Album review: “It has, as they say, been worth the wait.”
“Performances are as tight and committed as you’d expect from these guys. In the Schulhoff, they contrast the tense, controlled atmosphere of much of the string quartet with the more anarchic, Shostakovich-esque parodies of the waltz, serenade, tango and tarantella in the Five Pieces. There is a nice balance, too, between competing energies in the Kilar, between metronomic propulsion and raucous rusticity.”
– Limelight, October 2023
ORAWA opens at no.1 on both ARIA Classical and ARIA Crossover/Classical charts*: https://www.aria.com.au/charts/core-classical-albums-chart/2023-10-16
The Orava Quartet returns with its second album appearing on the famed Deutsche Grammophon imprint: ORAWA
Album available now: listen on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Youtube Music, Amazon Music, Tidal… here!
Following the release of its critically acclaimed debut album on Deutsche Grammophon (Australia) in 2018, the Brisbane-based Orava Quartet is set to release its second album on the famed label. Consisting of members Daniel Kowalik, David Dalseno (violins), Thomas Chawner (viola), and Karol Kowalik (cello), the second album is titled Orawa, and is a personal tribute to the group’s late mentor Uzi Wiesel.
The title of the new album is named after a work by Polish composer Wojciech Kilar (1932-2013), which appears on this album, and was introduced to brothers Daniel and Karol Kowalik by their father during their childhood, becoming such an intrinsic part of their formative years that it inspired the quartet’s name.
Also on this album is Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 6 in G major, Op. 101, which was one of the first works the Oravas performed as an ensemble back in 2006, under the careful guidance of their late teacher Wiesel. This quartet complements their performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110, which appeared on their first album and was reviewed as ‘hair-raising’ by The Daily Telegraph.
Two works by Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942) continues the Eastern European flavour, featuring his String Quartet No 1 and Five Pieces for String Quartet – both written in the tumultuous post-War haze of Europe in the 1920s. Fast-forwarding to a century later, the album is rounded out with four works by Melbourne-based composer Luke Howard (b. 1978), whose search for serenity and solace in his works are evident throughout.
Accompanying the set are beautifully-written notes by Phillip Sametz, tracing the journey of the music, from the greatly gifted Schulhoff who met his end in a Nazi concentration camp, to the reflective works of Howard, whose work ‘Schlusshymne’ presents a luminous, concluding musical prayer for our own tumultuous times.
Read the full media release: MR Orava Quartet new album ORAWA updated Oct2023.
Signed copies available at all of the Quartet’s upcoming concerts:
- Friday 6 October, 7pm: Orava Quartet in Nocturne, Empire Theatre, Toowoomba (QLD) – tickets here
- Saturday 7 October, 7pm: Orava Quartet in Nocturne, The Edge, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane (QLD) – tickets here
- Friday 20 October, 6pm: Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival, Government House, Hobart (TAS) – sold out
- Saturday 21 October, 11am: Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival, Hobart Town Hall (TAS) – tickets here
- Saturday 4 November, 7pm: FCA Paderewski tour – Old Museum, Brisbane (QLD) – tickets here
- Thursday 9 November, 7pm: FCA Paderewski tour – National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (ACT) – tickets here
- Saturday 11 November, 12pm: FCA Paderewski tour – Sydney Town Hall (NSW) – tickets here
- Sunday 12 November, 2pm: FCA Paderewksi tour – Melbourne Polish Festival, Deakin Edge, Federation Square – free: information here
- Friday 24 November, 8pm: Renaissance to Romance, Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, Nowra (NSW) – tickets here
- Sunday 3 December, 2:30pm: Romance and Rapture, Bond University, Gold Coast (QLD) – tickets here
Photo by Dylan Evans Photography.
Keep up to date with the Orava Quartet’s news at facebook.com/OravaQuartetOfficial