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Compose a Toast

Compose a Toast
February 2009
Edward Hart raises his glass to classical music

What if you could taste music? Composer and College of Charleston associate professor Edward Hart set out to answer this question with an intriguing new work, Amori Vini, which translates to “for the love of wine.” Comprised of movements representing Bordeaux, Madeira, and Tempranillo, the composition expresses his opinions of, and experiences with, wines. The Madeira movement, for example, is slow, sweet, and melodic, embodying not only its taste but also his recollection of enjoying the drink.

To perform the somewhat indulgent work, Charleston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Yuriy Bekker founded The Tempranillo Ensemble. During the college’s Monday Night Concert Series, ensemble members conduct on-stage tastings before each movement, then reflect upon the taste and type of wine. Unfortunately, viewers only get to drink in the music, as the evening does not include an audience sampling.

Hart’s favorite pairing of music and drink “changes moment to moment” he says. “A dry Champagne would go well with Richard Strauss’ beautiful Der Rosenkavalier, but for his opera Elektra, I’d go with shots of Wild Turkey 101.” Though he didn't imbibe while composing, Hart says, “I bring a lifetime of experience to the table.”

Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip St. Monday, March 9, 8 pm. $10; free for student. (843) 953-5927, —Stanfield Gray