Monday, March 22, 2010

A 3 B's Evening - Till Fellner at The Austrian Embassy

How should Beethoven be played?

How did Ludwig van 

want his music to sound?

And what responsibility does the artist have 

in interpreting a composer's works? 

These are some of the questions

that were running through my head 

as I listened to 

Till Fellner at The Austrian Embassy

earlier this evening. 

Till is in the midst of presenting all of the Beethoven Sonatas

and tonight he performed 

No. 9, 10, 8, 11, & 26. 

As I listened to him perform 

the words


and purity

came to mind.

Till played with a firm and gentle purpose.

With a calculated and calibrated precision. 

The concert was beautiful 


 Mr. Fellner is obviously very, very talented. 

BUT is this the way to play Beethoven?

When I think of Beethoven

I often think of 

forceful playing,



and music that might teeter on the brink. 

There was little if any of that this evening. 

I really have loved Fellner's recordings of Bach's 

Well-Tempered Clavier


Inventionen und Sinfonien

and feel that his approach is better suited to this composer. 

I think his style might work well with Brahms 

and look forward to hearing that in the future.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Still Life - Adriaen van Utrecht

Long ago and faraway,

and many years ago,

I was rather involved in 

the Food & Wine Industry. 

And one Spring, 

in planning for an interview 

for a Wine Steward position, 

I created this menu as an example of my aesthetic.

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

Black Pepper Tartlet with Caramelized Onions, Leeks and Green Garlic

Domaine Zind Humbrecht, Tokay D'Alsace, Clos St. Urbain '83

Salade de Saumon Printennier

Qupe Marsanne '87

Granita de Chartreuse

Spit Roasted Leg of Lamb with Gremolata,
Gratin of Florence Fennel,
and Potatoes Raked Over The Coals

Bandol Tempier, Tourtine '85

Salade de Mesclun with Caeriphily

Highland Fling with Whiskied Currants

Irish Mist

Could you possibly enjoy this meal any more knowing that I did in fact get this position?

à votre santé

Friday, March 5, 2010

Old Friends, New Friends - My Fatherland

I just went to visit my almost 88 year old Dad.

Something I do regularly.

Something that can be very nice,

as well as very stressful.

So after my visit,

 how wonderful it was, 

to be able to put my cars top down

on this Spring like day,

and revel in the sounds of 

Ma Vlast!

I really enjoyed 

the dreamy, pastoral sections


Vltava - The Moldau.

Here's what Smetana had to say about this tone painting:

The composition describes the course of the Vltava, starting from the two small springs, the Cold and Warm Vltava, to the unification of both streams into a single current, the course of the Vltava through woods and meadows, through landscapes where a farmer's wedding is celebrated, the round dance of the mermaids in the night's moonshine: on the nearby rocks loom proud castles, palaces and ruins aloft. The Vltava swirls into the St. John's Rapids; then it widens and flows toward Prague, past the Vyšehrad, and then majestically vanishes into the distance, ending at the Labe (or Elbe, in German).

My little trip,

down this 

beautiful river,

with the wind & sun on my face,

did me a world of good. 

Now if I'm really lucky 

I just may make it 

to Prague in time for a dinner of

Guláš (Goulash)

  Knedlíky (Dumplings)

and  Palačinky 

(Czech Pancakes) 
 filled with ice-cream, jam or fruits and coated in whipped-cream, almonds or sugar.

Ah yes,

My Fatherland.