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Broadcasting and Orchestra Branch.

The Broadcasting and Orchestra Branch held its meeting on 1 July with 3 papers. The topic was Conductors and Broadcasters and the first paper was "Private collections from the Music Library of Bolshoi Theatre: Sergei Koussevitzky, Vyacheslav Suk, Michail Lentovsky and others" presented by Olesya Bobrik of the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow

The paper gave an overview of the most important funds kept in the Bolshoi Music Library and provided some information about the library itself.

The Music Library staff started compiling the inventory and electronic catalog of the collections three years ago; now they have catalogued about one fourth of the scores and for the first time it is possible to detect the main processes which have brought to the formation of the library, and to understand its worth for scholarly interpretation.

The collections had never been studied systematically until now, and a complete catalog of the 4500 scores did not actually exist: the previous card catalog was mostly used for internal needs. The library, which originates from the end of the 18th century, is mainly constituted by performing materials, but about 400 scores derive from private collections, inherited by the theatre after their owner's death or became its property after many steps, as readable on many annotations.

The Koussevitzky collection is one of the most important and passed to the Bolshoi after Koussevitzky's emigration from Russia in 1920. In 1921, instruments and library belonging to Koussevitzky's orchestra were nationalized and temporary assigned to the Bolshoi, while part of the scores was given to the Philharmonic Society. The collection encompasses very accurately bound full scores and many orchestral sets, both printed and handwritten; orchestral materials are unfortunately very poor of annotations which could help to date the scores giving information about the orchestra's history, how otherwise happens with Bolshoi's own scores. Regarding the conductor's annotations, it is still difficult to discern autograph notes from later additions, because orchestral sets and full scores have been also used for other performances afterwards.

Among the collections kept in the Bolshoi library, the Suk collection is the largest one: it is composed by about 200 scores and orchestral sets and it was given to the theatre by Suk's widow after his death in 1933. Autograph annotations on scores and parts are easily recognizable here, many of them concerning interpretation and many others introducing corrections in orchestration, which allows to have a good idea about the final performance. On the orchestral parts there are also many indications by the players' hand, date annotations and enthusiastic comments about performances. Most of the scores were gathered by Suk during his activity in Sestroretsk between 1905 and 1914, when he conducted his orchestra for the Summer season in this renowned resort on the Gulf of Finland, having contractual opportunity to buy music material for the concerts and keep it afterwards: indeed, in many folders containing orchestral parts belonging to Suk's collection have been found some traces of sand which probably derive from Sestroretsk health resort. It is remarkable that programmes at Sestro retsk resort did not include only entertainment pieces but also more "serious" authors like Wagner, Mendelssohn, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka; Rimsky-Korsakov himself, like Cui and Glazunov, was sometimes in the audience. Anyway, even the entertainment music gives us more information about almost forgotten composers and about performance practices, such as conducting with an annotated first violin part or a piano score instead of the full score; probably Suk, who was an excellent violinist, played and conducted at the same time.

The slides accompanying the presentation show some images of the scores belonging to Koussevitsky and Suk collections: the scores look in very good conditions even if it doesn't seem to be adopted any particular preservation policy until now.

The second paper was presented by Rob Corp of the Royal College of Music, London on "Stokowski and the Royal College of Music" Rob Corp's paper about the Opperby--Stokowski collections treats both the technical aspects of preservation, cataloging and access to the documents and the notional part of investigation about Stokowski's and Opperby's personalities, based on the analysis of the Opperby-Stokowski fund inherited by the Royal College after Opperby's death.

The presentation started with a short description of the collection, which consists of books, concert programmes, magazines, press cuttings and articles, brochures, photographs, pictures, correspondence, video, DVD, audio recordings including rehearsals of premieres, 78 discs, LPs, CD, ephemera and artifacts, for a total amount of 8500 documents more or less. Preben Opperby was a Danish schoolteacher and a big fan of Leopold Stokowski; he began his collection in 1950 and decided to destine it to the Royal College of Music of London where Stokowski was one of the youngest pupils in 1896, at the age of thirteen.

In 2008 the original card catalogue was transcribed to an Access database (more recently converted in SQL format to enable an easier web consultation in the future), adding some more information to the original contents of the cards to allow a better search. The database can be browsed combining all Type, Subject, Location and/or Country, Town and Place fields, and documents can be reached from several entries; moreover, it can give complete information about each document. The description follows both standards and practice, to facilitate the search for non librarian users. Recordings have been digitized and the database contains 1128 tracks in Wav and MP3 format. In addition to this, the amount of files related to Stokowski in the database is increasing thanks to the contribution of the Stokowski Society.

The Opperby--Stokowski collection at the Royal College highlights some personal and professional aspects of Stokowski which have been often disregarded in official biographies; interviews and rehearsals recordings reveal a reasonable person in spite of his scary reputation and underline his interest in all music genres and his continuous effort to make music accessible to a wide audience, with particular attention to music education of the young generation.

Closing his presentation, Rob Corp added some short considerations about Opperby's personality, emerging from annotations and comments on the original card catalog which actually testify the high degree of Opperby's emotional interest on Stokowski as a musician and a person.

The last paper was presented by Jutta Lambrrch of the Westdeutschen Rundfunks, Koln on " The Role of a Music Archive in a Broadcasting Company in the 21st Century: das Musikarchiv des Westdeutschen Rundfunks (WDR) in Koln".

The presentation illustrated the principal activities of the WDR archive in more than 80 years of history of the broadcast company, from the beginning in 1924 until the present time, mentioning the closing between 1942 and 1945 and the reopening with the new name Westdeutsche Rundfunk after the war. During the first part of the presentation, photo images were accompanied by the listening of one of the few old recordings belonging to the archive, Humperdinck's voice recorded from a disc: indeed the development of technologies and the increasing attention to preservation have determined the preponderance of more recent documents in the sound archive, also because in the first years programs were broadcasted live and it was not so usual to keep and preserve recordings.

After a description of the administrative structure of the archive, Jutta Lambrecht explained its supporting role in the many WDR music activities; the WDR is the biggest public broadcast company in Germany and has six radio channels and a TV channel, cooperates with other TV broadcast companies and provides an online channel (for further information www; the music library stores, preserves and takes care of all recordings of broadcasted programs and of some rehearsals (we had the opportunity to listen an impressive Beethoven Symphony n. 9 where Otto Klemperer plays piano "coaching" the singers and the choir), but also provides scores and orchestral sets for the three WDR Orchestras and the WDR choir, producing and preserving also printed music.

Originated from a project set up in 2002, the digitization of several hundred thousands of recordings and the storage of relative data on electronic database began in 2004; until today 213.000 Cds have been transferred. The resulting data are kept in two 175 terabyte servers, located in different buildings; contents can be listened free in WDR offices but they are not downloadable. Usually the music archive is not open to the public but it is accessible by appointment, for certified needs, to researchers or qualified students assisted by WDR reference service. During the presentation was also showed the basic operation of data entry in the record cards of the database.

In the last times the music library is beginning digitization of scores, but of course the manual intervention on performing materials cannot be substituted: in addition to the permanent staff, the music library employs up to 25 copyists to face production needs preparing and correcting orchestral materials.

Sabina Benelli

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Author:Benelli, Sabina
Publication:Fontes Artis Musicae
Article Type:Conference notes
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Oct 1, 2010
Previous Article:Archives and music documentation centres branch.
Next Article:Libraries in music teaching institutions branch.

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