A Romance on Three Legs, by Katie Haffner, and is simply amazing. The subtitle is "Glenn Gould's obsessive quest for the perfect piano". It begins with someone going through things that belonged to Glenn Gould, an incredible, yet totally eccentric and idiosyncratic Canadian pianist who died around 1982 at age 50. That in itself is bizarrely fascinating to me! The first chapter begins in Toronto, with Gould's childhood and the start of his performing career, giving you a background to this strange genius. The second chapter does the same for Verne Edquist, a blind young man that eventually would become Glenn Gould's own tuner. The third chapter is about the evolution of the Steinway company, a huge, and incredibly amazing piano manufacturer from New York.
Needless to say, reading this incredible book, I was desperate to play piano, and unfortunately, my Grandparents only have a cheap digital piano. So on Saturday afternoon, when my Mum and I were downtown, we went to a piano store, just for fun. It was wonderful!!! I played quite a number of pianos, including a Steinway upright from 1917 or so, and several large Heintzmann grands. Each one completely different. I had so much fun playing, and feeling, and experiencing, and even though the showroom is shabby, and right next door was a dirty car dealership, I didn't care. I retreated into my little world of music, while my Mum stood by and watched. It was amazing. Then the owner of the shop came out, and we had a grand chat, for probably an hour, and he told us all the intricacies of pianos, some I knew, some I didn't, and told us about the piano tuning/repairing business--a fascinating one--and discussed the depth and feeling of each piano, their uniqueness, and finesse. The artistry which goes into, and eventually comes out of each instrument is absolutely phenomenal!
It was...magical. I had my own little 'Romance on Three Legs'. :)
And then I retreated back into my bubble of quietness for the day.