The Orava Quartet’s Hobart concert last night represented a brave piece of programming, with none of the works presented written before 1920. The Luke Howard work was a world premiere, and three of the four composers featured are relatively little-known. Nevertheless, Hobart audiences showed their adventurous spirit, and the quartet played to an almost COVID-capacity crowd.

Orava Quartet The Orava Quartet: Daniel Kowalik,  Thomas Chawner, Karol Kowalik and  David Dalseno. Photo © Dylan Evans Photography, courtesy of Universal Music Australia

In his program notes, cellist Karol Kowalik stated that the quartet have a particular affinity with two of the works they performed. On last night’s showing they would seem to have extended this affinity to all five works on the program. They offered a depth of understanding and a respect for the composers that rendered this unfamiliar music accessible and, for most, enjoyable.

The new work by Luke Howard, ‘ You are not lost, you are here.’, was short with a beautifully shaped arc reminiscent of the famous lines from T.S. Eliot: “We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where...