A review by Peter Kingdon Booker
The concert at Quintinha da Música on Sunday 13 December was a triumph in more ways than one. For the first time, an Algarve audience had the opportunity to hear the principal cello of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Varoujan Bartikian in concert with our old favourite Lucjan Luc at the piano; these two have played together over 20 years, and their friendship and understanding produced music of the highest quality. Träumerei from Kinderszenen began the concert, followed by Song without Words for cello and piano, Beethoven´s cello sonata no 3, Rachmaninov´s Vocalise and the Shostakovich Sonata for Cello and Piano op 40. It was clear that we were in the presence of two master musicians, and the encore of An die Musik was introduced emotionally by Varoujan himself; with so much difficulty in the world, he said, we must allow music to bring us together. The performers afterwards confided that it is important to have a good programme, well prepared, but equally important is a professional and receptive audience. These performers could feel that their audience was engaged, and their intelligent participation took the music to a higher level. Intelligent audience participation has become the trademark of Quintinha concerts.