Carter, String Quartets 1-5, Juilliard String Quartet (Sony, 2014)
Things are looking up for the Juilliard, since the new additions are encouraging. Joseph Lin, who joined at first violin in 2011, had an overall powerful primarius sound, especially pretty at the high end. Violist Roger Tapping, formerly of the beloved Takács Quartet, joined in 2013, and although he was largely invisible in the opening piece, Schubert's Quartettsatz, he came to the fore in many solo moments in the middle work, Elliott Carter's first string quartet. (Tapping joined the Juilliard after the group had recorded Carter's fifth string quartet, released in a set in 2014, with the earlier recordings of the first four.)
Robert Battey, A changed sound is heard in Juilliard Quartet’s concert at Library of Congress (Washington Post, February 28, 2016)
Zachary Woolfe, Juilliard String Quartet Shows Agility at Alice Tully Hall (New York Times, November 24, 2015)
At the cello Krosnick is not up to his former standards, but he seemed most at home in Beethoven's final string quartet, op. 135. Rather than the autumnal solemnity of some late Beethoven, the piece takes many jovial turns, brought out with a flexible sense of ensemble in the first movement. The bright-eyed, rollicking Vivace was nimble in all parts, with a sense of eye-twinkling from Krosnick's seat, and the slow movement showed off Lin's warm low-string sound. To the cellist's insistent repetitions of the head motif in the finale ("Muß es sein?", or Must it be?), the quartet took comic delight in chattering (musically) the response ("Es muß sein"). The latter is a reference to a comic canon Beethoven composed in 1826, informing a patron, who wanted to have a performance of one of Beethoven's string quartets in his house, that yes, the patron must pay the required fee to have a copy of the score ("Es muss sein! Ja ja ja ja! Heraus mit dem Beutel!," or It must be! Yes yes yes yes! Out with the wallet!). An encore, the slow movement from Mozart's K. 465 ("Dissonance"), offered a final moment of farewell.