Finding Rare Orchestral Scores (Like Paganini 4 & 5)

August 11, 2019, 4:20 PM · Hey there,

I’ve always loved searching and learning obscure repertoire, especially the Romantic stuff. But I’ve always been frustrated that on IMSLP, many of the scores only have violin and piano parts. I was wondering if anyone knew of a way to get ahold of orchestral parts for Paganini concertos 4 or 5 (or both), and other lesser known concertos and things. This might be way out of my league, but it’d be pretty cool if I could find ‘em.

Thanks guys,

Replies (8)

August 11, 2019, 4:51 PM · I think most groups use custom arrangements because there is no definitive orchestral score for these works.
August 11, 2019, 7:40 PM · The people that will best at finding that would be the librarians for pro-level orchestras.
August 11, 2019, 10:39 PM · There's no real reason why the lack of a conductor's score or orchestral parts should prevent you from learning Paganini 4 or 5. What you need to know about the harmony will still be visible in the piano score.
August 12, 2019, 12:05 AM · I agree with Lydia. The whole point of a piano score is to compress the entire orchestra into 2 hands, essentially. Any changes in harmony etc. will still be visible to you
Edited: August 12, 2019, 12:46 AM · Most of the Paganini music I bought were published by Boccaccini & Spada, including concerto no.3 & 4 (they also printed no.5 but I got a copy of it prior to its publication). They do quite a lot of Paganini music but then, somehow about 10 years ago the company seemed to be... how should I put it... dead?

I mean, the website is no longer how it looked, hardly anything on there. They don't have anything new (I'm still searching the A major version of Nel cor più non mi sento).

They may have the parts, however, I highly suspect that those are rental only copies. You can try to contact them and make an enquiry.

Edited: August 12, 2019, 9:59 AM · I read somewhere once (here, perhaps?) that Paganini was rightfully worried about his music being copied by those who had no business to, so the orchestral parts of his concertos were handed out to the orchestra immediately before the performance and collected immediately afterwards, the musicians having no other access to them. If this is so, it might go some way in explaining the current problems.

Another possibility is that original manuscripts may still exist, but in private hands, only being released occasionally under the present owner's control. The copyright of such a release would in all likelihood today be held by the music's copyright owner , who would be the "private hands". One example may be Paganini's 6th concerto, which has only been released to the public well within my lifetime. I believe Henryk Szeryng gave the first modern performance.

There are other possible sources for music scores and other publications no longer in print. These sources are the big national libraries, such as the Library of Congress, the British Library, the Ashmolean in Oxford, and a few others round the globe. I know from personal experience that the British Library (formerly the British Museum Library) will lend out such material to you if you are a member in good standing of a municipal public library in the UK. "Good standing" means that you are on your city's voting list and pay your municipal taxes. What happens is that the municipal library borrows the book from the British Library and then lends it to its own borrower. I believe there is also some sort of inter-library borrowing scheme on an international level between such big national libraries, but I don't know how it works.

August 15, 2019, 12:15 AM · Kenny - There is only one printed edition of it (as far as I know). I have this one:*4PGAQ2328&clmerc=*4VLO%20%20V%20&codmadre=0&tit=PAGANINI+N.%7BBulatoff%7D+Violino+Nel+Cor+Pi%F9+Non+Mi+Sento++accompagn.Violino+o+Cello+o+Piano
August 15, 2019, 1:50 AM · Isaiah - The full scores for Paganini 4 & 5 can be bought here in excellent quality:

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