Can someone explain why so few opera parts are public domain? Verdi parts should be as public as the scores, I should think. What difference would their having been rental parts only make? Is it the same with ballet parts, all shows?
Most of the answer is practicalities, not a matter of copyright. The libraries that take part in large scanning projects own scores, but fewer libraries have collections of parts – and Verdi operas are less likely parts for them to have. The more copies of the parts exist the sooner an owner is likely to scan them.
>>Can someone explain why so few opera parts are public domain?
Almost every opera part PUBLISHED before 1923 are PD and can be bought in the U.S. from Edwin F. Kalmus. LC.
These are reprints of the uncorrected original Ricordi parts. The Critical edition parts under copyright are on rental from Ricordi/Boosey & Hawkes.
Examples of available harp parts:
A2342 VERDI Aida: Parts $40.00 each.
A5474 VERDI Attila: Parts $30.00 each.
A2346 VERDI Un Ballo in Maschera: Parts $42.50 each.
A4611 VERDI La Battaglia di Legnano: Parts $30.00 each.
A4612 VERDI Don Carlo: Parts $42.50 each.
A8144 VERDI I Due Foscari: Parts $27.50 each.
A2344 VERDI Ernani: Parts $35.00 each.
A2345 VERDI Falstaff: Parts $50.00 each.
A2347 VERDI La Forza del Destino: Parts $35.00 each harp part.
A4613 VERDI Giovanna d’Arco: Parts $30.00 each.
A5141 VERDI Luisa Miller: Parts $35.00 each
A3177 VERDI Macbeth (1865 version): Parts $30.00 each
A4614 VERDI Nabucco: Parts $32.50 each harp part..
A2343 VERDI Otello: Parts $30.00 each.
A2341 VERDI La Traviata: Parts $35.00 each.
A2340 VERDI Il Trovatore: Parts $ 42.50 each.
A4616 VERDI I Vespri Siciliani: Parts $ 50.00 each.
All opera parts by Puccini are for sale from Kalmus except for Turandot which is still under copyright in the U.S. It is ©1926 in the completion by Alfano. That work is on rental only from Ricordi/Boosey & Hawkes.
Boosey & Hawkes has enforced the U.S. copyright law so that Turandot, Complete Opera parts are no longer for sale from Luck’s.
I do not see a listing that Kalmus ever sold the parts.
Franco Alfano dates (8 March 1875 – 27 October 1954) would keep the work under copyright in the EU until after 2024.
From the Edwin F. Kalmus LC. website:
“Welcome to the greatest collection of orchestral and operatic music ever available from a single source. With nearly 8000 titles in print, the Edwin F. Kalmus catalog includes high-quality reprints of standard editions along with completely new orchestrations, performance, urtext and critical editions, and new works published for the first time.”
From the IMSLP website “Works reprinted by Edwin F. Kalmus 1,185 total scanned on IMSLP.”
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