Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Glenn Gould's search for the perfect free lunch


Sponsorship of the BBC Proms receives a clear thumbs-down from the top this week. Commercial sponsorship and public service broadcasting definitely don't mix. But pianists have a very long history of being sponsored by piano manufacturers. Katie Hafner's hugely informative and entertaining book A Romance on Three Legs documents Glenn Gould's obsessive search for the perfect piano and his love/hate relationship with Steinway that resulted. There's lots of fun along the way including Gould suing Steinway for personal injury and the company dropping and wrecking his favourite piano. Gould even flirted with Yamaha, but it was a Steinway on the best damn record he ever made.

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