Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Celebrity Viola Library Copy

The copy of the Vasilenko Viola Sonata that I got, by way of interlibrary loan, from the Curtis Library (one of only three copies available through the WorldCat) was too fragile for me to photocopy in good conscience, so I sent it back right away. This edition also has a few errors in it (corrected in pencil) that are not in the earlier (and better) Russian edition (shown on my last post) that I am using (by way of a photocopy).

The piece hasn't been in print since 1931. I'm hoping that a violist who owns a less-fragile copy might scan it and submit it to the IMSLP. I have already sent an alert inquiry to a librarian I know at Curtis. We'll see what happens. Since the president of Curtis, Roberto Diaz, is a violist (who might, like most violists, not know the piece), he might be on board with the idea of digitizing and sharing the music before the paper deteriorates completely. The fingerings and bowings in the viola part are also instructive, if not historic.

Before sending the music back to Curtis, I took this photo. You can see that some very famous violists took this piece out of the library.

Louis Bailly, the violist of the Flonzaley Quartet before he began teaching at Curtis in 1925, was the first to take out the music. Leonard Mogill was next. He doesn't have a biography on line, but is known to all violists for his scale and double-stop books. He was an important teacher and a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 46 years. Toby Appel, who currently teaches at Curtis, took the music out in 1969 when he was a student there. It looks like the music had been sitting on the shelf since 1977 before I requested it on Interlibrary Loan.

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