“We just try to communicate the best we can to our audience, that is with intimacy and no artifice.”
A busy period of criss-crossing the country has begun for the Pavel Haas Quartet. After a great concert in Adelaide on Tuesday the Quartet will tonight perform in Warragul, Victoria. The Quartet is no stranger to regional Australia, having performed in Musica Viva’s CountryWide series in 2008. “We enjoy Australia so much! Great people, very nice audiences, nice towns and beautiful nature.”
And great shopping, too, it seems – both Veronika and Eva arrived at Sunday’s Amadeus recital clutching shopping bags after a morning’s shopping in Bondi!
But don’t think the Quartet is superficial. Their engagement with the music they perform is of the highest order. In an interview with Graham Strahle in the Adelaide Review, Peter Jarusek says that the group’s namesake, composer Pavel Haas, serves as a beacon for what the Pavel Haas Quartet seeks to achieve on an artistic level. “It is the unwavering genuineness of the man and what he did that means a lot to us. We are a young group, but that doesn’t mean that we consciously set out to be more attractive, stylistically innovative or anything like that. We just try to communicate the best we can to our audience, that is with intimacy and no artifice.”
Haas’ music, they say,“is all highly personal, original music from a man who believed very deeply in what he was doing. Throughout his music he uses many Jewish melodies, and you can feel it is Jewish. At the same time, he was fearlessly innovative. His Second String Quartet, for instance, which he called ‘From the Monkey Mountains’, actually includes percussion in the last movement, and it’s an absolute riot. It really is like big band music for string quartet.”
And what of Paul Stanhope, whose String Quartet no 2 the group premieres on this tour?
“When we were last here, for the Huntington Estate Music Festival, we met Paul Stanhope’s music and were really excited,” says Veronika Jaruskova in The West Australian. “So we asked if he could write something for us. He was so kind, because he wrote a piece dedicated to Pavel Haas which is really something special.”