Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey

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Simon and Schuster, Jun 2, 2009 - Music - 371 pages
7 Reviews
Now available in paperback, the critically acclaimed, “lyrical, analytical, yet deeply affecting” (The Washington Post) memoir about one woman’s obsessive search for the perfect piano—and about finding and pursuing passion at any age.

The daughter of a pro- fessional musician, Perri Knize was raised in a home saturated in classical music, but it wasn’t until adulthood that she returned to the one instrument that mesmerized her most: the piano. When, in her forties, Perri decides to buy a piano of her own, she begins by searching for a modestly priced upright, but falls madly, illogically, in love with a rare German grand she discovers in a New York showroom. After a long dalliance, Knize refinances her house to purchase her piano and has the instrument shipped to Montana. But when it arrives, the magical sound that enthralled her is gone, and the tone is dead and dull. One piano tuner after another arrives to fix it, but no one can.

Knize sets out on an epic journey to restore the instrument to its rightful sound and to understand its elusive power. This quest leads her into an international subculture of piano aficionados, all intriguing and eccentric characters—concert artists, dealers, technicians, composers, designers, and builders—whose lives have been transformed by the spell of a piano. She even hikes into the Austrian Alps to learn how the special trees used to build her piano are grown and harvested.

Beautifully composed, passionately told, Grand Obsession is itself a musical masterpiece—and will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced deeply passionate desire.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JNZbooks - LibraryThing

I wrote a longer review of this book on Amazon when it first came out. It was one of the first books that I read on the Kindle, and just like they say the media disappeared beneath the fascinating ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TadAD - LibraryThing

Perri Knize's memoir is the story of her somewhat obsessive search for "her" piano. It starts with a quest for an "inexpensive upright" and quickly morphs into a journey through piano store after ... Read full review

Contents

From a Tree in the Forest
1
Epiphany
7
A Lesson with Mozart
16
Piano Lessons
21
The Piano Party
30
The Search Begins
39
Piano World
50
Piano Row
66
III
200
Tom
201
Hammers
211
TheVoicers
225
The Grotrians
245
Szotts Secret
253
The Anthroposophist
265
Revelation
271

Meeting Marlene
78
The Sale
86
Delivery
94
The Inspection
107
TheVoicer
115
II
127
A Piano Education
129
Beethovens Warehouse
156
The Piano Crawl
185
Physics and Metaphysics
284
Braunschweig
299
Austria
323
Mittenwald
332
Healing Marlene
340
Marcs Return
349
Acknowledgments
369
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Perri Knize is an award-winning environmental policy reporter whose articles and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Audubon, Sports Illustrated, Conde Nast Traveler, and Outside. She lives with her husband in Montana.

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