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The Juilliard String Quartet Opens Its 70th Anniversary Season at Alice Tully Hall

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The Juilliard School

The Daniel Saidenberg Faculty Recital Series

Juilliard String Quartet
(Juilliard String Quartet Web Page)

Joseph Lin and Ronald Copes, Violins
Roger Tapping, Viola
Astrid Schween, Cello

Alice Tully Hall
Lincoln Center

Media Relations: Gloria Gottschalk

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 17, 2016

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827): String Quartet in F minor Op. 95 (“Serioso”), “Allegro con brio”, “Allegretto ma non troppo”, “Allegro assai vivace ma serioso – Piů allegro”, “Larghetto espressivo – Allegretto agitato – Allegro”.

Béla Bartók (1881-1945): String Quartet No. 1 Op. 7, “Lento”, “Allegretto”, “(Introduzione) Allegro”, “Allegro vivace – Presto”.

Beethoven: String Quartet in F major Op. 59, No. 1 (“First Razumovsky”), “Allegro”, “Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando”, “Adagio molto e mesto (attaca)”, “Themé russe: Allegro”.

In celebration of its 70th Anniversary, the Juilliard String Quartet performed three works at Alice Tully Hall to tremendous ovations. In fact, at the concert’s finale, the enthused audience awarded the Quartet a standing ovation. Beethoven’s String Quartet in F minor Op. 95 (“Serioso”) opened dramatically, in the “allegro con brio”, followed by waves of poignant sentimentality. Ms. Schween’s cello led the “allegretto ma non troppo”, a rhapsodic theme, with gentle waves of musicality. She was soon joined by slightly dissonant violins, with the viola highlighted in sumptuous solo phrases. In the “allegro assai …”, the Quartet built with impressive momentum, before the “larghetto espressivo…” closed the piece with its echoing, driven dynamics, that showcased the sweeping, searing theme.

The Bartók String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7 was so stunning in its elongated, stretched tones that the packed audience seemed breathless in absorbing the experience. The “lento” first movement, lovely in its atonality and imbued with filmatic mystery, seamlessly flowed into the “allegretto”, “allegro”, and “allegro vivace…”, without pause. Mr. Tapping’s viola and the two violins were melancholy and luminous, weaving through the tones of the stirring cello, which found its spotlight in a prominent, mournful phrase. Mr. Lin’s and Mr. Copes’ eerie violins created forceful, frenetic fusion, before a series of swoops of the bows drew the violins into tonal drama. Ms. Schween led the dark theme into more compelling sound, that quickly reduced itself to quietude. But, soon the near silence exploded into fiery frenzy with pregnant pauses. A feverish flourish ended the work, led by a masterful Mr. Lin on violin.

Beethoven’s String Quartet in F major Op. 59, No 1 is also called the “First Razumovsky”, named for a Russian Count who commissioned works from the German-born composer, when both met in Vienna. When the “allegro” introduced danceable and melodic rhythms, it was immediately apparent that this early commission for Beethoven in Vienna was designed to please. Waterfalls of thematic tones ensued before the “allegretto vivace…” took shape. Mr. Lin once again took the central yearning narrative, generating lush echoes from Mr. Copes’ violin, along with the cello and viola. A bucolic, rapturous melody framed the moment, before a regal variation on the theme brought fascinating texture to this commissioned masterpiece. The “adagio molto…” was mournful with ‘tristesse’, induced by deep undertones of the strings. When pizzicato effects cut the air, Mr. Lin shone in an eloquent violin solo. The finale, “thčme russe: allegro”, created bucolic joy with precise pauses and synchronized timing. It was evident throughout the evening that the Quartet’s current members are seasoned and first-rate.

The Juilliard String Quartet
(l-r) Joseph Lin, Ronald Copes, Astrid Schween, Roger Tapping
Daniel Saidenberg Faculty Recital Series
at Alice Tully Hall
Courtesy of Nan Melville

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at