On Thu, 6 Oct 2005, Mike Richter wrote:
> Let me make it specific. A few years ago, I released a CD-ROM with the
> complete master classes offered at Juilliard by Maria Callas. EMI had
> published excerpts and John Ardoin (who provided the tapes) had
> published a book about some of them, but this was the first and is the
> only comprehensive treatment.
And speaking of John Ardoin...when John did his first book on Callas, he
relied on all of the "pirate tapes" he had of her performances. Through
his personal collecting, he had acquired just about every bit of Callas
when she was anywhere near a microphone. If he had not had that access, he
never would have been able to do his research. Assuming the organizations
involved had copies...there would not have been any possible way he could
have afforded the travel expenses to go to all of the archives...and
indeed, many of the tapes survived only because people had recorded off
the air. I remember when he was working on Furtwangler...and by that time
had established his reputation as a scholar...only then did he have the
financial resources to travel to some of the broadcast and EMI archives.
I also think of the great treasures I got from John...when he was writing
for Musical America he would tape his interviews...and, happily let me
dub some of them...I have John talking with the likes of David Diamond,
Leonard Bernstein, Hans Werner Henze...unfortunately I don't have all of
those phone calls with Callas that he recorded.
And speaking of John, does anyone know where his collection ended up?
Sure I support the notion of copyright...but then...I think of the seminar
I teach on American Music. I have interviews I recorded with Copland, et
al...Goossens conducting the Fanfare for the Common Man...Copland
conducting his Inscape with the Boston Symphony...Stokowski and the NBC
Symphony Orchestra stumbling through the Short Symphony (providing a great
illustration as to why the work wasn't performed much in the early
years)...all are things that I play for my class to support their
understanding of the subject. Strictly speaking, all of these copies are
illegal...and then, I can't play for them Koussevitzky conducting the
Copland Third, nor can I enrich my discussion of the music of Edward
Burlingame Hill by playing the Koussevitzky broadcast of the Hill Violin
Concerto...both remain locked up in the Library of Congress.
I guess I believe in the concept of the right to reasonable access. I
can't send my class to the Library of Congress to hear the Hill Concerto
or Koussevitzky conducting the Copland Third.
In the rest of the world, those performances would be public domain.