Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Joan Thomas Bequest of Renaissance and Baroque Music

According to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, the Renaissance covers music composed from 1430 to 1600. Baroque designates a period or style of music covering roughly the years between 1600 and 1750. The major composers of these times are Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Antonio Vivaldi. Other names familiar in the classical world are Praetorius, Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, Lully, Pachelbel, Purcell, the Scarlattis (Alessandro and Domenico), and Telemann. The Urbana Free Library now has the preeminent collection in the State of Illinois thanks to a bequest from Joan Thomas, from whom we received over 1,200 compact discs. While some may view this as an esoteric collection, I view it as a godsend -- recordings that would otherwise be unavailable in this area. Joan, a long-time Urbana library patron, imported many of these recordings in the 1980s from Europe. We are the only library in Illinois that owns many of these compact discs, making us a great resource for early classical music. Organ music, operas, and motets are a large component of the collection. I hope you'll check out these composers and more -- Venetian Vespers sound great on a hot summer day!

1 comment:

Sharon M. said...

I am so glad that Joan's collection is now accessible to a wide audience. She loved this music and I hope her bequest will allow many other people to discover the joys of Renaissance and Baroque music.