In mid-2019, I came across a set of live recordings by the Juilliard String Quartet, on the music school’s web site. I reviewed Arnold Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 3 and remarked at the time on the wonderful quality of the music.

I subsequently downloaded and remastered quite a few of the live quartets from 1951-1959. After listening to this music constantly I decided to review a selection of the performances. You won’t always be able to buy a recording, but you can listen on the Juilliard School website, and to remastered versions on my website, for which I will provide links. I will also link to my usual sites, Spotify, earsense and YouTube for other available versions, should they exist.

Also I noticed that, from late 1959, access is restricted to authenticated members of the Juilliard Community. Make of that what you will, but 1951-1959 will keep me going for a while.

This collection of works is magnificent and the playing of the JSQ is absolutely marvellous – I would say impeccable. Of course some pieces have been discussed here in the past, but I believe the quartet often bring a new perspective to the music.

At the end of each discussion I will include links to 1) the original Juilliard School website performance and 2) my remastered version. I requested permission for the latter but the school is currently closed due to COVID-19 so I will cross that bridge when they re-open. My versions have shortened inter-movement breaks, the applause removed and I also adjusted the levels for a more aesthetic listening experience.

A list of works currently discussed follows: