A vast web

The expression “surfing the web” is an image, but a very apt one. We have learned to navigate not just a wave but a real flood of information. At the same time the development of the internet has prompted many institutions to open their doors, indeed their cupboards and tape boxes, making a huge volume of material which they have progressively digitised available, if not to everyone then at least to a select few.

This has led us to make contact with these institutions, a step which until the last few years ago we would not have attempted. And we were wrong to hesitate, because in most cases the custodians of these treasures are delighted to be able to share their knowledge, provided that they are treated with respect and that we in turn raise awareness of their activities. In this spirit the SWF has established contacts with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Stockholm Konserthuset, the Philharmonia in London (with less success), and also the Brahms Institute in Lübeck, the Reger Institute in Karlsruhe, the societies dedicated to Frida Leider, Erna Schlüter and Eduard Erdmann, and most recently the Hindemith Institute in Frankfurt, to whom we are indebted for a valuable document, the Schott press kit which accompanied the concerts of 11 and 12 March 1934...

It hardly matters whether these contacts bring us minor details or great historical insights; such exchanges are essential, making us aware of the activities of others with mutually enriching effects.

4 February 2018

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