The Ajax String Quartet will perform concerts Saturday and Sunday at the historic Alan Iglitzin barn in Quilcene.

The Ajax String Quartet will perform concerts Saturday and Sunday at the historic Alan Iglitzin barn in Quilcene.

Ajax String Quartet goes rustic for Concerts in the Barn this weekend

QUILCENE — The Ajax String Quartet will perform culturally charged anthems and music with a “visceral rustic edge” during the third weekend of the 2017 Concerts in the Barn series.

The quartet, which holds the position of graduate string quartet in residence at the University of Colorado, will perform free programs at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Alan Iglitzin’s historic barn, 7630 Center Road. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

On Saturday, the quartet will first perform Juan Crisostomo Arrianga’s first quartet, one of three written by a 17-year-old Arrianga just two years before his untimely death.

“A Spanish flair lends this work a rusticism which otherwise borrows stylistically from early Beethoven, Mozart and even Schubert,” first violinist Tom Yaron said. He describes its characterizing feature as a “visceral rustic edge.”

Then, the quartet will play Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 3, a story of the horrors of war.

Rounding out the afternoon will be Beethoven’s virtuosic “Harp Quartet.”

“Its flashy bariolage passages and hocketed pizzicato lines between the four players evokes the instrumental nature of a harp,” Yaron said.

On Sunday, they will feature music that “thematically juxtaposes” new world and old world notions, beginning with Joseph Haydn’s “Emperor Quartet,” which serves as Germany’s national anthem.

Then, the quartet will illuminate the Depression-era Barber’s String Quartet, one of America’s most iconic works of music.

Finally, Dvorak’s “American Quartet” “captures the essence of American culture from an outsider’s perspective,” Yaron said, noting that it borrows from African-American hymnals.

Aisle seats are available for those with limited mobility; reserve an aisle seat by calling 360-732-0732 before the day of the concert.

At the performances, Finnriver Cidery will sell its cider by the glass in the milking shed. Proceeds will be donated to Jefferson County Youth and Family Music programs.

For more information on the concert series, visit www.concertsinthebarn.org.

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