By Ray Brown
Today's 4:00 request comes from Stephanie, a retired music librarian and a dear friend of our own music librarian here at 99.5, Alice Abraham. Stephanie requested the Fifth Symphony of the eighteenth century Swiss composer Joseph Franz Xaver Dominik Stalder (figures that a librarian would send us such a fabulous name, eh?). Alice found a recording of it in the last of the boxes of 13,000 CDs we acquired after last year's merger of WCRB and WGBH, adding it to the WGBH library, a collection of around 90,000 titles, half of which are classical.
And as you might expect, a lot of that WCRB collection was already in our own WGBH collection, so what happened to all those duplications? Glad you asked. Alice had the brilliant idea of sharing these gorgeous recordings with other libraries near and far (how's that for collegiality?). So she managed to sort through everything and send off the thousands of CDs we didn't need to local music schools and nursing homes. One of those institutions was the New England Conservatory. NEC’s Library Director Jean Morrow wrote “With the many demands on the acquisitions budget we have at NEC, it would have taken us years to amass such a treasure...This wonderful collection from ‘GBH will be a terrific resource for students and faculty.”
Libraries, like so many institutions, have come under increasing financial pressure in the last few years, so if you value them (and I bet you do!), support your local library!
And to celebrate all that libraries and librarians do to enrich our lives, our opening piece is the overture to Handel's opera Tolomeo. Tolomeo is the Italian form of Ptolemy, the Egyptian king who founded the Library of Alexandria.