[Feb. 10 concert CANCELED] Polish string quartet, Dutch Baroque ensemble offer February concerts

The Szymanowski Quartet.

The Szymanowski Quartet.

Ensembles hailing from Poland and the Netherlands bring classical music to Bates College in February.

One of the most remarkable international string quartets to emerge from the 1990s, Poland’s Szymanowski Quartet performs pieces by Bacewicz, Haydn, Mozart and namesake Karol Szymanowski at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10. This Feb. 10 concert has been canceled due to the snowstorm.

Later in the month, the Dutch Baroque ensemble Musica ad Rhenum, known for deeply emotional and personal performances, reinvigorates 18th-century classics of Bach on 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27.

Both concerts take place in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. Admission to each is $15, available at batestickets.com. A limited number of free tickets are available for students and seniors 65-plus at bit.ly/oacbates. For more information, please contact 207-786-6135 or olinarts@bates.edu.

Named for Poland’s most famous composer after Chopin, the Szymanowski Quartet was founded in 1995 and has performed in major venues around the world. Tom Huizenga of The Washington Post applauded the foursome’s “warm sound, smart musicianship and detailed interpretations.”

“All professionals perform with intensity, but playing from the heart is another matter,” wrote Bernard Holland of The New York Times. “It was hard not to fall in love with the Szymanowski Quartet at the Frick Collection on Sunday afternoon.”

The quartet’s recordings include a CD of Haydn, Bacewicz and Dvořák and the classical/jazz crossover Pure Desmond. In 2009 the quartet launched a series of three CDs focusing on Karol Szymanowski. Recent recordings include music of Zelenski and Zarebski released on Hyperion in December 2012.

Musica Ad Rhenum.

Musica Ad Rhenum.

Taking their name from the Latin for “music from the Rhine,” Musica ad Rhenum is influenced by the 18th-century music of the European cities that lined the Rhine River, such as Basel, Switzerland, and Cologne, Germany. Emerging from Amsterdam in 1992, the ensemble plays period chamber music on historically accurate instruments — traverso (a type of wooden flute popular during the Baroque era), harpsichord and cello.

Music critic Donald Rosenberg described Musica ad Rhenum’s performances as “triumphant blends of refinement and bold personality.”

While the group honors the original intent of the composer, they also infuse the pieces they play with their own creativity, delivering high-energy performances that have proven that Baroque music can be fresh, expressive and relevant to today’s world. The world agrees; Musica ad Rhenum has played internationally, including shows in London, Madrid, New York, Berlin and Vienna. The ensemble has recorded more than 30 albums.

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