We were lucky enough to buy a huge collection of vinyl from a well-known collector who lived in Kew Gardens in the New York Borough of Queens and collected a bit of every thing. My task is to describe what, in my 39 years of experience, is the most eclectic collection of classical music I have ever seen.
Normally, when one sees a large collection of classical, you see Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and so forth, performed by world renowned artists. But Ed (withholding his last name) collected mainly 20th-century composers from every European country and a lot of American music that has been unjustly forgotten.
I think I know my composers, but there were a number of them in this collection that I have never heard of and whose existence is scantly documented in reference books that are in the English language.
One of the few sanguine effects of Eastern European communism was that each country had it’s own state-run record label that methodically recorded the music of every prominent living composer.
Here are a few examples:
I could go on but, suffice to say, even Slovenia is represented
The American element is more familiar to me, but most of it hasn’t been available for more then 30 years. Like all fervent collectors, Ed never seems to have played any of his records, so they are almost all in mint condition. As far as I can tell, most of these records have not made onto CD. Also, for this old New Yorker It was a pleasure to see such long-gone fabled stores like the Record Hunter and King Karol printed on the price stickers.
This collection will be available at Amoeba Hollywood starting on July 21st.