Konstantia Gourzi – Songs for Hellas
(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.
The composition Songs for Hellas for voice and piano is inspired by the the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the inner flame it has ignited in all of us.
The work is commissioned by the 2021 Molyvos International Music Festival. I dedicate this composition to the pianists and artistic directors of the festival, Danae and Kiveli Dörken, as well as to the tenor Julian Prégardien.
The texts of the Songs for Hellas are from the German poet and philhellene Wilhelm Müller. In these poems he gave a warm and passionate image of Greece and its people, to whom he dedicated them. Other well known lyrics by Müllers inspired Franz Schubert to his famous “Winterreise” and “Die schöne Müllerin”.
Although the texts seem to not fit very well to our days anymore after 200 years, they inspired me to create a transcendental sound bridge to somehow connect these two distant periods.
Using fragments of selected texts dealing with Greece from all over Müller´s oeuvre, I created the lyrics for my composition. I decided to use for the composition a part of the text in German and a part translated into Greek. I am convinced, through the two languages the flow and the energy of the messages creates a new level of freedom that moves dynamically between the sounds produced in German and Greek. In this way, through music, a whole new entity emerges.
My goal for this composition was to integrate traditional and modern sound elements. I experienced that at this level the ways of a peaceful coexistence become possible. They pleasantly surprise us, not only with the unexpected but with the commonplace as well, which may seem familiar, almost forgotten, but nonetheless possible.
Konstantia Gourzi – A biographical essay > HERE
More information about the piece > HERE