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The Boston Globe

Music

third ear

Two keyboard luminaries who dreamed of more

Rachmaninoff loved speedboats and cherry-malted milkshakes. Sarasate collected canes.

Sometimes the affinities and pastimes of great musicians make for nothing more than an entertaining anecdote. But some hobbies turn out to be not hobbies at all but something deeper, an alternate life unlived. Take for instance the curious, sometimes poignant, and ultimately revealing case of two towering 20th-century piano luminaries who both dreamed of becoming composers. I’m speaking, naturally, of Artur Schnabel and Glenn Gould.

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