Though cooking can be fun and creative, things can often get stressful when preparing a meal for others. Depending on your composers (and dishes) of choice, turning on classical music can help both relax and entertain you and your dinner guests. Here are a few suggestions for music to pair with your food preparation and serving.
Appetizers: Wine & Cheese with Bach's Cello Suites
Some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for cello, Yo-Yo Ma's renditions of Bach's six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello are excellent pieces to pair with an appetizer course. Familiar and energetic compositions, the six Suites can be the perfect background music as you welcome guests, un-cork a few bottle of wine, and break out a cheese plate.
Main course: Grilled fish with Franz Schubert's "Trout Quintet" (Piano Quintet in A Major)
Franz Schubert's light and airy combination of piano, violin, viola, cello, and double bass pleasantly accompanies a similarly fresh, light meal like a grilled fish. Fun fact: the piece is known as the "Trout" because the fourth movement is a set of variations on a song by Schubert called "Die Forelle" (German for "the trout").
Dessert: Chocolate cake with Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 19
The delicate hand movements involved in playing a Mozart concerto match the necessary patience involved in frosting and piping a cake. Your guests will enjoy being able to tap along with the wide range of styles in this concerto — considered one of Mozart's greatest — while indulging on sweets.
Nightcap: Gin & Tonics with Claude Debussy's Suite Bergamesque
One of the most famous piano suites by Claude Debussy, this quiet and soothing piece will only be broken by low-key and dwindling conversations with the close group of friends who have stuck around the party until the dishes are all dirty and at least one wine glass has broken.
Rebecca Schultz, a Minneapolis transplant by way of Chicago, is a reader, eater, and tweeter. She blogs at rebecca-schultz.com.
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