When guests come to dinner, I sometimes arrange to have The Swan, by Saint-Saêns playing as they come through the front door. During the three minutes it takes to hang up coats and so on, we are gliding along as harmoniously as swans in still water. Then, aided by Saties Gymnopédie No. 1", conversation begins to trickle and build in a gentle way, pacifying the frantic energy of people who may have been negotiating bad weather and traffic to reach haven in our home. We settle down to drinks and hors d'oeuvres while guitar and piano pick up the mood a bit with Elgars Salut damour Op 12". Within ten minutes, assisted by the cello of Thèrése Motard, the pianos of Louise-Andrée Baril and Francine Kay, by Duo Similia Nadia Labrie (Flute), Annie Labrie (Guitar), the way is prepared towards the appreciation of a good dinner.
These are the opening selections of Analektas compilation disc of abiding romantic classics featuring the music of Vivaldi, Chopin, Brahms, Elgar, and Gershwin among others, recommended to accompany a candlelit dinner for two. Why not? One reason for owning this disc is because the melodies are easy to recognize and easy to love. Another reason is that a soundbyte of a James Ehnes or an Anton Kuerti performance is always worth having and worth sharing.