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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000951.txt from 1997/09

From: "R Tennenbaum" <>
Subj: Re: B&H for sale, any takers here?
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 1997 23:59:42 -0400

On Sat, 20 Sep 1997 18:23:42 +0100, Robin Fairbairns wrote:

>> According to the Blumberg Business reports digest which appears in
>> the New York Observer, the British-based Boosey & Hawkes (owner of
>> Buffet and several clarinet mfrs.) is for sale. [...]
>I heard reports about this ages ago.

Isn't that nice?

>When did this digest appear?

The New York Observer, dated September 22, 1997, in the Business
Observer section ("Heard on the Bloomberg").

>> There seems to be nationalist opposition to the sale in Britain, in
>> part because Boosey and Hawkes's publishing division owns exclusive
>> rights to many British standards,
>I'm not sure what you're saying here. Boosey are the publishers for
>many significant composers, and there is of course concern that those
>composers' works will continue to be published. Naturally, a good
>proportion of those composers are British, but the reports I read
>didn't imply that there was a nationalistic element in the concern
>about the expected sale.

I was simply paraphrasing the report, without comment. The lead
(first sentence) of the story reads: "....nothing makes xenophobic
Brits yowl more than the prospect that their beloved quasi-national
anthem, 'Land of Hope and Glory,' may soon wind up in foreign hands."
Rhetorical excess? Maybe, but...

>> as well as a desire to keep the
>> national B&H manufacturers in place. The report isn't clear but it
>> would seem that efforts to muster legislation against the sale have
>> been fruitless.
>Are there any British B&H manufacturers? (This is not a rhetorical
>question. I've only ever owned B&H instruments, for odd personal
>historical reasons.)

...the story includes a quote: "'I'm concerned that part of
Britain's national music heritage should continue making instruments
and publishing music, just as it is now,' said Andrew Dismore, a
member of Parliament who counts among his constituency 270 employees
in a Boosey & Hawkes factory devoted to making brass and woodwind
instruments. Mr. Dismore has spent the past month trying to persuade
the Government to pass legislation that would block a foreign sale."


>Legislation against such a sale is plainly a ridiculous idea: such
>things just don't happen. If (I don't quite see how) the sale could
>be regarded as analagous to the sale of an important "work of art"
>there already is legislation under which the Secretary of State for
>National Heritage (yes, that really is Chris Smith's job title) could
>act to delay while funds were sought to purchase within the UK.
>However, UKP 200 million is a factor of 10 larger than the largest
>such appeal I've ever heard of.


I didn't really wish to type in the entire Observer story, as much
for reasons of copyright as anything else. Feel free to take issue
with it or the issues it raises as you wish, say it's boring, old
hat, etc etc, I was simply passing on the gist of it. Let me suggest
you check out the Bloomberg wire if you want to get more information.

Rafe T.

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