domingo, 25 de abril de 2010


Com es fa un tiramisú (gràcies, Esther!):

-es munten les clares de 3 ous
-es barregen els 3 rovells amb 3 cullerades grans de sucre
-s'afegeix una terrina de mascarpone (uns 250gr) als rovells
-s'hi van afegint les clares muntades

-a part, es posa cafè en un plat o bowl i s'hi mullen els melindros (amb un paquet en tindràs prou) a mida que els has de posar al recipient (capa de melindros, capa de pasta blanca, capa de melindros, capa de pasta); no els deixis en remull, que es desfarien

-després s'hi posa xocolata en pols, o cacau, per sobre
-i es deixa tot a la nevera, o al congelador (un parell d'horetes al congelador li fan bé)

Ah! a la pasta blanca s'hi posa un raig petit d'un licor italià (marsala, crec); jo abans hi posava una miqueta d'anís, ara no en tinc i no hi poso res...

jueves, 8 de abril de 2010


I asked recently a friend wihich one he considered as the most beautiful melody in classical music.
I was expecting something like the piano line in the adagio assai of Ravel´s Concerto in G, or Bach´s "Erbarme dich", or the 2nd movement of Schubert´s Piano Trio D929, or Verdi´s "Il balen del suo sorriso", or almost anything by Mozart.

But no.

Here you have the answer:

During the classical centuries I would not hesitate to give the first place to the ”song theme” of Borodin’s Polovetzian dances from “Prince Igor”.

But there are strong rivals. One that most of us may be inclined to overlook is “Virgine Bella” by Guillaume Dufay”, 15th century, text by Petrarca.

Many songs by Schubert could be added, and so could many songs by the Danish composers C. E. F. Weyse and Carl Nielsen.

But by Schubert I would also mention the second theme (first time played in F major) of the second movement of his great C major symphony.

Or the beginning of the second movement of Cesar Franck’s symphony.

Maybe also the first theme of Bartok’s second violin concerto.

Near the end of the first act of Paul Dukas’ opera “Ariane et Barbe-Bleu” there is a highly melodic choir which starts in e minor.

Olivier Messiaen had an extraordinary capacity for creating melodies, and many would agree that during the 20th century he has no real rival.

But around 1950 a number of 12-tone composers who felt they had exhausted their own framework became students of Messiaen in the hope that he could help them. In actual fact Messiaen was much influenced by them, and most of what he wrote after that time had a strong ingredient of point music. But point music is hardly suitable for creating melodies. So Messiaen ceased to use or develop one of his greatest talents.

Examples of his best melodies:

“La nativité du Seigneur” (The Birth of Our Lord),
second movement, second theme. When the second them is introduced it will remain until the end of the movement. This is possibly the longest section Messiaen has composed in the key with 9 tones.
Fourth movement, the second theme. It is exclusively accompanied by long unmoving simple harmonies, many of them just major or minor triads.

martes, 6 de abril de 2010


The action of Orlando Furioso takes place against the background of the war between the Christian emperor Charlemagne and the Saracen King of Africa, Agramante, who has invaded Europe to avenge the death of his father Traiano. Agramante and his allies - who include Marsilio, the King of Spain, and the boastful warrior Rodomonte - besiege Charlemagne in Paris. Meanwhile Orlando, Charlemagne's most famous paladin, has been tempted to forget his duty to protect the emperor through his love for the pagan princess Angelica. At the beginning of the poem, Angelica escapes from the castle of the Bavarian Duke Namo, and Orlando sets off in pursuit. The two meet with various adventures until Angelica saves a wounded Saracen knight, Medoro, falls in love, and elopes with him to Cathay. When Orlando learns the truth, he goes mad with despair and rampages through Europe and Africa destroying everything in his path. The English knight Astolfo journeys to Ethiopia on the hippogriff to find a cure for Orlando's madness. He flies up to the moon (in Elijah's flaming chariot no less) where everything lost on earth is to be found, including Orlando's wits. He brings them back in a bottle and makes Orlando sniff them, thus restoring him to sanity. (At the same time Orlando falls out of love with Angelica, as the author explains that love is itself a form of insanity.) The siege of Paris is lifted and Orlando kills King Agramante. Another important plotline involves the love between the female Christian warrior Bradamante and the Saracen Ruggiero. They too have to endure many vicissitudes. Ruggiero is taken captive by the sorceress Alcina and has to be freed from her magic island. He also has to avoid the enchantments of his foster father, the wizard Atlante, who does not want him to fight. Finally, Ruggiero converts to Christianity and marries Bradamante. Rodomonte appears at the wedding feast and accuses him of being a traitor to the Saracen cause, and the poem ends with Ruggiero slaying Rodomonte in single combat. Ruggiero and Bradamante are the ancestors of the house of Este, Ariosto's patrons, whose genealogy he gives at length in Canto 3 of the poem.