So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18506
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Lance » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:07 pm

... all our stuff (books, CDs, LPs, and worldly goods and people). There is too much to enjoy no matter how long we live. I think about this many times. Can't take any of it with us! Am I alone in this regard?
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

maestrob
Posts: 6970
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by maestrob » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:39 pm

Lance wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:07 pm
... all our stuff (books, CDs, LPs, and worldly goods and people). There is too much to enjoy no matter how long we live. I think about this many times. Can't take any of it with us! Am I alone in this regard?
Wow! Lance: deep thoughts today!

Sure, it's a conundrum.

I've written a letter to go with my will with instructions on how to donate and sell my collection, as I have someone in the younger generation of my family who will be the executor of my will should my lovely wife pre-decease me. BUT: I only have an apartment's worth of stuff. You, OTOH, might consider turning your house into a library for musicologists, perhaps even the general public. Have you ever thought about that?

Beckmesser
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:11 pm
Location: Columbia/Westchester Counties NY

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Beckmesser » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:54 pm

My wife and I definitely have too much stuff. I have spent the past several months trying to empty out our house before undertaking a total renovation. Looking back on 35 years in the same residence I can see that we held onto our stuff much too long. I think people have varying "relationships" with their stuff, from outright hoarding to no bond whatsoever. At one extreme I had a coworker who threw out books as soon as he finished reading them. He preferred very spartan interiors. Another friend is a classic hoarder who is afraid to throw anything out "in case I need to find it." Her house has so much clutter it is both a fire and a safety hazard (she's 94 and hasn't fallen yet).

I wish my wife and I had been more "down the middle," but we avoided annual "closet cleaning" and now we are stuck with boxes and boxes of stuff we now longer need. (By the way, during my current efforts I came across the concert programs autographed by Glenn Gould and Birgit Nilsson that I haven't seen in ages).

Books are a special problem. We have bookcases in every room of the house. At this stage in my life I doubt very much that I will ever read most of them again. Before we vacate the house in the next few months, I will probably donate many of our books to the local library for their periodic book sales.

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18506
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Lance » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:32 pm

Ah, Brian - you caught that! Yes, on occasion I give some thoughts to this. But what a glorious life in having so much great music to have at one's fingertips - and the ears to enjoy it! On the other hand, when we get past the Pearly White Gates, we don't know what awaits us but I have great expectations! It's just the "mess" I don't want anybody to have to take care of in my absence.
maestrob wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:39 pm
Lance wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:07 pm
... all our stuff (books, CDs, LPs, and worldly goods and people). There is too much to enjoy no matter how long we live. I think about this many times. Can't take any of it with us! Am I alone in this regard?
Wow! Lance: deep thoughts today!

Sure, it's a conundrum.

I've written a letter to go with my will with instructions on how to donate and sell my collection, as I have someone in the younger generation of my family who will be the executor of my will should my lovely wife pre-decease me. BUT: I only have an apartment's worth of stuff. You, OTOH, might consider turning your house into a library for musicologists, perhaps even the general public. Have you ever thought about that?
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18506
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Lance » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:35 pm

Yes, understand all this completely. We, too, have boxes and boxes of stuff, even gifts from our wedding that still sit in those boxes (mostly used, however). It is easy to become a hoarder (do you ever watch the TV program that shows the lives of hoarders?). My thought is if you haven't seen or used something in 20 years you will never miss it. The only problem is the TIME to take care of getting rid of the stuff. Then we will have more room to add even more stuff. Interesting how it goes, eh? You give me some good ideas, though. Thank you.
Beckmesser wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:54 pm
My wife and I definitely have too much stuff. I have spent the past several months trying to empty out our house before undertaking a total renovation. Looking back on 35 years in the same residence I can see that we held onto our stuff much too long. I think people have varying "relationships" with their stuff, from outright hoarding to no bond whatsoever. At one extreme I had a coworker who threw out books as soon as he finished reading them. He preferred very spartan interiors. Another friend is a classic hoarder who is afraid to throw anything out "in case I need to find it." Her house has so much clutter it is both a fire and a safety hazard (she's 94 and hasn't fallen yet).

