Music: Battle of the Scores

The Casa Ricordi in Milan is the world's most fabled storehouse of Italian opera. In 17 zinc cases sunk 45 ft. below the ground, the firm has stored away original operatic manuscripts by most of the great Italian composers, including Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Puccini. One discordant note in this musical melange: the firm is under heavy criticism for permitting errors by the thousands to creep into its printed scores—and for refusing to let outsiders compare them with the originals. Last week the criticism grew so loud and bitter that the Italian Senate considered new copyright rules that would open...

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