Nees, Vic


Nees, Vic

Serenade for strings (first print, score and parts)



Vic Nees – Serenade voor strijkorkest (Serenade for strings)

(Mechelen, 8 March 1936 – Vilvoorde, 14 March 2013)

Pezzo in forma di sonatina – Elegy – Waltz – Final (on beggar songs).

Vic Nees, son of carillonist-composer Staf Nees (1901-1965), became one of the most prominent figures in Flemish and international choral life after studying with Marcel Andries and Flor Peeters at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Antwerp and with Kurt Thomas at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg. Nees played an important role as producer of choral music at the BRT (Belgische Radio- en Televisieomroep) (from 1961), as conductor of the radio choir (from 1970), as jury member at numerous national and international choral competitions, as consultant to choral organisations, as musicologist and musicographer, and as advocate of Flemish composers past and present.

Nees mainly composed choral works, which are also frequently performed internationally. Only in his early years as a composer did he write some instrumental works, including three piano works: Capriccio (1956), Toccata (1957) and Sonatine (1962) (The Flemish Music Collection, no. 2629).
This Serenade for strings also stands out in Nees’ oeuvre, both in terms of scoring and idiom. Of course, he wrote the work at the request of the Festival of Flanders for the four-hundredth anniversary of the Pacification of Ghent (1576), an important moment in the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648) in which seventeen rebellious regions unanimously proclaimed that the Spanish troops had to leave the Dutch regions. Whereas Nees implements new trends in his choral music to a greater or lesser extent, in this Serenade he proves himself to be a neo-romanticist who sees a full-blooded romantic like Peter Tchaikovsky as his example. Nees modelled his work on the Serenade op. 48 that Tchaikovsky completed in 1881. Not only does he use the same string instrumentation, but the four movements also mirror Tchaikovsky’s: Pezzo in forma di sonatina – Tempo di valse – Elegie – Finale (Tema russo). Nees does switch the positions of the Elegy and the Waltz, and in the Finale he uses ‘geuzenliederen’ (beggar songs), battle songs sung in the Netherlands during the Eighty Years’ War.
Nees’ Serenade for strings was premiered on 21 August 1976 by the Soloists of the Belgian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Rudolf Werthen.

Jan Dewilde
(translation: Jasmien Dewilde)

This score was edited by Stijn Saveniers based on the autograph manuscript preserved in the library of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp (KVC 231197), and published in collaboration with the Study Centre for Flemish Music (


Read Flemish and German preface > HERE

Score Data

Special Edition

The Flemish Music Collection


String Orchestra


225 x 320 mm


Set Score & Parts


First print



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