Of course, Let It Be Me not only about music. It’s about Bridget Forrester, who upon making a bad impression in her first London season, really needs a fresh start for her second one. So when she receives a letter from renowned composer Vincenzo Carpenini to study piano with him, she doesn’t hesitate, but hops on board a ship to Venice, Italy. However, when she arrives, Carpenini has never heard of her. But his friend Oliver Merrick, who has been writing letters on his behalf, has – and embroils Bridget in a musical wage that will have her playing a piano concert in front of all of Venice high society.
But, even though I am really no good at music, the one thing I do know is that a really good musician needs a really beautiful instrument. This of course, was an excellent excuse for me to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s musical instrument collection. (Yes, I’m a huge nerd. And if you’re not, well, I have no idea what you’re doing visiting this blog.)
Now THIS is a piano you play at a concert in Venice in front of all of society! It’s not just gilt, it’s encrusted. The piano body rises out of the foam on the backs of mermen! Mermen! I have no idea if there are even any keys inside this thing, and I sincerely doubt it ever stays in tune, but if I’m going to play Beethoven’s piano sonata no. 23 in front of the world, I would certainly want to do it at this piano.
Research is really the most fun part of writing isn’t it? And while you’ll have to read Let It Be Me to see what kind of piano ends up being played – also, how Bridget and Oliver overcome their obstacles and fall in love – I am happy to just kick back and sigh, and think about the kind of music these pianos could produce.