Easter in Konstantinopel – because of the Word, 11 moments between East and West for orchestra, choir, a byzantine psalm singer and violin solo (5 strings tenor violon and double strings violin/ first print)
(born in Athens/Greece, 31 March 1962)
Easter in Konstantinopel – because of the Word, 11 moments between East and West for orchestra, choir, a byzantine psalm singer and violin solo (5 strings tenor violon and double strings violin / first print)
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.
I. Arrival Night (orchestra), p. 1
II. Arie I – opened tulip (psalm singer/violin solo), p. 3
III. Vósporos (choir), p. 4
IV. Fanári – long before Sunrise (tutti), p. 6
V. Arie II – without Words (psalm singer/violin solo), p. 19
VI. Good Friday – long after Sunset (tutti), p. 20
VII. Gálata Bridge – beginning (woman choir/psalm singer/violin solo), p. 28
VIII. Gálata Bridge – end (choir/psalm singer/violin solo), p. 30
IX. Easter Saturday, morning (tutti), p. 32
X. Arie III – without Words (psalm singer/violin solo), p.41
XI. Farewell Night (tutti), p. 42
This composition for orchestra, choir and two soloists was commissioned under the theme “logos”. At the time, this was a very relevant topic for me, challenging my work in many ways. Since “In the beginning was the word” is of Greek origin, I decided to take one or two lines from important works of the Greek history, e.g. from the Bible, from Homer, from Greek poets and from a contemporary author who would continue these texts with his own poems.
Searching for a poet, I met the Greek author and priest Panagiotis Kapodistrias from the island of Zakynthos. Convinced by the idea, he wrote these wonderful poems. The two soloists are musical partners with whom I work since a long time.
When I visited Istanbul, I was fascinated by the sounds of the city. It seemed essential to structure the whole piece as a kind of sound bridge between East and West. Therefore, the title refers less to the sounds of Easter but more with the period of my visit. Then came the time to combine everything: the poems, the Byzantine, the improvised and the written music. My aim was to conflate all these musical elements from different origins to a new sound that embraces differences and similarities.
In the 11 moments pieces for orchestra, for orchestra and choir as well as only for choir alternate; in between there are intermezzi with the Byzantine style psalm singer and the violinist as duos. I prefer the Byzantine style psalm singer over a classical baritone because his timbre seems essential in this and many other of my compositions. The violinist had two new instruments made in Athens especially for this composition: one instrument with five strings and one with 8 strings. He plays between the written and dramaturgically composed music either solo parts or parts with the Byzantine style psalm singer and orchestra together. All 11 pieces are moments that characterise Istanbul (the former Konstantinopel) musically.
Konstantia Gourzi – A biographical essay > READ
Choir/Voice & Orchestra
225 x 320 mm