March 2, 2016 |
At 70 years old, the Juilliard String Quartet arrived Sunday afternoon sounding like a work in progress. Listeners had every right to feel wistful at the group's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert at the American Philosophical Society. Musicians are human, and all humans at some point begin to fail. This was Joel Krosnick's last appearance here as the group's cellist (Astrid Schween takes over in September), and a hearty standing ovation recognized his four-plus decades of providing a depth and complexity of sound that is rare in the field.
December 13, 2012 |
One of the best parlor games in the city right now is connecting the dots among the various string quartets that come through under the aegis of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Not long ago, the Juilliard Quartet spent a heavy evening with late Beethoven at the Independence Seaport Museum, sounding pleasantly old-world and in need of renovation - depending on the moment. The Brentano Quartet's Tuesday night concert at the Perelman Theater was the seventh string quartet appearance in the society's season lineup (10 quartets to go)
November 17, 2010 |
Is it reasonable to expect the Juilliard Quartet - after 65 years, nine personnel changes, and a constantly shifting zeitgeist - to play the kind of pathbreaking Bartok performances that made the group's reputation? And established the music itself as some of the century's best? Literally speaking, the answer is no. But Sunday's Philadelphia Chamber Music Society audience got the essence of Juilliard's importance in a Bartok String Quartet No. 5 performance that nearly eclipsed guest clarinetist Ricardo Morales in Brahms' Clarinet Quintet later in the program.
October 30, 2009 |
For decades, the Juilliard Quartet represented New York City-style chamber-music-making: streamlined and pared down to essentials, with searing intelligence and no obligation to tradition. Now, 63 years and nine personnel changes since its formation, it remains a force in American chamber music - particularly with the recent addition of Nick Eanet, former Metropolitan Opera concertmaster, who was heard locally for the first time at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concert Tuesday at the Kimmel Center.
February 22, 2006 |
Now planning its 21st season, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society announced this week its customary 63 concerts in nine venues, from the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater to the Independence Seaport Museum, for its 2006-07 season. Many of the most notable events - Mitsuko Uchida playing the Schumann Piano Quintet (Op. 44) with the Brentano Quartet on Nov. 9 or the Juilliard Quartet revisiting Bartok repertoire it helped popularize 50 years ago, on March 13, 2007 - are programs being performed in other cities on tour.
February 24, 2003 |
The larger issues of life and death routinely hover around classical music, but rarely do they play out as uncomfortably close as they did Friday night when, just at curtain time for the Juilliard String Quartet concert, an audience member was stricken with a heart attack. The woman lay collapsed on the floor of the Perelman Theater for 35 minutes as various audience members, emergency workers, and Kimmel Center staff worked to revive her. The sold-out audience of about 650 had little choice but to sit and wait, hope for the best, and ponder what to do in a situation that Philadelphia Chamber Music Society staff members say was a first for the group.
March 1, 2002 |
Any composer who sets out to write a string quartet must make an accommodation with Beethoven. In 16 quartets, Beethoven ascended from virtuosity to eminence to transcendence. At the end, there seemed little room for improvement. Most composers make their Beethoven adjustments privately. But Ralph Shapey, the 81-year-old who has resisted easy accommodation to any form or dogma, is more public. The composer's Quartet No. 10 was played for the first time Wednesday by the Juilliard Quartet at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater, and he subtitled his three-movement work: "Ludwig and I. Es muss sein.
March 23, 2001 |
However cool it is to be the first to hear chamber-music programs bound for glamorous venues in New York City, where they're more nervously performed, it's even better to hear a concert that happens only here. The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presented precisely that with the Colorado Quartet on Wednesday. The quartet collaborated with half of the Guarneri Quartet (violist Michael Tree and cellist David Soyer) on Brahms' worthy but infrequently heard String Sextet No. 2 (Op. 36)
December 17, 1998 |
Elliott Carter wrote his own 90th birthday music, and has spent the days around his birthday soaking up honors and admiration at events in New York City. His new piano quintet had its premiere Dec. 4, and he looked down from a balcony box last Wednesday to applaud musicians who had organized a pre-birthday concert at Alice Tully Hall. Members of the New Juilliard Ensemble played Carter's Double Concerto in a program that included works by Carter favorites Igor Stravinsky and Pierre Boulez.
October 31, 1998 |
Elliott Carter's String Quartets sometimes seem the emblems of an age of alienation. The four players are asked to go separate ways, sometimes intersecting with each other but not often. On Thursday, the Juilliard Quartet played the latest Carter, the Quartet No. 5, written three years ago when the composer was 87. The Convention Center audience could hear that Carter has yielded a little. This piece, a series of six scenes in different moods, separated by interludes, has some of the Italian warmth Carter's titles and directions often predict, but less often fulfill.