Second last piano lesson yesterday. Zoli said I have finally achieved Chopin’s forte. Those who are not pianists (and maybe even those who are) may not know that performing a piece depends greatly on the piano the composer used so as to realise/squirrel out his exact intentions. While going through the ballad Zoli told me “you know chopin’s piano is a player right?” which is one of the unique things about lessons here – you don’t just interpret the piece, you have to interpret the teacher too. I have gotten quite good at understanding hungarian english through this semester. Even though I had written programme notes for my diploma about Chopin before, that was a good 5? 6? years ago and I had clean forgotten that he used a Pleyel. The Pleyel is kinda a girly French piano , somewhat soft, certainly would not be able to produce a wagnerian style forte, which was what i had been playing in my ballad the whole time. Chopin’s forte has a soft, deep touch that is deadly serious but is not harsh or hammering, like the more Germanic fortes. The heaviness comes after the attack, not during, and apparently I achieved that yesterday lol. A true player sound haha.

In the original sense of the word, one of the most famous players of the composers is Liszt. Liszt gave piano lessons to lots of young girls (playing the piano considered a ladylike thing to do at that time) and broke their hearts right left and center. I think it’s very easy to fall for your piano teacher (not that I am falling for Zoli). I myself have had crushes on music teachers. They are so gentle and sensitive! and you respect them naturally because they are your teacher and have a much more advanced skill set (in a skill that you actually prize, and not like say, being good at soccer). Anyway Zoli gave me a Liszt sticker and a namecard and a chocolate covered orange flavoured marzipan sweet for christmas. Lots of people in Hungary seem to give their clients/customers Christmas presents, including restaurants! We went to an amazing italian restaurant yesterday who gave us a satchet of apricot palinka filled bonbons as a christmas gift when we left.

They also gave us a christmas appetizer on the house,

pre-dessert lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate, post dessert peeled mandarins and little glasses of limoncello.

It was like eating at your grandma’s house – they want to feed you with everything they have available.

Next week I am going to get a nice poppyseed beigli for Zoli for christmas/farewell :) I love receiving christmas presents from completely random people. I usually distrust any chocolate given to me cause I have very exacting standards of chocolate I eat but the palinka bonbons were actually pretty good. One bite and all the palinka flows out of the centre and is offset by the sugary crust it’s enclosed in, and then you end off with the chocolate shell. it’s like a dessert in itself. Palinka is a sort of plum vodka.

We also received Ana’s letter in the mail :D. It was very succinct. I’m not very sure how much english she can write at present:

The picture is of one flying horse and four singing birds

her birthday was in october and her mum wrote to tell us what happened at her party. She had a bouncy castle! she’s like SIX! i’ve never had a bouncy castle in my life! just for my birthday nonetheless. she also got a bike for her birthday O_o i wish gillian was my mum lol.



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