• A Romance on Three Legs

  • Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano
  • By: Katie Hafner
  • Narrated by: William Coon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Hugely talented and famously eccentric, pianist Glenn Gould fought a running battle with a long list of less than perfect pianos. A Romance on Three Legs is the story of a love that changed Gould's life: his partnership with the Steinway CD 318, a piano whose peculiar action and temperament ushered Gould closer than ever to interpretive perfection. Katie Hafner weaves the compelling tale of Gould, his favorite piano, and the men who worked on it, revealing new details and nuances in the work and mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest artists.

©2008 Katie Hafner (P)2013 Katie Hafner

Critic Reviews

"When Gould was paired with the right composer...he could make you wonder if he was altogether human. And reading Hafner on Gould is sometimes as much fun as listening to him play. And that's saying a lot." ( Newsweek)

What listeners say about A Romance on Three Legs

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Love It

Romance is a wonderful book for pianists who stand in awe of the true artist. What is especially fulfilling is the education on the corresponding artistry of the professional technician whose work I have always (shame on me) taken for granted.

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As a Pianist (of sorts) I Was Engaged

And the three legs are not really the legs of a piano (if that was what the author was thinking), but they are the artist, the piano, and the tuner, all of which the book covered in-depth, making for three stories in one.

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Finally! An Audible book lives up to the hype!

I have listened to many Audible books and this one by far has been the best. Great narration, great story, well written! I finished in a week, mostly listening in my car. It could only have been better if some actual recordings of Glenn Gould playing would have been included.

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Delightful, engaging, and instructive.

I loved this book for many reasons. The story is engaging and even gripping. The narration is not only clear, but read in a way that enhances the message and makes me want to hear more. In a few places there may be a little more detail than required, but I would find it difficult or recommend cutting it. Overall, a highly engaging and informative account of Glenn Gould and be quest for the perfect piano. I highly recommend it.

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Love

This book made me fall in love (upon hearing him play "the Tempest" sonata by Beethoven 08/15) with Glenn Gould.

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Profile Image for Jill Phillips
  • Jill Phillips
  • 02-08-18

Unique, Moving and Magical

Any additional comments?

'A Romance on Three Legs' is the fondly amusing title of this delightful book - which tells the touching story of Glenn Gould - that unique musical genius - his unique piano tuners (one in particular) and the pianos (one in particular) that they loved.
Not only is the story most movingly written and performed, but it offers unexpectedly profound and fascinating information about the art and practice of piano tuning itself.
A truly wonderful book that musicians and audiences alike would be sure to enjoy.