A review of my book has popped up on Pianodao, a website devoted to the piano, pianists and piano education. You can read the whole review by clicking here.
For now, some excerpts:
‘Before the last rays of summer settle into the colours of autumn, let me tell you about this wonderful book, my summer holiday read, but equally suitable for the cozy evenings ahead, or for that matter as a Christmas gift.
‘Indeed, whether you find yourself wanting inspiration for fresh beginnings, a reboot in your piano journey, or simply a brilliant read, Susan Tomes’ The Piano: A History in 100 Pieces is poised to perfectly hit the spot and deliver the tonic you are looking for. … As with all Tomes’ writing, the book can be enjoyed as an extended paean to the piano, and her respectful rapture is equally captured by the gorgeous cover and presentation afforded by publisher Yale University Press, London.
‘Were this book merely a glorified list, it would have value and much interest as such. But of course the selection of pieces is merely the skeleton on which the body of this book is brought to life.
…’The chapters dealing with each selected piece are generally three to four pages in length, giving them ample space for enjoyable storytelling alongside the broader historical narrative, and for humorous diversion alongside technical analysis.
‘As such, the book could equally be digested as a single excellent account of its subject, or dipped into for its 100 pithy and highly readable short chapters, which offer a reference work or even object lesson in how to write the most brilliantly engaging programme note.
‘Personally I have done both, enjoying the book as bedtime reading over a few weeks, as well as dipping back to remind myself of the delicious insights and contextual accounts with which Tomes has populated this fine book. And I cannot recommend highly enough that you do the same.
‘The Piano: A History in 100 Pieces is quite simply an essential purchase for any piano enthusiast, offering as it does a veritable feast of salient information and insight into the instrument and music which we love so much.’
reviewed by Pianodao in September 2021