P-ILION, nine fragments of an eternity

String quartet no. 2

op. 33/2, 2007

I. breath in, 7.19 pm
II. breath out, 8.12 pm
III. tettix, 10.15 pm
IV. jasmine, 10.22 pm
V. secret, 10.55 pm
VI. once upon a time, 11.17 pm
VII. wind, 11.47 pm
VIII. dance, 12.00 pm
IX. night flower, 1.11 am

For string quartet
Duration: 12 min.

Commissioned by Kasseler Musiktage 2007
World premiere: 10 November 2007, Kasseler Musiktage. Athena Quartett

Composer’s notes

P-ILION, nine fragments of an eternity was commissioned by the Kasseler Musiktage 2007 to write a string quartet for the Athener Quartet. The piece was planned to be performed between two Beethoven string quartets.

Often, an outstanding event does not last long: like the time of breathing in or breathing out. Nevertheless, this short period might feel like an eternity. These are the moments that keep us alive. I observed that today the flow of time is very fast, so there is a risk to not listen to our heartbeat.

PILION is a region in Greece characterized by pristine nature. I was there when I started composing this piece. The Greek capital letter “P” is the Π (Pi), interpreted in ancient Greek as a symbol for gate or door. ILION derives from Greek ILIOS, meaning sun or light. Thus, the title refers to a kind of „Gate to the Light“ – and at the same time it reflects my view on PILION, as I experienced it.

These nine miniatures are reflecting moments, that lead to the light. Some of them are very short. Still, I feel that they are longer than the music itself. They force me to experience time with a higher intensity and to be able to feel the echo differently. The numbers in the titles of the miniatures are times of the clock. The time stands still in a specific moment because the intensity of what is happening changes the perception of time.

Press reviews

“Gourzis Stücke tragen oft außermusikalische Titel. Sie verweisen auf Begegnungen, Gefühle, Atmosphären und Stimmungen, die zu musikalischen Ideen geworden und in ihre Kompositionen eingeflossen sind. (…) Der Ton ihrer Erzählungen mag gelegentlich entfernt an Debussy, Schumann oder Skrjabin erinnern oder mit expressiven Gesten und atonalem Furor direkt an die Moderne anknüpfen; Gourzis Musik berührt stets unmittelbar, nicht zuletzt dank der inspirierten Darbietungen von Lorenda Ramou (Klavier) und dem Ensemble Coriolis.”

Klassik Akzente, 8 October 2014




CD Konstantia Gourzi: Music for Piano and String Quartet
Konstantia Gourzi: Music for Piano and String Quartet

ECM Records, ECM New Series 2309, 2014

Lorenda Ramou und Ensemble Coriolis