Szymon Laks: String Quartets
Szymon Laks: String Quartet No. 3 “On Polish Folk Themes” (1945); String Quartet No. 4 (1962); String Quartet No. 5 (1963)
Messages Quartet: Małgorzata Wasiucionek (violin); Oriana Masternak (violin); Maria Dutka (viola); Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska (cello)
In her October 13 review for Le Monde, Marie-Aude Roux praised the Messages String Quartetfor the “precise and refined quality of their playing that was also lively and passionate, which gave the inspired scores of [Szymon Laks’s string quartets] their full splendor.” Adding that this music is in “very good hands” of the quartet’s four young women—violinists Małgorzata Wasiucionek and Oriana Masternak, violist Maria Dutka and cellist Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska—the reviewer also provided her readers with a short history of the composer’s life that included settling in Paris in 1925 as well as being an inmate of Auschwitz and a Holocaust survivor. Noting that Laks stopped composing after 1972 and became a writer (fluent in Polish, Russian, French, German and English), Ms. Roux observed that his literary works (like Mélodies d’Auschwitz for example) analyze the role of music played in the times of extermination.