Frank Horvat has been successfully exploring states of the human condition in contemporary times; with each new album this exploration takes on a different musical form/genre. This prolific composer keeps surprising us with diversity and an extent of musical expression, language and themes. From Oblivion to Hope, as performed by the Odin Quartet, is a gorgeous collection of Horvat’s string quartet music and his ideas. Here his message is clear: music is an important tool in raising the level of positivity and hope on this planet as well as in our individual lives. Change is possible.
Horvat’s string quartet music, covering a span of over 20 years, features compelling rhythmical elements and engaging melodies. The album follows a trajectory of personal growth – from oblivion and anxiety through awareness of the preciousness of time and love of nature to the final destination of hope. Each piece tells a story, and none has a traditional form. String Quartet No.2 is a percussive, textural ball of high energy seeking more stable expression. Four Seasons…in High Park, inspired by the seasons in High Park in Toronto and Vivaldi’s iconic Four Seasons, contains many literal quotes but its strength lies in dismantling the original ideas into building blocks of unique compositional language. The album closes with Hope, a peaceful, harmonious rhapsody with bright colours.
Odin Quartet, a strong ensemble with close-knit synergy, is a perfect collaborator. Their sensible interpretation of Horvat’s music highlights the composer’s ingenuity.