The Raphael Project 2017

Günter Raphael (1903-60) was an extraordinarily versatile and prolific composer who contributed numerous symphonic works along with works for oratory (Requiem), vocal solo, chorus (sacred and secular), organ, as well as a rich chamber music legacy, amongst them 6 string quartets.

Characteristic for his work is the continuous dialogue with tradition; over the years he developed a style of unmistakable individuality, equally portraying lush sound and polyphonic structures. His music radiates a strong spiritual and intellectual concentration, not the least through his eminent contrapuntal mastery and his enjoyment in combining prominent melodic elements with a clear formal sense; yet there is as well an inventive abundance of rhythmic elements.

"Like many other musicians, artists, and men of letters, Günter Raphael got caught in the field of tension produced by dictatorship and racist madness during the Nazi period. Although his oeuvre was not branded as 'degenerate' between 1933 and 1945 (he was too firmly rooted in the in the German music tradition for such a label), his Jewish heritage on his father's side made him persona non grata. He was fortunate enough to escape deportation." (Matthias Hermann)

Despite his personal fate, Raphael’s humour – very familiar to his friends and students – plays an essential role in several of his works. Just as audible, though, are numerous depressive traces of the "silent period of his life”.

The Christine Raphael Foundation has invited Acacia Quartet to perform and record Raphael's string quartets Nos. 1, 2 & 6 in May 2017 in Berlin.


thursDAY 04 may 2017 - 7:30pm

Universität der Künste Berlin - Joseph-Joachim-Saal, Bundesallee 1-12, Berlin, Germany

Schubert - String Quartet No. 10, Op. 125/1 D87, Raphael - String Quartet No. 2  —  Raphael - String Quartet No. 6, Mozart - String Quartet K421

friday 12 MAY 2017 - 7:30pm

Pauluskirche Zehlendorf - Paulus Saal, Teltower Damm 4-8, Berlin, Germany

Haydn - String Quartet Op. 77/1, Raphael - String Quartet No. 1  —  Beethoven - String Quartet Op. 74 'Harp'


Acacia Quartet would like to thank the Goethe-Institut for their support of the Raphael Project!