by Steven Plank
Special to ClevelandClassical.com
In a sadly pleasing strain
Let the warbling lute complain.
Alexander Pope’s memorable couplet from his Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day poetically voices the doleful propensity of the lute, and with the news of the death of Stephen Toombs on August 17, it also seems to voice the Cleveland musical community’s deep sense of loss. In his 28 years as the music librarian at Case Western Reserve University, Stephen combined a love of scholarship and the diverse sources that bring it to life with a passion for the music that was dearest to his heart: Renaissance and Baroque music for the lute.
The intertwining of these strands was deep-rooted in his training as musicologist, librarian, and lutenist, and given the high distinction of the performance practice program at the University, this meant that at his arrival there, both the school and its new librarian could rejoice in a match most felicitously made. [Read more…]