String quartet no. 1
op. 19, 2004
For string quartet
Duration: 10 min.
Commissioned by Musica Nova, Tel Aviv
World premiere: 2004, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel. String quartet Musica Nova
Publisher: Musikproduktion Höflich München, Repertoire & Opera Explorer, Gourzi Edition
My visits in Israel inspired me to write this string quartet and to dedicate it to my friends who live there. Various experiences like observing extreme life situations or musicians in public spaces performing on a high level resulted in a composition of seven stories that should be performed together in one flow.
In the first part of Israel, the intensity of the sound and the pulse between the different bars become noticeable through chords. After that the piece becomes dynamic, breathless, strict. The next part gives space to the four musicians to “narrate” individually. It is followed by a softer and hopeful sound and eventually the focus on the melodic and nostalgic element. Afterwards, a serene atmosphere is created with chords, reflecting the beginning of the piece. Appearing out of nowhere, a humorous “whistle” concludes the piece like the punch line of a joke.
“(…) das Streichquartett ‘Israel’ der griechischen Komponistin Konstantia Gourzi, die ebenfalls an der Hochschule in München lehrt, vermittelte mit seinen Anklängen an hebräische Melodien sowie dem Wechsel von dissonanten und harmonischen Passagen einen starken Eindruck von Innerlichkeit.”
Rheinische Post/RP Online, 29 April 2014