In Owl Mountain Session 010, we introduced Oakland’s very own eclectic Town Quartet, featured in Matt Montgomery’s arrangement of Physical Suicide Deterrent System Project’s avant-grunge ballad “Geology”. With PSDSP frontman Eli Carlton-Pearson on acoustic guitar, the quartet of Mia Bella D’Augelli and Corey Mike (violins), Jacob Hansen-Joseph (viola), and Lewis Patzner (cello) gave us a rare blend of classical music and grunge rock, unplugged. The result: a beautifully raw sound with soaring intensity.
For Session 011, the Town Quartet switches gears, returning to more “traditional" string quartet literature. In this case, however, they dive into history to bring us new treasure: the world’s premiere performance and recording of “Quatuor Scientifique”, a rare unpublished piece from Czech-born composer Anton Reicha (1770-1836). A contemporary of Beethoven’s, Reicha was an innovative music theorist and composer whose approaches to rhythm and tonality were advanced beyond his time.
Movement 7 of his Quatuor Scientifique is a four-part fugue that explores the famous theme from Mozart’s “Haffner” symphony. Though brief, the piece unfolds into a complete thought full of rich layers that give equal voice to each member of the quartet. It gracefully ebbs and flows through many changes of texture and light, finally building to a bold, assertive organ-like finish. Please enjoy!