Orava Quartet: debut album for Deutsche Grammophon Australia

Orava Quartet: debut album for Deutsche Grammophon Australia
February 5, 2018 Jacqueline




“The Oravas play with an enticing combination of immediacy and depth, ideal for their exploration of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich.” – Edward Dusinberre, Takács Quartet

“In terms of the future of Australian chamber music, the real deal.” – Martin Buzacott, The Australian

“World class” – The Mercury

Deutsche Grammophon Australia is thrilled to announce the signing and debut album release of the country’s most promising young string ensemble: the Orava Quartet. Consisting of members Daniel Kowalik, David Dalseno (violins), Thomas Chawner (viola), and Karol Kowalik (cello), the Quartet has been hailed as the ‘future of Australian chamber music’ (The Australian), having arrived ‘not merely on the international scene, but somewhere near its apex’ (Australian Stage).

For its debut album, the Orava Quartet invites the listener on an emotive journey across a century of Russian music, from the lyrical Romanticism of Tchaikovsky’s first string quartet in D major, Op. 11 – which includes the famous Andante cantabile second movement – to the little-known fragmented string quartet of Rachmaninov, in which only two movements have survived, to the troubled and oppressed world of 1960s Soviet Russia in which Shostakovich wrote his eighth string quartet, Op. 110. The incomplete Rachmaninov quartet is recorded here for the first time ever on the famous Deutsche Grammophon label.

Daniel Kowalik, founder and first violin of the Orava Quartet, says: ‘It’s tremendously humbling and an honour to record on this prestigious label. I have grown up listening to the great Deutsche Grammophon recordings, and without a doubt those recordings have helped shape me into the musician I am today. This is a dream come true for the Quartet; we’re deeply grateful for this opportunity and already looking forward to our next project.’

Also included on this album is a special bonus track featuring Australian soprano Greta Bradman, singing Rachmaninov’s famous Vocalise, arranged especially for this recording for soprano and double string quartet by Australian composer Richard Mills AM. To achieve this, the Orava Quartet performed both quartet parts, overdubbing themselves in the studio.

Cyrus Meher-Homji, Executive Producer and General Manager of Classics & Jazz at Universal Music Australia, recalls: ‘I first heard the Orava Quartet when I attended the 2015 Musica Viva Huntington Estate Music Festival with my colleague Tom Ford. We had traveled there to hear the great Austrian baritone Wolfgang Holzmair sing Schubert and Wolf Lieder. On the first evening, the Orava Quartet performed Shostakovich’s sixth string quartet and I was gobsmacked by their clarity and dedication to the work. The following day, they joined French violist Lise Berthaud in Mozart’s string quintet in G minor. Again, their articulate and uniform performance struck me as something special. Coupled with their distinct stage appearance, I knew there and then that we had to record an album with them.’


String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11
1. Moderato e semplice
2. Andante cantabile
3. Scherzo. Allegro non tanto e con fuoco – Trio
4. Finale. Allegro giusto – Allegro vivace

Two Movements for String Quartet
(String Quartet No. 1 unfinished)
5. Romance. Andante espressivo
6. Scherzo. Allegro

String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110
7. Largo
8. Allegro molto
9. Allegretto
10. Largo
11. Largo

Bonus track
SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) arranged by RICHARD MILLS (b. 1949) for soprano and double string quartet
12. Vocalise (Fourteen Romances, Op. 34 No. 14)


Music by the Springs Festival (VIC) – 9-11 Feb. More details.
SYDNEY: SOH Utzon Music Series (NSW) – 18 Feb. More details.
BRISBANE: Romance & Revolution (QLD) – 24 Feb. More details.
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND: New Zealand Festival (NZ) – 1 March. More details.
MELBOURNE: Melbourne Recital Centre Southbank Series (VIC) featuring guest appearance by soprano Greta Bradman – 13 March. More details.
CANBERRA: Canberra International Music Festival (ACT) – 27 April-6 May. More details.

To watch the Orava Quartet album EPK on Youtube, click here and to read more in Limelight Magazine, click here