A Romance on Three Legs

A Romance on Three Legs

Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano

Book - 2008
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A fascinating look at Glenn Gould's obsession with a Steinway concert grand that offers new insight into one of the most complex and celebrated pianists of the 20th century, by a New York Times reporter who is an accomplished amateur pianist herself.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury : Distributed to the trade by Macmillan, 2008.
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781596915244
1596915242
Branch Call Number: 786.2092 HAFNER K
Characteristics: 259 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.

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EmilyEm
Dec 03, 2016

Reading this book was a follow-up after reading Madeleine Thien’s ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing,’ which features many references to Gould’s playing of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. You’ll learn about Glenn Gould’s life, his piano tuner and his storied piano.

First half good; second half Gould’s own quirks and obsessions made me want to get to the end. Fascinating.

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sess430
Jan 06, 2016

I confess that I read this book in less than 24 hours. It is part biography of Gould, part history of Steinway pianos (and why he loved his piano, the CD 318) - and part biography of Verne Edquist, Gould's full-time piano technician. Near the end of the book there is a wonderful bit of information concerning the Voyager I spacecraft and Edquist's reaction to it. I wish the author had included a discography of Gould's recordings made on his beloved CD 318.

cbechstein Sep 30, 2010

This fascinating book details the history of the relationship between Glenn Gould and the Steinway piano CD314. Goud made many of his legendary recordings on this instrument. CD314 was a piano in the concert piano fleet of the former Eaton's department store in Toronto. While it had been dismissed as an awful instrument by such luminaries as Myra Hess, when Gould first tried the instrument, he instantly identified with the sound and feel of the piano. Much of the book describes how this piano became a laboratory for Gould to experiment with the touch and sound of the instrument. It also tells the story of his relationship with one piano tuner who was able to turn CD314 into the piano of Gould's dreams. Even if you are not familiar with Gould and piano terminology, you will find this book completely absorbing.

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