Program 4: Igor Stravinsky’s Copyright Blues

When Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird premiered in Paris, it was the most sensational hit of the early 20th century. But when the score fell out of the composer’s control because of the Bolshevik Revolution and the arcane realities of international copyright law, Stravinsky spent much of the rest of his life trying to collect some of the money he thought was due him.

In this program, Michael Tilson Thomas tells the sad tale of Stravinsky’s efforts to collect a royalty payment or two and asks why we should even care whether artists can protect their intellectual property. Featured is an interview/performance with pianola scholar Rex Lawson about one of Stravinsky’s efforts to make some money – the piano roll versions of tunes from The Firebird.

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Playlist

(If no performer is listed, piece performed by San Fransisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas.)

Stravinsky: “The Firebird”
(RCA 09026-68898-2)

Stravinsky: “The Firebird”

Stravinsky: “Petroushka”

Antonio Gabrieli: Canzon XI
Academy of Ancient Music
(Harmonia Mundi USA HMU 907202)

Handel: “Messiah”
Academy of Ancient Music/
Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford/ Hogwood
(L’Oiseau-Lyre 411 858-2)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 (Four-hand arrangement)

Dvorak: “Humoresque”
Robert Silverman
(Marquis ERAD 161)

Grieg: Bridal Procession, Opus 19, No. 2
Player piano
(Simax PSC 1809)

Victor Herbert: From “Babes in Toyland”
Eastman-Dryden Orchestra/Donald Hunsberger
(Arabesque Z6547)

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
Van Cliburn
RCA Symphony Orchestra/Kondrashin
(Philips 28945 67482 7)

Freddie Martin Big Band
“Tonight We Love”
(Private reissue from collector/ not available on commercial reissue)

Puccini: “Quando men vo” from “La Boheme”
Elizabeth Harwood
Berlin Philharmonic/von Karajan
(London 421 049-2)

Bobby Worth: “Don’t You Know?”
Della Reese
(RCA 8467-2-R)

Rimsky-Korsakov: “Scheherazade”

Stravinsky: “Pulcinella”
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra/Hogwood
(London 425 614-2)

Stravinsky: “The Fairy’s Kiss”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Reiner
(RCA 9026 61957-2)

Stravinsky: “Apollon Musagete”
Berlin Philharmonic/Karajan
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Stravinsky: “The Firebird”
Rex Lawson, pianola

Stravinsky: “Persephone”
Stephanie Cosserat, narrator
(RCA 09026-68898-2)

Stravinsky arr. Stravinsky: Scherzo from
“The Firebird” for violin & piano
Samuel Dushkin, violin/Igor Stravinsky, piano
(EMI CDS 7 54607 2)

arr. Stravinsky: “The Star-Spangled Banner”
London Symphony Orchestra/Tilson Thomas
(RCA 09026-68865-2)

Stravinsky: “The Rake’s Progress”
London Symphony Orchestra/Gardiner
(Deutsche Grammophon 289 459 648-2)

Stravinsky/Klenner: “Summer Moon”
Vinni de Campo/The Harry James Orchestra
(transfer from 78 rpm)

Stravinsky: “The Rite of Spring”
(RCA 09026-68898-2)

Stravinsky: “Petrouchka”
Michael Tilson Thomas, piano
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Ozawa
(RCA 09026-63311-2)

Emile Spencer: “Elle avait un’jambe en bois”
Silvester Vicic, accordion

Stravinsky: Greeting Prelude
London Symphony Orchestra/Tilson Thomas
(RCA 09026-68865-2)

Stravinsky: “Agon”
London Symphony Orchestra/Tilson Thomas
(RCA 09026-68865-2)

Other episodes

Program 1: You Call That Music?!
Program 2: What Does America Sound Like? — Part 1
Program 3: What Does America Sound Like? — Part 2
Program 4: Igor Stravinsky’s Copyright Blues
Program 5: The Last Virtuoso
Program 6: Freud and the Ballet
Program 7: We Were Playing Boulez, But We Were Listening To James Brown!
Program 8: Five Degrees of Separation

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