String explosion in Quinta das Alagoas

After having celebrated the beginning of summer on the night of St. John, with medieval and Mediterranean Music played by Ensemble Med, we feasted the first third of Summer with a string explosion!

No fewer than 20 students from the VIII International String Festival, with the support from Academia de Música de Lagos, to which we are thankful, showed his talent in 8 pieces for our delight.

The concerts began with a piece of Vivaldi by the younger students and proceeded with teacher Sunita Mamtani and her students interpreting J. Hetfield and Ulrich L. Bach was played by a viola duet with professor Paul Wakabayashi and Catherine Olaio played Bach, followed by five strings plus soloist Mariana Viegas. Then a veritable procession of cellos and double bass began, with professor Paulo Gaio Lima and soloists Marco Wood, Joan Rosa and Antonio Bento performing works of Vivaldi, Shostakovich and M. Falla. Our small stage had to be increased to accommodate 6 cellos but we were amply rewarded for all the musical production and the grand finale with the Ritual Fire Dance.

We want to thank all the teachers and in particular to professor João Pedro Cunha by the impeccable orchestration how the various ensembles took place on stage always under his tender and watchful eye.

We continued the promise of a monthly concert in Quinta das Alagoas, a concept of great closeness and communion between the musicians and the audience.

At the end of the show we tasted some Portuguese wines and gastronomic treats. We wanted to join to a youthful string festival, a festival of mature flavours.

We tasted a long-healing Serpa cheese (over 1 year), a hard cheese made with raw milk from the sheep and pastures belonging to the producer, thistle and salt. Such an exceptional cheese was accompanied by a special white, also from Alentejo, aged in wood, full-bodied, with volume and enough acidity to work the fat cheese.


For those who do not enjoy white wine or wanted to continue with another company for the smoked ham, figs and fruits, we proposed two choices of young reds from Douro, fruity, without wood aging, not too alcoholic and good acidity, which went also very well with Serpa cheese. One, “Papa-Figos”, the Orioles, we choose it for sentimental reasons, it reminds the bird that will soon leave the Douro wine region, where he arrived in spring, to stage in the Algarve for the late summer, before leaving for Africa.

Who knows? Perhaps the Orioles will join us here for a fig festival…

Cheese: Aged cured sheep cheese, made by Almocreva artisanal dairy cheese (limited edition), batch manufactured in 13 of May, 2014

White wine: Esporão Private Selection 2013, Esporão (Alentejo)

Red Wines: Quinta dos Arciprestes, Real Companhia Velha (Douro) and Papa Figos, Sogrape, (Douro); both from 2013