20 Apr 1999

Written by: Paul Griffiths

Published in: The New York Times

Full Article 

“By far the most substantial piece of the evening was “Expulsion” by the Dutch composer Theo Verbey. Like many other composers from the Netherlands, Mr. Verbey obviously appreciates the pulse and clarity of Stravinsky, in combination with the ruder dynamism of popular music as mediated by, again, American minimalists. But his music is unusually intricate and poetic. “Expulsion,” for an ensemble of 24 players, is based, according to the composer, on an oscillation of two chords, but these provide just a haze over continuous contrapuntal interplay. One has the sense of numerous instrumental voices talking to one another, of music talking to itself, just being there. Not demanding attention, almost resisting it, the piece hooks one in. The Absolute’s performance could have been more carefully modulated, but its liveliness was persuasive, and one was left wanting to hear more of this composer.”