Piano, piano!

Dieter Hildebrandt

"A grand piano is not an instrument – it is a hundred instruments", said Arthur Rubinstein, and his colleague, Alfred Brendel, put it even more laconically: "The piano can do everything." Frequently declared dead, the piano continues to thrive nonetheless, and quite as vigorously as in its 19th century heyday. Piano recitals proliferate, and great classical pianists are stars of world renown. Moreover, the piano has conquered new genres that are no less fascinating: jazz and film music, improvisation and pop, those musical forms that could come of age only in the 20th century.

Pianoforte was Dieter Hildebrandt's "Novel of the Piano" and one of the most successful music books of the 1980s – and Piano, piano! will certainly follow in its tracks, for it even surpasses its predecessor in scope, with its surprising turns of events and scurrilous inventions that leave the 19th century in the dust. In a time when the borders between "serious music" and "entertainment" are increasingly fluid, this book becomes the meeting point for characters who could hardly be more different: Tolstoi and Rachmaninoff, Scott Joplin and Busoni, George Gershwin's evergreens, Schönberg's atonality, John Cage's prepared piano...all are here. And what would the piano of the 20th century be without Humphrey Bogart's pianist and his eternally new request: "Play it again, Sam!"

Foreign Sales

France (Actes Sud)

Piano, piano!

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