Australia’s critically acclaimed Orava Quartet returns with a second album on the prestigious global Deutsche Grammophon record label. The Brisbane-based Orava Quartet released its debut album Tchaikovsky | Rachmaninov | Shostakovich on Deutsche Grammophon (Australia) in 2018.
Entitled ORAWA, this new album is scheduled for release on 6 October 2023 by Universal Music and features music by Shostakovich, Schulhoff, Kilar and Australia’s Luke Howard.
Comprising violinists Daniel Kowalik and David Dalseno, viola player Thomas Chawner and cellist Karol Kowalik, ORAWA is a personal tribute to the group’s late mentor Uzi Wiesel. 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.
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 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.
ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) String Quartet No.1/ Five Pieces for String Quartet
WOJCIECH KILAR (1932-2013) Orawa
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartet No. 6 in G major, Op. 101
LUKE HOWARD (b. 1978) Hymn/ Schlusshymne / You Are Not Lost, You Are Here /Andamooka Station
Orava Quartet will be touring Queensland on the following dates:
Friday 6 October, 7pm, Empire Theatre, Toowoomba (QLD)
Saturday 7 October, 7pm, The Edge, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane (QLD)
Friday 20 October, 6pm: Tasmanian Chamber Music Festival, Government House, Hobart (TAS)
Saturday 21 October, 11am, Hobart Town Hall (TAS)
Sun 3 December, 2:30pm, Bond University, Gold Coast (QLD)