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photograph of music library display

Visit the Maxwell Music Library to see the latest display called “88 Keys: A Grand Obsession.”  Titles include:

book jacketPiano: The Making of a Steinway Concert Grand – In this captivating narrative, James Barron of The New York Times tells the story of one Steinway piano, from raw lumber to finished instrument. Barron follows that brand-new piano-known by its number, K0862-on its journey through the factory, where time-honored traditions vie with modern-day efficiency. He also explores the art and science of developing a piano’s timbre and character before its debut, when the essential question will be answered: Does K0862 live up to the Steinway legend? From start to finish, Piano will charm and enlighten music and book lovers alike. – from the publisher

book jacketThe Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier – Walking his two young children to school every morning, Thad Carhart passes an unassuming little storefront in his Paris neighborhood. Intrigued by its simple sign—Desforges Pianos—he enters, only to have his way barred by the shop’s imperious owner. Unable to stifle his curiosity, he finally lands the proper introduction, and a world previously hidden is brought into view. Luc, the atelier’s master, proves an indispensable guide to the history and art of the piano. Intertwined with the story of a musical friendship are reflections on how pianos work, their glorious history, and stories of the people who care for them, from amateur pianists to the craftsmen who make the mechanism sing. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is at once a beguiling portrait of a Paris not found on any map and a tender account of the awakening of a lost childhood passion. – from the publisher

book jacketA Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano – Glenn Gould was famous for his obsessions: the scarves, sweaters and fingerless gloves that he wore even on the hottest summer days; his deep fear of germs and illness; the odd wooden “pygmy” chair that he carried with him wherever he performed; and his sudden withdrawal from the public stage at the peak of his career. But perhaps Gould’s greatest obsession of all was for a particular piano, a Steinway concert grand known as CD318 (C, meaning for the use of Steinway Concert Artists only, and D, denoting it as the largest that Steinway built). A Romance on Three Legs is the story of Gould’s love for this piano, from the first moment of discovery, in a Toronto department store, to the tragic moment when the piano was dropped and seriously damaged while being transported from a concert overseas. The author Katie Hafner also introduces us to the world and art of piano tuning, including a central character in Gould’s life, the blind tuner Verne Edquist, who lovingly attended to CD318 for more than two decades. We learn how a concert grand is built, and the fascinating story of how Steinway & Sons weathered the war years by supplying materials for the military effort. Indeed, CD318 came very close to ending up as a series of glider parts or, worse, a casket. – from the publisher

DVD coverNote by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037 – The most thoroughly handcrafted instruments in the world, Steinway pianos are as unique and full of personality as the world-class musicians who play them. However, in this age of mass production, their makers are a dying breed: skilled cabinet-makers, gifted tuners, thorough hand-crafters. Note by Note follows the creation of a Steinway concert grand, #L1037, from forest floor to concert hall. Each piano’s journey is complex, spanning 12 months, 12,000 parts, 450 craftsmen, and countless hours of fine-tuned labor. Filmed in key Steinway locations; the factory, Steinway’s reserved Bank, and the rooms of private auditions. Note by Note is a loving celebration not just of craftsmanship, but of a dying breed of person who is deeply connected to working by hand. In the end, this is an ode to the most unexpected of unsung heroes. It reminds us how extraordinary the dialogue can be between an artist and an instrument crafted out of human hands but borne of the materials of nature. – from the publisher

book jacketPeople and Pianos: A Pictorial History of Steinway & Sons – This is the story of how the Steinway piano came to be the instrument of choice for the world’s greatest pianists. In 1953, Theodore Steinway wrote this narrative in longhand on yellow legal pads as a tribute to his father and to commemorate the first 100 years of Steinway & Sons. The book was a memento for employees and was never released to the public. This revised edition brings the history of this remarkable company to the present day through recollections of Henry E. Steinway, the last family member to remain involved with the company, and Peter Goodrich, vice president of concert and artist relations, who has been with the company for 30 years. In 1850, Henry Engelhard Steinway left Germany for New York City and established what was to become the standard of excellence in the piano world. Using photographs and anecdotes, this book chronicles the business from its beginnings through the Depression, when many piano manufacturers went out of business, through World War II, when the company was forbidden to make pianos, and through the advent of modern technology. Through it all the Steinway piano has prevailed as a symbol of quality. The Steinway artist roster is a living tribute to the company and its pianos. More than 1300 performers have publicly endorsed the Steinway because they believe in the quality of the instrument and will only play and perform on a Steinway. – from the publisher

book jacketGiraffes, Black Dragons, and Other Pianos: A Technological History from Cristofori to the Modern Concert Grand – This lavishly illustrated book treats the history of the piano from its invention in 1700 to the present in terms of its technology. Looking at the technologies of design, materials, and manufacture, and focusing its description on specific existing pianos, it describes the changes in pianos from the earliest days to contemporary instruments. This revised edition incorporates the results of recent research that increases knowledge of the work of Bartolomeo Cristofori, the inventor of the piano; changes perceptions of how eighteenth-century pianos were made and used; adds to the available information about the important contributions of the Steinway Company; and describes the most recent changes to the piano. – from the publisher

book jacketPiano – Follow the progress of the instrument, its designers and its manufacturers as Piano takes you through a series of dazzling images, many displayed on specially expanded four-page fold-out sections. The story is told through clear, straight forward text, and at the rear of the book there is a guide to how a piano works, a comprehensive survey of piano houses and an essential glossary of terms. – from the publisher

book jacketSteinway & Sons – The exquisite pianos produced by Steinway & Sons are revered by musicians, music lovers, and collectors around the world. Publishing to coincide with the firms 150th anniversary, this beautiful new edition celebrates the history of the family and the instruments it creates with fully updated text. Interweaving the stories of the pianos, their creation, and the music they inspire with more than 200 photos, designs, sketches, and paintings, Steinway pays elegant tribute to these incomparable instruments. – from the publisher

Comments

Libby says:

We have such a good collection of books!

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