The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: The Hidden World of the Paris Atelier
Ever since the piano was invented, people have longed to own one. In the nineteenth century, an age without recorded music or television, this craze reached its apex. Pianos were everywhere: they swelled and shrank in the heat of the colonies, they were in every genteel home, in restaurants, on steamships, in the remote bars of the American west. Some of these pianos have become treasured family heirlooms, some have ended up as firewood. Others have led a more intinerant life, washing up in all sorts of strange places. Occassionally, these wandering pianos find their way to a secret, glass-roofed workshop in Paris where they are lovingly restored and sent off again by a French piano repairer with a passion for his job. When Thad Carhart discovered Luc and his hidden cache of pianos in the dusty repair shop on his street in Paris, his life changed. Having been constantly on the move between America and France, he had never owned his own piano. As he explored the Eldorado of second-hand uprights, grands, harpsichords and player pianos in Luc's atelier, talked to him about how they work and their history, and finally found the baby grand of his dreams, he rediscovered his deep love for this most magical of instruments. A wonderfully quirky book, the story of a musical friendship.