string quartet no. 3
Rønnebæksholm as part of a composer-in-residence project
According to Greek mythology PENELOPEIA (or Penelope) was daughter of Ikaros and married to Ulysses. During Ulysses' 20 years of voyage she stayed back home on the island Ithaka, patiently waiting for her husband while raising their son Telemachos.
She was an attractive woman and lots of young men wooed her. But she was firm in her faith towards Ulysses. Her many suitors were kept away by a cheat: she declared that she would only merry again after having finished a woven shroud for Laërtes, her father-in-law.
She worked hard on the fabric every day, but at night she unraveled all the day's work.
Finally her cheat was revealed by one of her servants, but fortunately Ulysses returned back at the same moment. After a heroic fight against all the suitors, he and Penelopeia were happily reunited.
This string quartet attempts to capture some of the emotions and moods that must have filled Penelopeia through all these yaers. Longing. Unrest. Uncertainty. Doubt. A dayly life occupied by a strange useless diligence and activity with no other purpose than
keeping yourself and your surroundings at a distance.
The piece is part of the