This beautifully produced history of the piano is both informative and engaging. Performer and historian Richard Burnett traces the development of the piano from its origins to the present day, drawing on keyboard instruments from his internationally known collection, at the Finchcocks Museum in Kent, England.
Sixty-one of these instruments, including organs, harpsichords, clavichords, and a wide range of pianos, feature in what amounts to a ground-breaking social history of the piano. Interwoven with the biographies of the pianos are the histories of the various manufacturing firms and the remarkable lives of some of the builders and the musicians associated with them, all set against the vividly depicted social backdrop of the periods under review.
In the second part of his book, the author looks particularly at how the development of the instruments has influenced the output of the classical composers - Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Weber, Schubert and others. The fast-flowing, anecdotal style of the writing means that this will be of interest and entertainment to the general reader, as well as those who already have some knowledge of the subject.
The book has black boards and gilt titles and is in fine condition. Signed by the author on the title page. The jacket has a few light handling marks, slight creasing along the upper edge, and a small nick at the bottom of the spine. In a polythene cover at the back of the book is a complimentary CD (in excellent condition), in which the music of 33 of the Finchcocks period instruments can be heard being played by Richard Burnett and Steven Devine.