"The Lydians are fine players, full of dramatic charge and integrated to perfection."
Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph (London, England)
"This was an alert, aware, and richly satisfying performance."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
"The Lydian Quartet seems to have arrived at its prime, finding a balance between instinct and intellect, exploration and experience, brains and heart."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
"the performances were top-notch, as one expects from this group, Brandeis' resident quartet since 1980."
David Perkins, The Boston Globe
"The Lydian String Quartet charge in with a volcanic energy that sounds like an orchestra rather than a chamber group, and their intensity never lets up. In the fast music, they have all the barbaric splendor one could ask for; in the slow music...they play with great tenderness. This is the most revelatory CD to come my way this year."
American Record Guide
"I can't remember the Bartok Third Quartet expressed with such tight clarity and warmth"
Bernard Holland, The New York Times
"The Lydians approached the works sensitively and with the full range of tone, from warmth to brashness, that the contemporary literature demands."
Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
"The Lydian Quartet plays beautifully here, with a precision and involvement marking them as among the world's best quartets."
Kevin M. Williams, Chicago Sun-Times
"Each time I encounter the Lydian Quartet my admiration for their technical, structural, and communicative power continues to grow. They are the complete package, and the wider my travels, the deeper goes my conviction."
Composer John Harbison
"The performance of the third Brahms Quartet, the composer's own favorite, was a revelation."
Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe
"The concert ended with the Lydian String Quartet playing the greatest of Schumann's three string quartets, the third, in A major. The Lydians caught Schumann's sense of longing, his agitation, his contemplative inwardness, and, in the finale, his affirmation of the world in song and dance. The recent arrival of cellist Joshua Gordon has given the Quartet a new aural coherence. The playing is always on the edge - yet that edge isn't sharp but delicately rounded. There's a lightness and nimbleness that's capable of gravity and passion without forcing the music or weighing it down."
Lloyd Schwartz, the Boston Phoenix
"The Lydian String Quartet gave Lee Hyla's "Quartet" a premiere performance composers might dream of at the Library of Congress Saturday afternoon. From the start, which pitted a ruminative melody against chattering, discordant commentary, to the propulsive last movement, theirs was musicianship of a high order. Hyla's piece followed Alban Berg's Quartet Op. 3, a fiercely atonal work the Lydian coaxed into song. If anything, the group began Beethoven's Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1 too perfectly with the sort of performance in which all the superlatives ring true. In this composition by the mature Beethoven, they revealed a fire that makes all timeless music forever contemporary."
Sunil Freeman, The Washington Post
"one of the country's superior chamber groups. The program was challenging: Faure's E-minor Quartet, far too seldom played; Schubert's ''Death and the Maiden" Quartet, often played and always welcome; and a new work, the Third Quartet by New York-based composer Lee Hyla. The setting was glorious, and so were the performances."
Alan Rich, Los Angeles Daily News
"Their music-making combines meticulous detail with sweep and technical assurance equal to every challenge. In a musical age where personality has given way to objectivity, it is refreshing to hear a group with a clearly stated point of view."
Henry Derrick, Atlanta Journal Constitution
"There are a lot of good string quartets around, but I would rank the Lydians with the best. Traditionally the medium has been admired as an opportunity for a polyphony in which each of the four voices can be discerned. Everything is so clear you can appreciate the way music has been written. And, of course, much of the great music for quartet also calls for the voices to sing together. There are chamber groups in which the individuality of the players is so strong they seem more like a group of soloists. This can help make polyphonic writing dynamically exciting but can be a hindrance to concerted action. The Lydians showed Thursday's audience they can do both, but they are not a collection of soloists, they are a quartet."
William Glackin, Sacramento Bee
"Make no mistake. The Lydian String Quartet making a debut appearance for the Vanguard Concerts series in the Dayton Art Institute's Renaissance Auditorium turned out to be a top-drawer kind of group. The concert Saturday focused on the music of Mozart, Beethoven and the American composer John Harbison and boasted satisfying ensemble work, notable for its precision and a wonderful tonal balance. Second half of the evening's concert was given over to the last of Beethoven's Rasoumovsky quartets, composed in 1806 and dedicated to the violin-playing Russian ambassador to Vienna, Count Rasoumovsky. The C Major, No. 3 quartet, with its unexpectedly exotic slow movement, remains surprisingly atypical Beethoven. This was gorgeously played."
Betty Dietz Krebs, Dayton Daily News
"They played the three [Beethoven] quartets on this program with a satisfyingly lovely sound and with interpretive good sense."
Thomas Putnam, Buffalo News
"Their playing is at once mellow-sounding and intense, relaxed in tempo and highly dramatic in treatment of dynamics, propulsive and beautifully delineated. Their silences are as musical as their flights of lyricism."
Clarke Bustard, Richmond Times-Dispatch
"At Emmanuel Music, Russell Sherman was joined by the Lydian String Quartet and bassist Gregory Koeller for Mozart's sublime Piano Concerto No. 12 in A, K.414. Mozart's subtle, intimate, inward-looking concerto works just fine with a piano and one string to a part. The playing on all parts was a marvel of warmth, tenderness, and character."
Lloyd Schwartz, Boston Phoenix
"The afternoon opened with Mendelssohn's String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13, written when the composer was 18. The quartet's voice-like phrasing - especially Stepner's bright, clear singing tone - made the most of the composer's sweetly lyrical writing. This was followed by Charles Ives' String Quartet No. 1, "A Revival Service." The players brought out Ives' irrepressible humor (for example, the unison section of the second movement that creates the sound of a pipe organ playing a mad fugue) as well as his deep spirituality. Despite the fun Ives had with these hymns, he certainly was not making fun of them. He was trying to show the life in these songs - a life that the Lydians' performance made palpable. For its final piece, the group presented Ravel's String Quartet in F Major, which neatly echoed the melodic character of the Mendelssohn and the wide-ranging inventiveness of the Ives. It's a work full of marvels - the sad, edgy melody for the first violin that runs through the first movement, the lovely viola cadenza in the third movement, the literally explosive opening of the fourth - and the Lydian Quartet was equal to the task of presenting them."
James D. Watts Jr., Tulsa World
"The long-awaited advent of the Lydian String Quartet and a new work by eminent composer Lee Hyla at Merrill Auditorium on Saturday did not disappoint. The quartet, known for its performance of contemporary music, is equally at home in the classics, treating works by Beethoven and Mozart as if they were just as new and fresh as those of 1999."
Christopher Hyde, Portland Press Herald (ME)