Celebration of guitar at the second evening of Festival

On the second evening of the 8th International festival of chamber music Convivium Musicum, at the Hall of the First Kragujevac Gymnasium, the audience had the opportunity to hear an exceptional ensemble – the Cologne Guitar Quartet. First of all, it must be stated, it is a very recognized and quality ensemble, and as the guitar quartet is not such a common composition, audience in Kragujevac had a rare opportunity to fully enjoy the sound of this wonderful instruments. Although they live and work in Germany, the members of the quartet are from different countries: Tobias Juhem (Germany), Tal Botvinik (Israel), Henrique Almeida (Portugal) and Ptolemaios Armaos (Greece). These exceptional guitarists harmonized their different artistic temperaments and, through playing together in the Cologne Guitar Quartet, created an excellent balance of artistic music from baroque to contemporary art. This was obvious at last night’s concert – a rich and interesting program took us through the centuries – from Bach to the composition of Henrique Almeida himself. Unobtrusively and extremely naturally, these artists “walked” us through different epochs and musical styles. The concert began with reliable “classics” – transcriptions of Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords BWV1061 and Vivaldi’s Winter from Four Seasons. This was followed by a selection of dances from Skalkottas’s 36 Greek danses, and then, the famous work of our celebrated guitarist and composer Dušan Bogdanović, Introduction and Dance. We also had the opportunity to hear an interesting composition at the concert, which premiered only two weeks ago – Puig Rom, which was written by Feliu Gasull for the Cologne Guitar Quartet. The virtuoso composition Baião de Gude by Paulo Bellinati as well as Almeida’s work Cavaquinho in Cologne presented contemporary creativity in the best possible way. Visibly rehearsed and inspired, the guitarists prepared for us a concert to remember. Their excellent technique and rhythmic precision were especially evident in the works of a playful character. Although they obviously enjoy performing baroque works, this ensemble seems to fully express through the interpretation of contemporary music. This seemed to be in sync with the attitude of the audience, which reacted especially positively to the mentioned compositions. We can conclude with certainty that Kragujevac has long needed such a “festivity” of guitar music prepared for us by guests from Germany, who set high aesthetic and artistic standards.

Author: Anja Lazarević Kocić
Translation: Ljubica Gužvić
Photo: Marko Dašić