How it all began…
"We want the pantomime," said a voice behind a heavy red curtain that separated the private part of the building. The stony passage of the Viennese monastery, where Rejcha had been forced to come, was built in such a way to give an echo to every word. "I do not dance!" This passage was definitely not heated, thought Rejcha, who had just survived an unusually cold winter of the year 1806. "You do not understand. We need you to write the music to this script,” a pale white hand passed through the curtain, holding a yellowy parchment with a hard to read text. "It is a secret message we need to convey in the form of music and dance." Rejcha pulled his hat firmly over his ears. He had never met such idiots. "No one needs to die if you complete the work until the moon reaches the second full moon." Yes, idiots. Rejcha snatched the piece of paper out of the hand and went off to compose the desired piece while mumbling contemptuously. – And that’s what happened, or not...
Rejcha's music mesmerized us completely - it is original, intelligent, funny, and very exceptional in its time. Despite this, Rejcha remains in the background of interest. We'd like to change that!
Why Quatuor Scientifique?
Quatuor Scientifique (1806) is a very unique work. It consists of 12 movements each of which is full of unconventional ideas; fugues according to W. A. Mozart and J. Haydn or a crazy 5/8 bar movement.
... and what about the pantomime?
In the Parisian library where the quartet's manuscript is located, there is a mysterious score attached to its parts. This is the single movement ‚La Pantomime‘ with the subtitle ‚Fantasy for Two Violins, Viola and Cello‘. It makes an intoduction to the whole Quatuor Scientifique. Rejcha wrote it most likely as music for dance performance. The first violin part is partly underlaid with a text which is not complete. It only refers to a literary work, which is unknown to us. Following the example of Hercule Poirot, you might help with the search for its origin, if you wish.
Members of the Reicha Quartet have a common desire. They try to understand the longings and efforts of artists and audiences in the late 18th and early 19th century. They attempt to penetrate the feelings and thoughts which lead to creating unique works full of strong emotions and self-reflection. They share a fascination over how easy it is these days to look into the past - thanks to the relatively easy accessibility of primary sources and early prints. By reading the critical reviews and views on music production and composition, aesthetic essays and commentaries to cultural events, they gain insight into the aesthetics of 18th and 19th century. When we read the parts of Mendelssohn quartets marked by Ferdinand David - the violinist who performed with Mendelssohn himself, we feel like looking over his shoulder just at the very moment when he played the first violin part. When we read The Notebooks of Antonín Reicha, we feel the writing to be addressed to us as well as to his contemporaries. We feel it is our duty to use our empathy and knowledge to convey this experience to audience and thus share the results of our work.
Making of an album is a fairly expensive affair; from renting the recording space, hiring the sound director to editing. Our enthusiasm only is not enough for this task. Getting financial support for such a project, in the cultural sector in general, is a highly difficult task. That is why we approach you, the enthusiastic listeners who believe in our work and think together with us that Rejcha's music is worth it.