Julliard String Quartet - Complete Epic Recordings
Label: SONY CLASSICAL
The Juilliard String Quartet have been leaders in their field for well over half a century. Their continuing legacy is celebrated by Sony Classical over eleven albums, collecting their complete recordings for Epic Records, made between 1956 and 1966. I do not want to give the impression that these are exhibitionist performances, wrote Gramophone in 1963. You dont keep thinking what a wonderful ensemble the Juilliard is; you keep thinking what wonderful quartets Mozart wrote. Mozarts six Haydn Quartets received, on this 1962 recording, the best performances I have ever heard, the stunned Gramophone critic wrote. Billboard agreed, writing that they fairly glisten with the high polish of technical perfection. The Juilliards other recordings of the classics were no weaker. A fine 1963 recording of No. 15 in G major is also reissued for the first time as are the Juilliards 1964 recordings of Mendelssohns Second and Third Quartets, and a trio of Haydn quartets, op. 54, from 1966. The quartets 1965 recording of Beethovens three Razumovsky Quartets and his Harp, op. 74, are also included in the set. So is a collaboration with another venerable artist still active today, Leon Fleisher: the Juilliard and Fleishers rendering of Brahms Piano Quintet dates from 1963. The Juilliard Quartets brilliance in 18th- and 19th-century repertoire is especially impressive for an ensemble originally formed back in 1946 to champion 20th-century music. This side of their work is evident from their earliest Epic album: works by the two lesser-known American composers Benjamin Lees and William Denny. Recorded in 1956, this was among the last Juilliard recordings to feature original second violinist Robert Koff.