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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000943.txt from 1999/01

From: "David B. Niethamer" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Ponte's Music Store
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 09:03:13 -0500

on 1/16/99 11:10 AM, Kenneth Wolman wrote:

>I don't know how long they've been there, but Frank Music is on 54th
>between Broadway and 8th Avenue.

I knew Frank Music, owned by Frank Marx, as a fixture in the Sofia
Building, on 60th near Lincoln Center, when I was in school in NYC 25
years ago. Frank Marx was a character. One ascended to the 24th(?) floor
in a freight elevator, then waited in line at a wire screen which
separated the customers from Mr. Marx. You made your request, and Marx
disappeared into the dark stacks, usually returning with your requests in
hand. I was often in line behind the proverbial "Little Old Lady Piano
Teacher" (new meaning for LOL!!), who was buying sheet music for
students. If she requested "Fluffy the Puppy" and Marx didn't have it, he
would come with several choices of music at the appropriate pedagogical
level whose title involved canines.

My favorite Frank Marx story involved the search for some out of print
titles. I wanted the Lutoslawski "Dance Preludes" (then out of print) and
John Barrows "March" for Wind Quintet. Marx went into the stacks, and
came back empty handed. He said "The Lutoslawski is out of print. The
Polish Government doesn't understand the publishing business" and
preceded to give me the publishing history of "Dance Preludes" up to that
time. Then he said "As for the Barrows March, it's been out of print for
a long time. If you really want to have it, I'd borrow
it...and not return it." (!!!) All delivered totally deadpan - I had no
idea whether to laugh out loud, or just slink away! It was a great place.

>Patelson's will be on West 56th forever,
>but it's not as good as it was 30+ years ago.

25 years ago it was the same as it was a few weeks ago when I was there.
The same stock, which at least in the clarinet bins rarely changes, and
unemployed tenors and pianists for employees who'd rather bitch about why
their competitors in their chosen field are working, and they are not.
Strange place.


David Niethamer
Principal Clarinet, Richmond Symphony

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