Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

"Mister Disloyal": Did Valls just destroy the Socialist party?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Africa: Kathrada's funeral highlights divisions within ruling ANC party

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

It's not EU, it's me

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Markets muted as UK begins Brexit proceedings

Read more

THE DEBATE

'Thank you and goodbye': Clock starts on Brexit negotiations (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

'Thank you and goodbye': Clock starts on Brexit negotiations (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Ghost in the Shell', 'The Confession' and Jean Rouch centenary

Read more

FOCUS

Italy: Anti-establishment mayor of Rome faces grim reality of power

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Refugees of rap: Using music to speak out about the Syrian war

Read more

france 24 Culture

Video: Copyright expires for French classic ‘Bolero’

© Philippe Huguen, AFP file picture |Dancers of the "Bejart Ballet Lausanne" perform the Bolero in Lille, on November 26, 2004

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-05-01

Almost 90 years after it was first performed in Paris, the copyright on Sunday expired for one of the world’s most popular and unique pieces of classical music, Maurice Ravel’s "Bolero".

"We are accustomed to say that a performance of Bolero begins every 10 minutes in the world. As the work lasts 17 minutes, it is therefore playing at all times somewhere," Laurent Petitgirard of France's Society of Authors, Composers and Music Publishers (SACEM) told AFP.

"And it is likely that we will hear it even more now, in advertisements or in films."

Written in 1928 and performed on November 22 of that year at Paris' Opéra Garnier, the symphonic work, which grows steadily louder as it progresses, was originally a ballet piece ordered by Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein, a friend and sponsor of the French composer.

Immediately hailed by critics, it quickly became a worldwide success, even if the uniform melody and hypnotic, repetitive rhythm left some baffled.

By some estimates Bolero has generated around €50 million ($57 million) in royalties since 1960, part of more than 400 million for all of Ravel's works.

Ravel died unmarried and childless in 1937.

His only heir was his brother Edouard, who died in 1960, unleashing a bitter and complex legal battle over the rights which at times has involved Edouard's nurse and her husband, great-nephews and even a legal director of SACEM.

But on Sunday, the royalties ceased to be paid as Bolero entered the public domain -- and belonging to the world.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2016-05-01

  • MUSIC

    Czech Museum unveils long-lost Mozart-Salieri composition

    Read more

  • OBITUARY

    Famed French conductor, composer Pierre Boulez dies at 90

    Read more

  • CULTURE

    France remembers Edith Piaf in shadow of Paris attacks

    Read more

COMMENT(S)