I wish my wife and I had been more "down the middle," but we avoided annual "closet cleaning" and now we are stuck with boxes and boxes of stuff we now longer need. (By the way, during my current efforts I came across the concert programs autographed by Glenn Gould and Birgit Nilsson that I haven't seen in ages).

Books are a special problem. We have bookcases in every room of the house. At this stage in my life I doubt very much that I will ever read most of them again. Before we vacate the house in the next few months, I will probably donate many of our books to the local library for their periodic book sales.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18506
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Lance » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:36 pm

I wonder what our good friends in Australia think about this? Sue ... Barney?
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by John F » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:06 pm

A last resort would be the thrift shops, particularly Goodwill Industries. Well, the very last resort is the dumpster, but...

http://www.goodwill.org/donate-and-shop/donate-stuff/

Used books should be easier to dispose of for money to second-hand bookstores, though probably not much, or to libraries for their circulating and/or reference collections.
John Francis

Belle
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Belle » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:40 pm

Lance wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:36 pm
I wonder what our good friends in Australia think about this? Sue ... Barney?
I've given this lots of thought (as well as our estate more generally). My library of English literature classics, books on film, culture and politics and especially my music books, scores, piano and Hi-Fi system. Then there's my collection of German porcelain, antiques and fragile objects d'art I've collected over the years - one of these a Meisen cameo of Schubert struck in the GDR, in limited edition, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Schubert and which I bought in Vienna - and the 'portraits' of composers which I bought at Hecks in Vienna, taken from original engraving plates and which I had framed for my music room at considerable expense. On my Henle Verlag score of the Beethoven Klaviersonaten - which is a holy relic to me - I wrote many years ago on the front page of Band 1: "Whoever inherits this; treasure it please! Scared to the memory of our beloved Beethoven". I don't think I can do any more than that. Many of the CDs and books will probably end up as landfill, but that's what we had to do with our late father's huge library of computer programming books 15 years ago. My eldest son has already put most of my collection in digital form for himself.

I consider my whole collection modest in comparison to many of you, but that is the legacy of 4 children (plus 1 from my husband's previous marriage). Last night, in fact, I said to my son from Perth (who is going through the Family Court with a vicious spouse), "you need, more than ever, to develop the inner life; some place where you can dig deep and find some understandings about what it means to be a human being. Physical things are fine and keep us fit but mental stamina, perception and understanding are central to a meaningful life". To my surprise he responded very positively, and agreed!!

Beckmesser
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:11 pm
Location: Columbia/Westchester Counties NY

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Beckmesser » Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:28 pm

Other items that I have in abundance are VHS video cassettes and reels of audio tape. For years I recorded broadcasts of British shows that appeared on our local public television station--adaptations of literary classics, documentaries, comedies, and lots and lots of mysteries. I recently filled six bankers boxes with them, ready for the dumpster. I did some research and discovered that most of my favorites can be obtained by streaming. When you think about it, streaming could mean fewer physical objects to clutter up our homes--books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, etc. Good for the environment, too.

Just the other day I came across some cartons filled with audio tapes that I made in the 1960s from a variety of sources--LPs borrowed from the library and Saturday radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera. Their sound quality leaves much to be desired so it was an easy decision to throw them out. Also, I believe that the really great Met performances from the past are available by . . . you guessed it . . . streaming.

barney
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by barney » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:43 pm

We have the same problems. I have some 8000 books, 10,000 CDs and 1000 LPs; my wife can't throw anything out, especially the things that belonged to our two children who passed away. And I would be a monster to insist. But the piles in corners etc are getting out of control. I have just put all my LPs on Ebay, but not one bid. My eldest son is constructing a wine rack so that the cases of wine on shelves take less space. I am going through my books this month, and have got rid of a couple of hundred but it's a drop in the bucket. I have various "collections" that I don't want to touch: reference books, music, theology, philosophy, cricket, and who wants to get rid of poetry or plays? That leaves all the novels and thrillers which, I sadly confess, I spend too much time on. When we moved to our current house in 1995 I divided the cricket books into must keep and can sell. The latter group is still in the same four cartons under my desk 23.5 years on.
The problem is that some of the books I have collected are quite valuable, such as an 1897 autobiography of Indian cricketer Prince Ranjitsihnji, and my children will have no idea of which is which, and probably not the patience to find out. I wouldn't have the patience either. Then there are journalism awards and table tennis trophies valuable only to me - they can be thrown out.
I've probably betrayed far too much of my addled psychological state with all this. I just hope we don't have to downsize, because that would be heart-breaking. Theological colleges all have big libraries. My alma mater might come and pick out a few volumes but no one will want the lot. As for CDs, almost no one under 60 buys them any more. And yet some of them are probably worth something, such as the Philips Great Pianists 200-CD collection, which Lance said a while ago he saw priced at $3000 (if I remember aright).
Sigh.

