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The Juilliard String Quartet, a Faculty Recital 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
November 27, 2017


Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809): String Quartet in D major, Op. 76, No. 5 (Hob. III:79), “Allegretto - Allegro”, “Largo cantabile e mesto”, “Menuetto”, “Finale: Presto”.

Béla Bartók (1881-1945): String Quartet No. 5 “Allegro”, “Adagio molto”, “Scherzo: Alla bulgarese (Vivace)”, “Andante”, “Finale: Allegro vivace”.

Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904): String Quartet No. 11 in C major, Op. 61, “Allegro”, “Poco adagio e molto cantabile”, “Scherzo”, “Finale: Vivace”.

During its 71st season, the Juilliard String Quartet performed three works at Alice Tully Hall to tremendous ovations. In fact, at the concert’s finale, the enthused audience of Juilliard students, faculty, and the New York music community awarded the Quartet a standing ovation. The Quartet opened with Haydn’s String Quartet in D major, abounding with the first movement’s melodic, quasi-balletic fluidity. Astrid Schween’s cello picked up the theme, expanded upon by both violins and Roger Tapping’s viola. As the “Allegro” becomes turbulent, Joseph Lin, leading, with Ronald Copes created an intriguing violin conversation. The second movement “Largo” was mournful with contemplative tones. Here Mr. Copes led the theme, and I noted the impressive confidence and talent of this faculty quartet, with no showmanship, but rather its quiet humility, understated nuance, and seasoned chemistry. Sorrowful romanticism was imbued in these passages. The “Menuetto” third movement was courtly with flawless staccato dynamics. The “Finale” exuded racing, dervish, swirling, and galloping phrases, with echoing refrains.

The Bartók String Quartet No. 5 opened with the “Allegro”, moody and atonal. Mr. Lin reached the highest, edgiest, eeriest tones I could imagine, noting that they seemed filmatic and dramatically treacherous. Melding musical implosions followed with tiptoeing phrases. The “Adagio molto” was deeply resonant, opening in whispering surrealism. The occasional string solos seemed theatrically tuned for a wounded, forestial bird. The tonal dissonance was magnetic. But, in contrast, the third movement “Scherzo: Alla bulgarese (Vivace)” had a festive. jazzy rhythm and theme, although elusive. Bucolic Eastern European elements ended in a dash of mildness. The following “Andante”, with tremolo and pizzicato strings, was softly presented, echoing the surrealism and edginess of the earlier movements. Tonally charged solo notes leaped across ascending and descending scales in yearning fascination. The “Finale” was musically propelled like a rolling night train. Spinning strings and dramatic pauses were followed by intense atonal fusion. Bartók’s Quartet ends in a curious, upended melody that implodes.

Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 11 in C major opens with the “Allegro”, melodic, vivacious, and compelling. Lyrical, romantic yearning seemed to tell a story. The Quartet developed this first movement with sensual spirituality. The soulful “Poco adagio…” saw Mr. Lin taking a poignant solo, responded to by unhurried and sorrowful harmonies on Mr. Tapping’s viola and Mr. Copes’ violin. The “Scherzo” brought forth overlapping rhythms that repeated with lush, waterfalls of harmony. At times the tempos seemed to take on Bohemian, or Czech, motifs. The “Finale” was more passion than presto, a true “vivace”, with breezy, wistful passages that build to a frenzied finish. Kudos to the Juilliard String Quartet.

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