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#182966 - 12/20/04 06:54 AM The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
ossk8ter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 453
Loc: Dallas
When I started a topic in which I announced a brief break in my piano search, Sarah Jennings suggested I read "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" by Thad Carhart. Thank you so much Sarah!

While I have not finished the book, it has helped me to focus on what my search is all about. I'm not just looking for an instrument, I'm looking for the the spiritual and the romance of the piano, just as expressed in the book. I now believe that my bias against far eastern pianos is based on a belief that while some may be wonderful instruments, I don't feel a sense of history, of romance with them. They do not tell a story in my view. Sorry, but this is also my feeling of the Estonia and Vogel. I'm still undecided on whether Schimmel provides this "extra."

Everyone who is looking for a piano and has little experience with them certainly should read Larry Fine's Piano Book. It makes for excellent background. But if you are at all interested in the piano as being more than a mechanism from which to play music, if you are interested in the spiritual side of the piano, please read "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" as you undertake your quest.

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#182967 - 12/20/04 07:44 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6180
 Quote:
ossk8ter wrote: "I'm not just looking for an instrument, I'm looking for the the spiritual and the romance of the piano, just as expressed in the book."
I'm impressed by your introspective ability to recognize your true desires that drive your acquisition of a piano, as well as your forthright expression of them. Such clarity in knowing what you want should simplify the decision making process down the line.
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#182968 - 12/20/04 07:50 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
ossk8ter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 453
Loc: Dallas
Thanks Ax. But I would not have come across the means that has let a little clarity into my whole process without the help of Sarah and many others including you. I knew there was something else I was looking for, but couldn't express it until I started reading Left Bank.

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#182969 - 12/20/04 09:05 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3327
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
I really enjoyed this book. And I love the romance and history that is associated with pianos that were around under the same family ownership when Liszt and Brahms etc where composing and playing.
When we rebuild a piano from the 19th century, we always wonder who played it. We like to imagine who might have played it. This is one of my favorite parts of this business.

If I were to remove the aesthetics from the equation, I would buy for myself a well designed piano made in China, or Poland, with virtually no history, that I felt confidant would last, and be supported, if it sounded and played better than a piano with a 200 year history made in Germany or America, that I didn't like as well. Of course, there are a lot of big ifs in this paragraph.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

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#182970 - 12/20/04 09:29 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
Very interesting thread. Personally I identify with the Romantic notion of a piano by being able to play it as well as I can. What can this device do at my fingertips? The history of the company or that particular piano really does not mean anything to me from the Romantic standpoint. The quality of the touch and tone from the drivers seat is all.

The book that has done more to make me want to be a pianist (in my own private sense of the term) has very little content about the instrument itself, but rather those who play it. That book is HC Schonberg's _The GReat Pianists_. No other book conjures up imagery in my mind of the pianist in front of his piano as being the ultimate Romantic figure.

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#182971 - 12/20/04 11:09 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Sarah Jennings Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 178
I felt the same way when I read this book. I'm glad it spoke to you too!

So...does this mean Fazioli is out of the picture for you??? ;\)

- Sarah

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#182972 - 12/20/04 12:01 PM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
ossk8ter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 453
Loc: Dallas
Haven't reached that chapter yet. But reading the tea leaves ...

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#182973 - 12/20/04 12:35 PM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
josephl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/29/04
Posts: 39
Loc: Richmond, VA
I've been on a kick reading "piano" books lately.

Started off with:
"Piano Lessons : Music, Love, and True Adventures"
by Noah Adams (NPR)

Then read "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank"
by Thad Carhart

Currently reading:
"The Piano Tuner"
by Daniel Mason

All three have been great reads which inspire my passion for this wonderful instrument; it's history and romance.
_________________________
Joseph L
Brodmann BG 187
http://www.pianoworld.com/Uploads/files/Jlbg1871.JPG

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#182974 - 12/20/04 12:40 PM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
ossk8ter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 453
Loc: Dallas
CJQ and Joseph, thanks for the references.

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#182975 - 12/20/04 01:03 PM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Christopher James Quinn Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/15/03
Posts: 2299
 Quote:
Originally posted by ossk8ter:
CJQ and Joseph, thanks for the references. [/b]
You're welcome. Schonberg's biography on Horowitz is another fascinating read with countless anecdotes about many of the piano giants Horowitz encountered in his long life. It is remarkably piano-centric.

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#182976 - 12/20/04 02:15 PM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
CHAS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 521
Loc: Ski Country of Colorado
Loved "THE PIANO SHOP ON THE LEFT BANK". When I went to Prague I loved the Czechs and their love of making music. These influences may be why I have a Petrof coming tomorrow rather than a Japanese piano, but I like to think it is the tone and the action of the Czech product.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A

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#182977 - 12/20/04 02:23 PM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
ossk8ter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 453
Loc: Dallas
First and foremost, it must be a tone and feel that pleases you. But the book provided an expression of that intangible extra that up until now, I couldn't express.

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#182978 - 12/21/04 09:46 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
jdsher Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 643
Loc: Plano, Texas
Don't forget Body and Soul by Frank Conroy.
Jon
_________________________
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein

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#182979 - 12/21/04 09:47 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
ossk8ter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 453
Loc: Dallas
Thanks, Jon.

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#182980 - 12/21/04 10:02 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5296
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by ossk8ter:
When I started a topic in which I announced a brief break in my piano search, Sarah Jennings suggested I read "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" by Thad Carhart. Thank you so much Sarah!

While I have not finished the book, it has helped me to focus on what my search is all about. I'm not just looking for an instrument, I'm looking for the the spiritual and the romance of the piano, just as expressed in the book. I now believe that my bias against far eastern pianos is based on a belief that while some may be wonderful instruments, I don't feel a sense of history, of romance with them. They do not tell a story in my view. Sorry, but this is also my feeling of the Estonia and Vogel. I'm still undecided on whether Schimmel provides this "extra."

Everyone who is looking for a piano and has little experience with them certainly should read Larry Fine's Piano Book. It makes for excellent background. But if you are at all interested in the piano as being more than a mechanism from which to play music, if you are interested in the spiritual side of the piano, please read "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank" as you undertake your quest. [/b]
We're just across the road from the right bank of the Hoquiam River. Does that count?

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#182981 - 12/21/04 11:05 AM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
ossk8ter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 453
Loc: Dallas
ROFLOL Actually, you're on the left bank depending on whether you're an upstream or downstream kind of person.

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#182982 - 12/21/04 12:04 PM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
Del Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 5296
Loc: Olympia, Washington
 Quote:
Originally posted by ossk8ter:
ROFLOL Actually, you're on the left bank depending on whether you're an upstream or downstream kind of person. [/b]
Oh, downstream. We're about a mile from where the Hoquiam flows into Grays Harbor and, ultimately, the Pacific Ocean.

Del
_________________________
Delwin D Fandrich
Piano Research, Design & Manufacturing Consultant
ddfandrich@gmail.com
(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon

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#182983 - 12/21/04 12:16 PM Re: The Piano Shop on the Left Bank
ossk8ter Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 453
Loc: Dallas
Sounds much prettier than Dallas. My parents used to have a house on San Juan Island. Nice view.

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