The most passionate and enthralling concert it has been my pleasure to attended for some considerable time. The applause was immense. I even bought a cd in the interval.
The programme performed at the Vienna Konzerthaus on 15th January 2015 by Sergej Khachatryan (violin), Lusine Khachatryan (piano) and Narek Hakhnazaryan (cello) included the following works:
Ludwig van Beethoven - Klaviertrio D-Dur op. 70/1 "Geistertrio"
Sergej Rachmaninoff - Klaviertrio Nr. 1 g-moll "Trio elegiaque"
Arno Babadjanian - Klaviertrio
But the real reason I am mentioning this concert here is because of the on-stage appeal made by Lusine Khachatryan to alert us to the fact that 2015 is an important year for Armenians.
The month of April will mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian holocaust (or whatever various politicians want to label it). It is an interesting aside to me, as a Welshman, that the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament recognize the event as a holocaust or genocide, but the Westminster Parliament in London refuses to label it as such. Such is the world of politics.
For my small part, I was duly moved to find some relevant quotes which I present below:
"The Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war." Theodore Roosevelt
"In 1915 the Turkish Government began and ruthlessly carried out the infamous general massacre and deportation of the Armenians in Asia Minor." Winston Churchill
The Saviour of Europe - 'Der Standard' front page
"There is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons." Winston Churchill
"When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race, they understood this well, and in their conversations with me they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact." Henry Morgenthau
"Undoubtedly religious fanaticism was an impelling motive with the Turkish and Kurdish rabble who slew the Armenians as a service to Allah, but the men who really conceived the crime had no such motive. Practically all of them were atheists, with no more respect for Mohammedanism than for Christianity, and with them the one motive was cold-blooded, calculating state policy." Henry Morgenthau
"In the province of Armenia, Abdul Hamid and the Young Turks had deliberately set themselves to the simplification of the Armenian difficulty by exterminating and deporting the whole race, whom they regarded as infidels and traitors." David Lloyd George
"After all, who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Adolf Hitler
Having some time to kill, as the once harmless saying goes, I wandered about. My stroll took me through the MQ complex in the city. Suddenly my gaze fell upon a work of art displayed in the Art Box in the public space; a thought provoking installation by Austrian-born artist Uli Aigner, called Open Shape (curator Elisabeth Zeigt).
An information leaflet was available. I took one, and perusing it I found an apposite quote from the year 2005 by Bruno Latour:
It is an entirely different thing, for instance, whether one regards religion as something slowly drifting away into a faraway fairytale land or whether one sees it exploding in front of one's own eyes as something that makes people die in the present - and (will do so) in the future. It is a vast difference whether nature is a giant reservoir of power with an unlimited capacity for storing refuse, or whether it suddenly turns into something that interrupts any kind of progress - something that cannot be appealed to or got rid of.