Juilliard String Quartet – Beethoven – Bartok – Dvorak: String Quartets (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Juilliard String Quartet – Beethoven – Bartók – Dvorák: String Quartets (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:13:10 minutes | 1,26 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sony Classical

The Juilliard String Quartet was heard only sparsely on recordings in the 2010s as the group went through personnel changes that to traditionalists might have threatened to sink the venerable group. They can rest easy, however, for in this 2021 recording, on a renewed contract with Sony Classical and what is billed as a 75th-anniversary album, the new lineup offers a program of Beethoven, Bartók, and Dvořák that is traditional as can be, and a sound that respects the virtues of the group as it existed in its heyday. Those virtues include soberness, clarity, and carefully wrought balances, all on display in the Beethoven String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2. Here, the Juilliard avoids the overwrought performances that have become, if not the norm, at least increasingly accepted and brings a wonderful transparency to the “Thème russe” middle section of the Scherzo, with its dense contrapuntal overlay. The Bartók String Quartet No. 3 likewise emphasizes the work’s classical roots rather than its desolate modern stretches, which are there but can speak for themselves. The new Juilliard’s style is not a clone of that of the classic group; new first violinist Areta Zhulla is capable of a great variety of sounds and brings them to bear in a fresh, exciting performance of the Dvořák String Quartet in F major, Op. 96 (“American”), where the group introduces flexible tempos that bring out the folk rhythms in the work, whether they be American or Czech. This is a release that seems to ensure another generation of fine Juilliard music-making.

1. String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2 : I. Allegro (08:55)
2. String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2 : II. Molto Adagio. Si tratta questo pezzo con moto sentimento (12:05)
3. String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2 : III. Allegretto – Maggiore (Thème russe) (06:22)
4. String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2 : IV. Finale. Presto (05:23)
5. String Quartet No.3, Sz.85 : I. Prima parte: Moderato (04:34)
6. String Quartet No.3, Sz.85 : II. Seconda parte: Allegro (05:26)
7. String Quartet No.3, Sz.85 : III. Recapitulazione della prima parte: Moderato (02:55)
8. String Quartet No.3, Sz.85 : IV. Coda: Allegro molto (01:55)
9. String Quartet in F Major, Op.96, “American”: : I. Allegro, ma non troppo (09:36)
10. String Quartet in F Major, Op.96, “American”: : II. Lento (06:56)
11. String Quartet in F Major, Op.96, “American”: : III. Molto vivace (03:41)
12. String Quartet in F Major, Op.96, “American”: : IV. Vivace, ma non troppo (05:22)