“In his review of From Russia with Love at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Clive Paget described the Orava Quartet as “the most exciting young quartet on the block” – and hearing them perform several times over the course of the AFCM’s final weekend, it’s not hard to see why.
Joined by cellist Francis Gouton, they took to Schubert’s D956 Quintet in C Major on Day 8 like trouts to water, bringing colour, focus and loads of energy to the mammoth work that spans almost an hour… the ensemble sustained a remarkable level of intensity that had the audience hanging on every note.”
– Limelight Magazine, 2017 (live review from AFCM 2017)
“The Orava Quartet – currently the most exciting young quartet on the block – really do breathe as one, an intense togetherness allowing them to indulge a winning delicacy of touch with each player given his moment to sparkle in the sunlight. The Orava sound is rather special. Daniel Kowalik’s lean, clean first violin shimmers away on top, gently complemented by David Dalseno’s discreetly supportive second violin. Underneath sits Thomas Chawner – a violist of much flair and warm tone – and Karol Kowalik, whose impassioned cello is a pleasure to watch as well as a joy to hear.”
- Limelight Magazine, 2017 (live review from AFCM 2017)
“warmth of sound, sublime inner voicing and spontaneity”
– The Sydney Morning Herald
– The Mercury, 2017 (live review)
“elegant style and musical maturity… an engaging sweetness of tone. That ease, of course, only comes with time and effort, and their impeccable balance and pinpoint intonation is clearly a product of intense listening… The hymn-like Adagio with its radiant tonal explorations found the group at their very finest... The Minuet with its softly chuntering cello solo (magical playing from Karol Kowalik) was a gas, the finale a riot of rip-roaring musical japery.”
– Limelight Magazine, 2016 (live review)
“The Orava quartet ... showed with this performance that they have arrived, not merely on the international scene, but somewhere near its apex. I have known and loved this quartet [Schubert D minor string quartet] for 60 years, and I have never heard a better performance of it. From the uncompromising non-vibrato of the opening phrase to the ineffable sweeties of the close of the slow movement; from the commitment to every note in the score to the tightness of the ensemble playing, which made the whole even greater than the sum of its brilliant parts; from the deep seriousness with which they approached the piece to the risks they successfully took with the terrifying textures of the tarantella finale – this was a complete performance, of one of the towering works in the entire string quartet genre. No-one who heard this performance will ever forget it.
– Nicholas Routley, Australian Stage, 2016 (live review from Bangalow Music Festival)
“In their sharp suits and designer mop-tops the four look like a boy band but play with the intensity of their mentors the Takacs Quartet. They are deadly serious in artistic purpose but oh-so-marketable commercially, and their jaw-dropping take on Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in F minor, Op 80, had audience members four times their age hooting and hollering at what is, in terms of the future of Australian chamber music, the real deal.”
– Martin Buzacott, The Australian, 2015 (live review, Australian Festival of Chamber Music)