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MMD > Archives > January 1999 > 1999.01.17 > 08Prev  Next

Book: "A Pianist's Landscape"
By Joyce Brite

I keep finding good books at the local library -- as is always the case!
This time, I discovered "A Pianist's Landscape" by Carol Montparker
(Amadeus Press, 1998).  This book is filled with essays, memories, and
anecdotes about pianos.  A sample of the chapter titles include:

   Nature and Music
   Pianos as Furniture and as Souls
   Old Music, Music Cabinets, and Tapes
   The Piano as Comfort in Times of Stress
   A Toast to Fine Technicians and Tuners
   The Love-Hate Paradox of Performing

Montparker is Senior Editor of "Clavier" magazine and a performing
pianist.  She writes beautifully about the pianos she loves:

 "The oldest uprights also have a kind of beauty.  There are two forlorn
  spinets, sometimes used to accompany dance sessions, at the Y where
  I attend exercise class.  They look pitifully derelict and abandoned
  in a corner of the gym; yet as I jog by, a little voice from within
  these distant relatives calls to me."

In an incident that coincides with current MMD discussions, Montparker
describes a visit to a secondhand furniture store where she spotted a
grand piano:

 "...I played a scale on it and asked the owner what he wanted for it,
  just to get a sense of his pricing policy.  When he told me, I
  replied, "That's quite a bit overpriced." ...

 "Oh yeah?" he replied defensively.  "What do you know about pianos?"

 "It's my profession."  I responded quietly.

 "O.K.  Prove it.  Play something," he challenged.

  Rarely have I refused to play when asked, so I sat down and played the
  flashiest piece I could think of, Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat major,
  Opus 53, in a truncated version.  As I played, customers gathered
  round, and still others came in from the street.  After the final
  heroic chords, the flabbergasted merchant said, "You know that oak
  table you want?  Take it at half price."

Montparker's book is filled with many fine illustrations of her love
affair with the piano.  "A Pianist's Landscape" is excellent reading.

Joyce Brite
Player Piano and Mechanical Music Exchange

(Message sent Mon 18 Jan 1999, 02:08:51 GMT, from time zone GMT-0600.)

Key Words in Subject:  Book, Landscape, Pianist's

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