Thursday, September 17, 2009

Flute Treasures at the Library of Congress

The U. S. Library of Congress has many treasures. The beauty of the building's interiors inspire reverence for books.  Yet the Library's diverse collections contain much more than books.   Under the dome of the Main Reading Room conveyor belts silently deliver requested books to readers at well-lit tables.  In the Library's Performing Arts Reading Room, Maxim finds flute and wind quintet scores, and he reviews rare volumes from the Library's Russian Imperial Collection, including the songbooks of Nicholas and Alexandra.

By special appointment with the curator of the Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection, Maxim enters a basement vault where he examines some of the Library's 1700 rare and historically important flutes.   On public view is an exquisite exhibit about The Ballets Russes, including a inscribed photo of Francis Poulenc, whose Sonata for Flute is one of Maxim’s favorites.

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