Monday, November 24, 2014

The Romantic Piano Inspires Much Creativity

Followers of this blog know that this has been the autumn of many music concerts.  My spouse has been taking music theory class, and as part of the class, he's had to attend 10 concerts.  Yesterday was concert #10.

We headed over to Bailey Concert Hall--what a beautiful remodeling job they've done!  We settled in for a great concert of Romantic piano music given by Dr. Jure Rozman.

It was excellent.  Rozman told us that the 19th century, the Romantic age, was a great one for the piano.  People loved the instrument because a musician can do dramatic things with it, without needing a full orchestra--and thus, composers turned their attention to creating music for one musician at the piano.  Rozman then went on to demonstrate the wonders of this music and these composers. 

He showed us the power of this instrument even if one only has one hand.  He talked about a time when he couldn't use his right hand, so he explored what has been composed for the left hand.  He played us a work from Alexander Scriabin, who similarly couldn't use his right hand and composed work just for the left.  It was an amazing piece.  If I hadn't been watching him play, I'd have sworn it was more than one hand.

I had many inspiring thoughts during the concert.  I thought about how to assemble the poetry chapbook I'm working on and how to title a poem so that it fits in.  I thought about teaching a creative writing class that looks at non-written works that tell a story and has writers do the same thing.  I thought about this after Dr. Rozman mentioned that many of these Romantic composers were trying to tell a story with the music and the melody.  Fascinating!

Then we came home and looked through the fridge.  We've had leftovers that have been mounting.  I had some heavy cream to use up--as expensive as this dairy product has become, I wasn't going to let it go bad with Thanksgiving neglect.

So, I made up an alfredo sauce.  WOW!  It was so fabulous.  I had a cup of cream, and following a recipe out of one of the Silver Palate cookbooks, I brought it to a boil, then let it simmer for 15 minutes.  I added some chopped, fresh basil, but it would have been fine without it.  I added 1/4 pound of parmesan cheese--it was flaked, not shredded, so it melted beautifully.  I cooked up about 1/3 pound of pasta shells, and put 2 T. of butter on them and then the sauce.

It was quite yummy and easy.  Unfortunately, I do understand that it's much too high fat to serve too often.  My spouse and I agreed that if we make it again, we need to make precisely 2 servings, which is what we made last night.  If I had made a whole pot, we'd have eaten the whole thing.

It was a great end to a week-end that was mostly great.  And now, Thanksgiving is minutes away.  It's hot and humid outside in my part of the world.  Hard to remember that we're almost done with November.

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