Filmmakers: Tom Wrigglesworth and Mathieu Cuvelier
The short profile of Marc Manceaux and his his shop Fournitures Generales Pour le Piano, the oldest piano shop in Paris, gives a charming insight into the work of a man who has devoted his entire life to one pursuit – the renovation of classic pianos.
Manceaux has worked at the unique shop that looks like a scrapyard for old instruments for nearly 35 years and is more a craftsman than a salesman.
He says: “My job is to find spare piano parts abroad or to make them myself and sell them here or by mail order. Just as there are spare parts for cars, there are also one or two shops in France that repair pianos, where piano tuners come to get bits and pieces. These days it’s more about conservation, not like in museums, but it’s about finding a part, so that a historic piano can sing again. For example, you cannot find a single original part for a 1920 Pleyel on the open market, so it’s justifiable to take a piano apart very carefully and harvest the parts to create a kind of “organ bank” for pianos that can be used to repair pianos for which no original part exists. When I have to break one up, I always feel a twinge of regret … but that’s what organ donation is all about.”
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