Pianoforte, a Social History of the Piano

Dieter Hildebrandt, Author, Harriet Goodman, Translator George Braziller $19.95 (207p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1182-1
Hildebrandt, a German journalist, writes the story of the piano in the 19th century as a great adventure, with the instrument itself as the hero. Burgess comments in his introduction that the piano is ""clearly an instrument for the expression of a romantic personality.'' Many such personalities appear here: Beethovenwhose fiery temperament and audacity infuriated his rivals and criticsSchubert, Clara Weick, Liszt, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Anton Rubinstein and the intrepid American Louis Moreau Gottschalk, who brought the piano to the Wild West. Audiences, critics, piano makers, entrepreneurs, music publishers, piano teachers and agents are also part of the dramaa cultural history of the piano with the emotion and passion of the Romantic period. Hildebrandt's spirited writing style, which is ably served in Goodman's translation, brings the tale vividly to life. Illustrations not seen by PW. (March)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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