The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier

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Random House Publishing Group, Jun 12, 2001 - Music - 288 pages
17 Reviews
Thad Carhart never realized there was a gap in his life until he happened upon Desforges Pianos, a demure little shopfront in his Pairs neighborhood that seemed to want to hide rather than advertise its wares. Like Alice in Wonderland, he found his attempts to gain entry rebuffed at every turn. An accidental introduction finally opened the door to the quartier’s oddest hangout, where locals — from university professors to pipefitters — gather on Friday evenings to discuss music, love, and life over a glass of wine.

Luc, the atelier’s master, proves an excellent guide to the history of this most gloriously impractical of instruments. A bewildering variety passes through his restorer’s hands: delicate ancient pianofortes, one perhaps the onetime possession of Beethoven. Great hulking beasts of thunderous voice. And the modest piano “with the heart of a lion” that was to become Thad’s own.

What emerges is a warm and intuitive portrait of the secret Paris — one closed to all but a knowing few. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank is the perfect book for music lovers, or for anyone who longs to recapture a lost passion.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thornton37814 - LibraryThing

Thad Carhart is an American residing in Paris. One day he stumbles across a shop that restores and sells used pianos. He wanted to buy a used piano but discovered he must have an introduction from an ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - michigantrumpet - LibraryThing

To call this lovely book lyrical just seems so, well, twee. Yet, try as I might, nothing else seems as apropos. So, lyrical it is. Tad Carhart has woven threads of love of music, theories of learning ... Read full review

Selected pages


Finding My Piano
The Stingl Arrives
Madame Gaillard
The One That Fits
Miss Pemberton
How It Works
Café Atelier
Un Match Amical
Le Mot Juste
Schola Cantorum
The Deal
Beethovens Piano

Fall Boards
The World Becomes Louder
Master Classes

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About the author (2001)

Thad Carhart has lives in France for much of his life. He was educated at Yale and Stanford and has worked as an events coordinator in the music industry and as communications head of Apple Compter’s European division. A freelance writer and consultant, he lives in Paris with his wife, Simo, and their two children.

From the Hardcover edition.

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