Sony Classical releases the Juilliard String Quartet's new recording of Beethoven, Bartók, Dvořák

Available April 2, 2021 | PREORDER NOW

The Last Movement of Dvorák’s String Quartet in F Major is Out Now | LISTEN HERE

“The most important American quartet in history” – The Boston Globe


The Grammy Award-winning Juilliard String Quartet celebrates the 75th anniversary of its founding with a new recording from the heart of the quartet repertoire, featuring works by Beethoven, Bartók and Dvořák that resonate with the legacy of chamber music at the ensemble’s home, New York’s Juilliard School of Music. Sony Classical will release the new recording on April 2, 2021.

Included are Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, the second of the composer’s three “Razumovsky” quartets; Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 87; and Antonín Dvořák’s String Quartet in F Major, Op. 96 “American.”

This recording is the first by the Juilliard String Quartet to include Areta Zhulla, who became its first violinist in 2018. Like her colleagues – Ronald Copes, second violin; Roger Tapping, viola; and Astrid Schween, cello – Zhulla also teaches at the Juilliard School, where the ensemble is in permanent residence.

Winner of four Grammy Awards – including a 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, a unique achievement by a chamber ensemble – the Juilliard String Quartet has enjoyed international acclaim since its formation in 1946. A large part of its recorded legacy since 1949 is available on Sony Classical, including groundbreaking, Grammy-winning cycles of the Beethoven and Bartók quartets.

In fact, all three works on the new recording reflect Juilliard’s rich and influential legacy in chamber music. The Dvořák “American” Quartet – written in Spillville, IA, where the composer was summering with the Czech community there – received its world premiere in Boston in 1894 by the Kneisel Quartet. Just over a decade later, that ensemble’s founder, the violinist Franz Kneisel, would become the first head the violin department at the newly formed Institute of Musical Arts, later renamed the Juilliard School of Music.

Recent reviews attest to the current Quartet’s vigorous renewal of its distinguished tradition, which led the Boston Globe to describe it as “the most important American quartet in history.”

“What particularly stood out in this performance was the way in which this diversified foursome is reclaiming some of the old Juilliard Quartet verve,” wrote Strings Magazine’s critic of a 2019 performance. The same year, a Washington Post review hailed one of the Quartet’s performances as “decisive and uncompromising,” noting that “Juilliard’s confidently thoughtful approach, rhythmic acuity and ensemble precision were on full display.”

Repertoire and Track Listing

Beethoven: String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2

1 I. Allegro

2 II. Molto Adagio. Si tratta questo pezzo con moto sentimento

3 III. Allegretto - Maggiore (Thème russe)

4 IV. Finale. Presto

Bartók: String Quartet No.3, Sz.85

5 I. Prima parte: Moderato

6 II. Seconda parte: Allegro

7 III. Recapitulazione della prima parte: Moderato

8 IV. Coda: Allegro molto

Dvořák: String Quartet in F Major, Op.96, "American"

9 I. Allegro, ma non troppo

10 II. Lento

11 III. Molto vivace

12 IV. Vivace, ma non troppo

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