LyricFest’s: Vienna, City of Song (And Traditional Pastries)
On Sunday, October 5th, Penn Appétit attended a Lyric Fest-sponsored gathering on German Lied, the spirit of Vienna and the songs of its most beloved composers at the Academy of Vocal Arts.
The event aptly titled “Vienna, City of Song” featured music from the greats of the Romantic period: from Beethoven and Brahms to Schubert and Strauss. The setting was very informal, with the singers, Erica Miller, Gabriel Preisser, Suzanne DuPlantis, pianist Laura Ward and narrator, Kile Smith describing each and every song beforehand.
Laura Ward performed on the piano. She has been playing for the past 48 years.
The music, the food, the setting all served to recreate an intimate gathering celebrating the works of the maestro in Vienna.
At the conclusion of the musical performances, traditional Viennese pastries were served, including Apple Strudel, Black Forest Torte, Kuchen, Kugel, Kugelhopf, and Sachertorte. The food itself was catered by the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College. The pastries were made by about a dozen freshman and sophomores under the supervision of Head Chef John Gallagher.
Generally viennese pastries contain nuts and are less based on flour more on yeast. They are normally served with hot coffee and a big dollop of cream. Here in the center is the classic Black Forest Torte made of chocolate cake and cream. On the left is the sachertorte, the dark chocolate covering is beautifully balanced by the sweet apricot jam in the center.
Kuchen, a thick crust pastry filled with apple bits and covered with iced sugar, was one of the many pastries offered.
A selection of crackers and cheese was also served.
Grüner Silvaner trocken, a German white, was presented to tie in with the theme.
Pastry Chef Instructor Marie A. Stecher attended the event, enjoying the music and the food. She helped organize the catering by the Restaurant School.
The Restaurant School features an assortment of themed restaurants and a pastry shop on 42nd and Walnut, open Monday to Saturday, where anyone can enjoy the fruits of the students’ labour.
-Shaurya Dogra. Photographs by Léa Kichler