Israel

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

Composer’s notes

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.

© Norbert Banik

Press reviews

“(…) 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

Audio sample

Score

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CD

Konstantia Gourzi: Music for Piano and String Quartet

ECM Records, ECM New Series 2309, 2014

Lorenda Ramou, Ensemble Coriolis

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