barney
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by barney » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:49 pm

PS: the thing about books is that I do re-read them constantly. There are many books I have read half a dozen times over the years, far more that I have read two or three times. And these range from Homer to Jack Reacher novels. A second-hand bookshop near us closed last month, and was selling books for $1 each. What is a poor fool to do? Of course quite a few dollars changed hands!

Beckmesser
Posts: 492
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:11 pm
Location: Columbia/Westchester Counties NY

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Beckmesser » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:01 pm

Here's a problem I've been wrestling with.

Back in the 1960s my aunt gave our family a set of World Book Encyclopedias that occupies one shelf of a bookcase. A second shelf is filled with the annual supplements. A third shelf is filled with the annual issues summarizing recent scientific developments. I haven't looked at them in decades. Who needs a set of encyclopedias when we have Wikipedia? Libraries don't want them because they are not current. They can't be recycled because hardcover books aren't accepted unless the covers have been removed. The only suggestion I have received is that collage artists sometimes want them for their illustrations.

Belle
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Belle » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:15 pm

Beckmesser wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:01 pm
Here's a problem I've been wrestling with.

Back in the 1960s my aunt gave our family a set of World Book Encyclopedias that occupies one shelf of a bookcase. A second shelf is filled with the annual supplements. A third shelf is filled with the annual issues summarizing recent scientific developments. I haven't looked at them in decades. Who needs a set of encyclopedias when we have Wikipedia? Libraries don't want them because they are not current. They can't be recycled because hardcover books aren't accepted unless the covers have been removed. The only suggestion I have received is that collage artists sometimes want them for their illustrations.
Wiki cannot be compared to any encyclopedia. What about the Grove Dictionary of Music; what, if anything, has supplanted that? Sure, the academic research often needs updating but I wouldn't be relying on Wiki for that. Not at all.

I am completely gobsmacked by Barney's collection as mine is incredibly modest by comparison. Incredibly. It's the sum total of a life that we're talking about. And technology has meant that these great cultural artifacts no longer have very much value in the smorgasbord of music streaming. Books. That's another matter, unless you're a Kindle fan in which case it's still the same work being transferred. Once upon a time you could walk into somebody's house and see all the books and music and this would tell you a great deal about its occupant/s. I detest the aridity of modern homes without the warmth and commitment to culture.

When we were in Vienna we went out to our landlady's house for dinner at Maria Enzersdorf (just 20 minutes' drive from the city). Her mother was then 79 and they lived in a spacious home and the place was cluttered with memorabilia from the Habsburg Empire as the late husband/father had been a distant relative of the Emperor. Military paraphernalia, antiques of all shapes and sizes, glass perfume bottles from the 18th century. Everywhere. Gera looked sadly at me and said, "My daughter says I must get rid of all these things" to which I replied, "it would be like removing a limb; which one don't you need"? She brightened up and put her arm around me and said "you are a very intelligent woman"!!! Much to the later chagrin of her daughter (our landlady), it has to be said. She had found an ally.

John F
Posts: 21076
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 4:41 am
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by John F » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:39 pm

The World Book is not a top-flight encyclopedia; it's aimed at school children. Moreover, Beckmesser's set is 50 years out of date. Wikipedia is both more comprehensive and up to date, and students will use it anyway.

