Gourzi, Konstantia – Kastalia, Harp Solo and String Quartet, op. 35c (score & parts / first print)
(born in Athens/Greece, 31 March 1962)
Konstantia Gourzi’s name often appears as composer as well as conductor in the announcements of her concerts. Her portfolio of compositions includes not only operas, film music and works for music theatre and orchestra, but also numerous solo pieces and chamber music. Konstantia Gourzi’s musical work is documented in detail through radio recordings, television broadcasts and live streams. Recordings of her extensive discography were released at ECM, NEOS, NAXOS and SONY Classical.
III. Breath in
IV. The Sayings
V. Breath out
Kastalia is the Nymph of the Delphic source and daughter of the river god Acheloos. The oracle priestess Pythia went from the temple of Apollo to this source to get the inspiration for her prophecies. Kastalia is also my source and inspiration for this composition which unfolds like a sonic ritual for the preparation of the prophecies.
The first movement Sinking features a rhythmic ostinato by the strings, while the solo instrument plays a quasi-archaic melody. It is immediately followed by a dialogue between the two sound bodies, emphasized by dancing rhythms. In the second movement Arrival, a calm mood is created by chords, which serve as the tonal conclusion of the first two movements. The third movement Breath in serves as the soloist’s cadenza and forms the tonal transition to the next tutti movement. The next movement The Sayings arises from a vital dialogue between the soloists and the strings, which expands to a strong expression with dance-like, rhythmic elements. The fifth movement Breath out is the soloist’s second cadenza and serves as a transition to the last movement Farewell. This movement begins with a melody, first led by the violins, until finally all strings join the soloists in performing the epilogue of the composition.
The original version of the piece for harp and string quartet was a shorter one. The work was later expanded with two movements for solo harp between the already existing tutti movements.
The solo part of Kastalia op. 35c can be played either by lyre, guitar or the traditional instrument saz. The Saz was used in the recording for the NEOS-CD Synápsies. Mixing the traditional instrument with strings was a delightful task and showed once again that the well temperament can coexist with the “traditional” temperament in this case.
Konstantia Gourzi – A biographical essay > READ