I just ordered a copy of the American first edition listed below from
ABE. If anyone else is interested there are a few more copies available
in the $30-40 range.
It sounds too wacky to pass up, embroidery and all.
Thornton Hagert wrote:
> The American edition of the book is as follows =
> THE IMMORTAL PIANO BY AVNER AND HANNAH CARMI
> New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. 286 pp. @ 1960 by Avner and
> Hannah Carmi. LoC Cat Card # : 59-14034.
> The subtitle "The True Story of a Quest" appears only on the cover,
> inside and out.
> Crown's address was then 419 Park Avenue South, New York 16, N. Y.
> There are many in-text photos, especially of the case carvings.
> The book's prologue states that the Piano was used at a 1951
> concert at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Felix, Ahad Haam St., Tel-Aviv,
> played by Prod. Lazare Levy, for the Society 0f Friends of the Siena
> Pianoforte. The concert was to be recorded.
> A performance had also been broadcast for the benefit of Israeli
> The book may be seen at Vernacular Music Research, Philadelphia PA.
> Thornton Hagert
> On Nov 30, 2009, at 3:29 PM, Ernst Lumpe wrote:
>> Years ago I assembled what appeared to me the complete series of
>> Counterpoint/Esoteric Lps featuring the Siena Pianoforte. There were six
>> Esoteric ESP-3000, 1955
>> Charles Rosen plays 6 Sonatas by Scarlatti and Mozart's Sonata K. 333
>> Esoteric ESP-3001, 1956
>> Anatole Kitain plays works by Bach in arrangements of Busoni, Hess
>> and Petri
>> Esoteric ESP-3002, 1956
>> Marisa Regules plays works by Albéniz, Mompou, Turina and Villa-Lobos
>> Esoteric ESP-3003, 1956
>> Marisa Regules plays works by Debussy
>> Esoteric ESP-3004, 1956
>> Kathryn Deguire plays works by Mozart
>> Esoteric ESP-3005, 1956
>> Grace Castagnetta "Christmas on the Siena pianoforte" (well-known
>> xmas songs
>> and hymns in her own improvisations).
>> That Mr. Drori mentions Glenn Gould as one of the pianists who
>> recorded on
>> this instrument puzzles me. I have never seen such recordings
>> released. Yet,
>> that does not mean they don't exist, of course.
>> I also have the book he mentions, released two times over here in German
>> translation under the title "Das unsterbliche Klavier". The first one in
>> 1965, Heimeran-Verlag, the second in 1985, Urachhaus-Verlag. The
>> American edition is said to have been published in 1960 as "The Immortal
>> Piano". A publishing house is not mentioned, only the 1960 copyright by
>> Avner and Hannah Carmi. I have kept an article which was published in
>> in the German weekly journal Der Spiegel. At that time Carmi was dead
>> already and the piano was owned by his daughter Smira Borochowicz
>> (68) who
>> was about to put it on auction. It seems that someone in Japan had
>> shown an
>> interest in it, as the article closes with the following lines: "The
>> prospect that the holy wood from Solomon's Temple should now pass from
>> Jewish into Japanese hands does not bother her: "What matters most is
>> it's gone finally!"
>> Reading the book I cannot help believing it is spinning an
>> entertaining yarn
>> with a couple of hairraising moments (e. g. Liszt discovering the
>> piano in
>> Italy and playing on it the first version of his "La campanella"; or
>> Rommel's troups in Africa getting hold of it somehow and misusing it
>> as a
>> "beer organ", only to be followed by the British capturing it after the
>> battle of El Alamein, the instrument now being covered with plaster
>> made the British believe at first they had gotten some German secret
>> Carmi finally found it when
>> he rumaged around in a depository of the British mandatory forces
>> near Tel
>> Aviv in 1947, and more of that kind of revelations). The book's subtitle
>> ("The adventurous and honest story of the long-forgotten and resurfaced
>> Siena Pianoforte" - my re-translation of the German subtitle) sounds
>> like a fairy tale.