” is written to the memory of György Sebök. He died on the day I finished the score. Without him this fascinating piece of art wouldn’t have been possible. He was my musical mentor in the nineties and learned me what it was to communicate musically without borders.

The work starts with triple counterpoint. Each of the three phrases present itself by a slow phase shifting and guarantee their different identities through a specific colour; a “Farbenmelodik”-technique gives each phrase an unique blend.
The different experiences of time and the hallucinating feelings are suggested by the interval of phase shifting and the distance between the three phrases.
Recognizable rethoric gestures aren’t rejected and give expression to a.o. the lamentoso and verglasa character. The work is carefully planned until a heartrending moment of shock and then gradually changes to a more painful but comforting and reassuring conclusion.


2 flutes(/1picc.), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets Bb (/1 bass clarinet Bb), 2 bassoons

2 horns F, 2 trumpets, 1 trombone

strings (14, 12, 10, 8, 4)

  • duration : ca 13"30'
  • first performance : February 26th 2000, 'Beethoven Academie', conducted by Daniël Gazon
  • commissioned by 'Beethoven Academie' and ''Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap'
  • 1st Prize of the 2nd Brandenburg Biennale - 2006 by "Förderverien Brandenburger Symphoniker".
  • 2nd Prize in the "Fourth Composition Competition, Ivan Spassov - 2007", Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
  • score & parts available through :


Da Una Certa Distanza - studio recording

Flemish Radio Orchestra conducted by Hans Rotmann

excerpt, 2 min. (3.5Mb)

play mp3

archive number in Radio VRT (Belgium) :
OC 107061 (studio recording)
OC 106947 (captation of concert)


Brandenburger Wochenblatt 26. November 2006

Zweites Finale

Publikum bestimmte in einer "Komponisten-Disco" seine Favoriten

Von Bernd Köllinger

Alle Kompositionen, die am vergangenen Dienstag in einer vom Förderverein Brandenburger Symphoniker veranstalteten Komponisten-Disco vorgestellt wurden, hatten es bis ins Finale der zweiten Brandenburger Biennale für neue Musik geschafft. Nun sollte sich im Foyer der Studiobühne des Brandenburger Theaters eine Publikumsjury aus hart gesottenen Neue-Musik-Hörern eine eigenen Meinung bilden und ihre Favoriten küren. ....

....Boudewijn Cox komponierte mit "Da Una Certa Distanza" eine ruhig fleissende Abfolge von Klangschichtungen, die sich in würdigem Ernst in der Zeit bewegen, Schritt für Schritt Komplexität und Farbe wechseln und als Streben nach elysischer Reinheit und neuer Klassizität erlebt werden können. Dramatik gibt es nur im Mikrokosmos der Klangverschiebungen. ....

...Wie wohltuend, dass es Komponisten gibt, die einmal nicht in den Tiefen der Seele und den Rätseln der Weltgeheimnisse wühlen, Favorit der Publikumsjury war Boudewijn Cox.... .


Sibeliusfile (not yet available)

next performance :

June 14th 2008 : Brandenburger Symphoniker, cond.Michael Helmrath - Industrial Museum, Brandenburg an der Havel, Germany. info

date to be announced : Pazardhik, cond. NN - Winter Festival, Bulgaria.