Top critical review
Too long and a bit pretentious!
May 30, 2018
I do not doubt the truth if this saga, or the honesty of the writer about her 3 years of suffering with the Grotrian grand piano, until she, with much help from several highly specialized, patient and accomodating technicians and dealers could get from it that sound, that golden, complex, rich sound that only a grand piano made in the great tradition of German piano making can produce. But the book is too long in detail, much of it too technical and way above the head of most pianists and piano lovers. I’m a pianist, be it a more modest one than the writer, and I’m the proud owner of two such pianos, a Model B 1920 Bechstein, and a Boesendorfer 170 Of 1980. I went through a process with the Bechstein, including hammer replacement, and voicing of course, and have yet to be satisfied with its sound. But I can’t help feeling that much of the writer’s agony came from unrealistically high expectations. She herself admits that professional concert pianists often do with less than perfect grands on tour. Two much better books on the joy and tribulations of piano obsession are The Piano Shop On The Left Bank, a really beautiful book, and A Romance On Three Legs, about Glenn Gould’s quest for the perfect piano.