JUILLIARD QUARTET Schoenberg, Berg & Webern: String Quartets (1951-2) - PACM087

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JUILLIARD QUARTET Schoenberg, Berg & Webern: String Quartets (1951-2) - PACM087

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SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 7

SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 10
SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30
SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 4, Op. 37
WEBERN Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5
BERG String Quartet, Op. 3

Rrecorded 1951-52
Total duration: 2hr 23:34

Juilliard String Quartet


This set contains the following albums:

Definitive classic recordings of modern masterpieces from the 2nd Viennese School

"...the Juilliard's profoundly intelligent interpretation..." - The Gramophone

It seems that the name "Schoenberg", despite his huge importance in the history of twentieth century musical development, struck fear into the hearts of 1950s British record company executives - so much so that these recordings had to wait almost a decade after their American recording dates before anyone was brave enough to issue them on the other side of the Atlantic.

Philips did a fine job with their pressings, and it is from neat-mint copies of these that the present transfers were taken. XR remastering has brought a greater sense of life and presence, to lift the recordings to a higher technical level than previously heard, with clarity and depth that finely unravels the complexities of much of the music.

Note that the Juilliard's contemporaneous recording of Berg's String Quartet Op. 3 was too long to include on the present CD issue. I restored it along with the Schoenberg and Webern, and it is available as a free download from our website.

Andrew Rose

  • SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, Op. 7
    Recorded 19 May, 1952
  • SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 10
    Recorded 12 June, 1951
    Uta Graf soprano
  • SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30
    Recorded 12 June, 1951
  • SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 4, Op. 37
    Recorded 16 May, 1952
  • WEBERN Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5
    Recorded 1 August, 1952
  • BERG String Quartet, Op. 3
    Recorded 31 July, 1952

    N.B. The Berg String Quartet is included in all downloads, but we were unable to fit it onto our CD release due to excess length.

The Juilliard String Quartet:
Robert Mann,
Robert Koff,
Raphael Hillyer,
Arthur Winograd,

Recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York City
Transfers from Philips ABL.3387, A01177L, ABL.3373

Gramophone Historic Review

Schoenberg - Quartet No. 1

Last year Philips made the Juilliard Quartet’s magnificent recordings of Schoenberg’s second, third and fourth quartets available to English collectors on special order. Evidently this somewhat tentative display of enterprise must have justified itself in terms of sales, for they have now transferred both of those records to the regular catalogue, with the mono numbers ABL3372. and 3373, and have also taken the opportunity to complete the set by issuing the monumental first quartet, which was previously not even available to special order. Listening to it again in the Juilliard's profoundly intelligent interpretation I cannot help wondering why there should have been so much hesitation about exposing the British public to it. Of course this is not the .Schoenberg that appeals to some Schoenbergians: completed in 1905 (six years after Verklärte Nacht) it is still completely tonal in its language, in spite of the fluent use of chromatic harmony; it is sometimes said to be turgidly scored, but in a performance where each player knows what he is up to at any given moment — as these clearly do — the apparent thickness can be seen as muscle and sinew; and lastly, of course, the fact that it is written in one continuous movement might deter a few faint hearts, if acquaintance did not reveal how beautifully assured and firm the overall design is. No, matters of taste and fashion apart, there is every reason why this quartet should be in the catalogues, for it shows Schoenberg in his early maturity expressing himself in the medium which, above all others, he had reason to know and love. This should prove the ideal, stepping-stone to the second quartet, and the chamber symphonies for those who have so far not managed to come to grips with any Schoenberg apart from Verklärte Nacht.

The recording, some years old. now, is perfectly adequate; only a slight lack of fullness betrays its age. The score is published by the Dreililien-Verlag, Berlin-Lichterfelde.

J.N., The Gramophone, June 1961