If I had the World Book on my shelves, out it would go in the trash, a bit at a time because it's so bulky. The New Grove is something else; I do have it on my shelves, and any library that devotes much space to music would be thrilled to have it.
John Francis

Belle
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Belle » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:02 pm

I meant the New Grove, of course. I always wanted to own it when Stanley Sadie was still the editor (?), but I couldn't afford to buy it and had no space at the time.

Len_Z
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:47 am
Location: New York, NY, USA

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Len_Z » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:06 am

I don't know about you, ladies and gents, but I'm taking my collection with me - every single book, CD, DVD, and Blu-ray. Nothing will be left behind:)

Ricordanza
Posts: 1948
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:58 am
Location: Southern New Jersey, USA

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Ricordanza » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:50 am

My collection of LPs, CDs, and books is far less extensive than others who have posted on this thread. If I die while still in this house, then it will be my son's headache. That may seem cruel, but my sister and I had a similar burden when our father died. We handled it--some stuff was donated, some was discarded, and some we kept. I'm sure my son will make the right decision.

If I'm forced to "downsize" at a later time, then it will be my headache...and I'm not sure what I'll do. I try not to think about it.

There is only one category that I'm worried about: my father was a gifted artist, and I have about 20 of his paintings in my house. Obviously, I don't want them to go to a landfill. So what's the answer???

lennygoran
Posts: 15904
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by lennygoran » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:32 am

Henry maybe you could call the Philadelphia Museum of Art for advice? Len

barney
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by barney » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:14 pm

Len_Z wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:06 am
I don't know about you, ladies and gents, but I'm taking my collection with me - every single book, CD, DVD, and Blu-ray. Nothing will be left behind:)
You remind me of Spike Milligan in his comic novel Puckoon. In it old Dan Milligan creates consternation when he dies and leaves all his money to himself!

barney
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by barney » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:21 pm

Belle wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:15 pm

I am completely gobsmacked by Barney's collection as mine is incredibly modest by comparison. Incredibly. It's the sum total of a life that we're talking about. And technology has meant that these great cultural artifacts no longer have very much value in the smorgasbord of music streaming. Books. That's another matter, unless you're a Kindle fan in which case it's still the same work being transferred. Once upon a time you could walk into somebody's house and see all the books and music and this would tell you a great deal about its occupant/s. I detest the aridity of modern homes without the warmth and commitment to culture.
When we were in Vienna we went out to our landlady's house for dinner at Maria Enzersdorf (just 20 minutes' drive from the city). Her mother was then 79 and they lived in a spacious home and the place was cluttered with memorabilia from the Habsburg Empire as the late husband/father had been a distant relative of the Emperor. Military paraphernalia, antiques of all shapes and sizes, glass perfume bottles from the 18th century. Everywhere. Gera looked sadly at me and said, "My daughter says I must get rid of all these things" to which I replied, "it would be like removing a limb; which one don't you need"? She brightened up and put her arm around me and said "you are a very intelligent woman"!!! Much to the later chagrin of her daughter (our landlady), it has to be said. She had found an ally.
That was a brilliant reply to the Viennese lady, Sue.
At least half of my CDs have come from submissions for review in the Age and SMH over 20 years. Right now, quiet January, I am cataloguing some sets I have been putting off doing: Arrau, 80 CDs; complete Mozart, 200; Bach333 (the best box set ever, in my view), 222 CDs; Rubinstein (which I bought from Europe five years ago!) 142 CDs; Decca Piano, 55 CDs, and many more. So you see how they mount up. The books, apart from about 100 I took when my mother died, especially my father's Mahler books, have all been sourced from my wallet.

Belle
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Belle » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:16 pm

I'm very envious of your collection!! And it speaks volumes (pardon the pun) about 'the inner life' I'm so fond of discussing.

I've just added to my storage/legacy problems. Today the latest book arrived: "Hollywood Lighting from the Silent Era to Film Noir" (Patrick Keating).

Rach3
Posts: 2013
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:17 am

Re: So, we're going to die. What happens to ...

Post by Rach3 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:28 pm

Capt. Jean-Luc Picard: Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives, but I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment... because they'll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived. After all, Number One, we're only mortal.

Riker: Speak for yourself, sir. I plan to live forever.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests