Morning Glories: Feast Time!

by Jennifer Anderson, Minnesota Public Radio
November 25, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Every weekday morning at 10 a.m., the hosts at Classical MPR play a standout work based on the theme for the week. We call these works Morning Glories.

It's that time of year — feast time! If the thought of preparing huge meals sends shivers down your spine, don't worry. This week, music from three crazy meal-related ballets to reassure every cook that, hey, it could be worse. For Friday, a sweet after-dinner treat of coffee and chocolate.


Albert Roussel: Le Festin de l'araignée (The Spider's Feast)
Orchestra of Paris; Christoph Eschenbach, conductor

Beautiful insects flutter and crawl in a peaceful garden until they are captured in a spider's web, but before the spider can consume its feast, it falls victim to a vengeful praying mantis.


Roberto Halffter: La madrugada del panadero (The Baker's Dawn)
Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra; Fernando Lozano, conductor

The cheerful Spanish dances of this ballet suite were written to illustrate the story of a (married) baker. She's attracted several young suitors, who meet her at the bakery one night. When her husband shows up, she tries to hide them in bags of flour and then the oven, but all is revealed the next morning as her customers watch the charred young men leave the store.


Bohuslav Martinů: La Revue de Cuisine (The Kitchen Review)
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Christopher Hogwood, conductor

Cooking utensils come to life in Martinů's jazz-infused ballet, in this love story about Pot and Lid and challenges to their marriage by other inhabitants of the kitchen.


Note: No Morning Glory; instead, enjoy Giving Thanks with John Birge.


Richard Strauss: Schlagobers (Whipped Cream) Ballet
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra; Hiroshi Wakasugi, conductor

A super-saccharine, over-the-top dessert, Strauss' ballet portrays a group of children in a Viennese coffee house, indulging in far too many marzipan-and-chocolate-filled treats and cups of sweet whipped-cream-topped coffee.

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