[f_minor] CD318 and the Chickering

Anita Monroe rubatoatm at gmail.com
Sun Jan 19 13:27:10 MST 2014


I guess the well-being of GG's instruments is still of interest to people
who like his music, and it might be of greater interest to musicians of the
At one time there was a museum in Weimar that contained several pianos that
belonged to Liszt.  They are still of interest to those who revere his
history and contributions to the art of the piano.  Keeping those pianos in
good condition is another matter.  I was once offered a Pleyel that
supposedly had been touched by Chopin.  It was falling apart. termite
ridden.  It would have taken all my meager salary to repair it, so I had to
turn down the offer.
I still wish that I had been able to keep it.

Anita Thompson Monroe
RubatoATM at gmail.com

On Sun, Jan 19, 2014 at 2:21 PM, Kevin Bazzana <kevinbazzana at shaw.ca> wrote:

>  It is disappointing to hear that the Chickering is still being referred
> to as Gould’s “childhood piano”; this misunderstanding was cleared up long
> ago. He actually acquired it only in his early twenties. It was being
> rented by a lady friend of his (actually, a lady more-than-friend, to be
> completely frank: it was Fran Barrault, who was interviewed as an old woman
> for the “Genius Within” documentary; she’s the one smoking). Gould loved
> the piano, and even practised on it in preparation for his 1955 New York
> début. He liked it so much that he insisted on having it and took over the
> rental of it, and installed it at his family’s cottage. Eventually he
> purchased it outright. A letter and purchase order dated November 5, 1957,
> from the Paul Hahn & Co. piano firm in Toronto, show that he had been
> renting the Chickering at the cottage for some time and had chosen to buy
> it, for $555.
>          Incidentally, an actual Gould “childhood piano” came to light in
> 2005, in the CBC’s TV show “Canadian Antiques Roadshow.” It was a Mason &
> Risch baby grand now owned by a man in Calgary, whose grandparents had been
> friends of the Goulds. Glenn was always needing new pianos, so his father
> was always getting rid of old ones, and one of these rejects was purchased
> by the Calgary man’s grandparents, around the mid- to late 1940s.
> Appraisers have suggested that the piano could be worth a fortune, given
> its provenance. Actually, this piano can be seen in some early photos of
> Gould, including this famous one:
> http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.tutti-magazine.fr/upload/record/img/Glenn-Gould-4.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.tutti-magazine.fr/test/detail/glenn-gould-hereafter-BD-fr/&h=1525&w=1200&sz=157&tbnid=HQBCMYsl9oMjlM:&tbnh=128&tbnw=101&zoom=1&usg=__jgKLymnTrGr7zy4EFVjXBfbdoig=&docid=Ye8V4cMZFTejIM&sa=X&ei=8iTcUuDbKYjsoASd6oKoCQ&ved=0CCwQ9QewAA
> There was a short article on this whole matter in the Glenn Gould
> Foundation’s magazine, back in Spring 2005 (Vol. 11/1), p. 37. I assume
> this piano remains in the Calgary man’s possession, I don’t know. (He wants
> to remain anonymous.) I know of no other genuine Gould childhood piano
> still in existence.
>          Kevin Bazzana
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