- Radio Times
- Review by:
- David Gillard
The BBC’s extensive Piano Season continues for the next five weeks, an in-depth exploration of the piano’s history, mechanics and influence — plus, of course, some great pianistic performances. Says Radio 3 controller Roger Wright: “The piano is a single instrument that has the ability to convey a range of emotions and the power of a whole orchestra.”
Here Michael Goldfarb looks at the development of the piano across the centuries and across social divides, from 19th-century Europe to the astonishing piano boom in 21st-century China. The extraordinary popularity of Chinese virtuoso Lang Lang will certainly have had something to do with that.
About this programme
As part of the Piano Season on Radio 3, Michael Goldfarb explores the development and enduring appeal of the piano across social and geographic divides, from Austrian aristocracy to the aspiring middle classes of China. He discovers that throughout its development, from its origins in Italy and Austria to its astonishing success in 21st-century China, it has been making a mark way beyond the niche world of the professional musician. He also talks to people who play, work on, fettle and sell these most expensive of instruments and gets a sense of their place in the aspiring societies of 19th-century Europe, 20th-century America and Asia and modern China. Michael visits piano showrooms, workshops and museums to reach a greater understanding of an instrument that many thought would not survive the onslaught of modernity.
Cast and crew
- Tom Alban