Classical Vocal Reprints, the long-time mail-order purveyor of sheet music for vocalists, has expanded into the realm of digital sheet music with the launch of their new website for PDF sheet music downloads. This is great news for us singers because it puts their huge catalog of high-quality editions of opera, song, oratorio, and other solo vocal literature instantly at our fingertips. From their website:
We have it all (opera, art songs, specialty numbers, new composers, rare music and old favorites) […] We even carry things that are otherwise out-of-print. As our name implies, we have many hard-to-find titles which we reprint ourselves.
You can browse the composer list at their PDF download store, or search by title, composer, or catalog number.
Some of features of CVR’s catalog and service that deserve special mention:
- Many songs and song cycles are available in multiple transpositions
- They carry out-of-print and hard-to-find titles
- They can do custom scans, custom prints and transpositions (given sufficient lead time)
- They are a good source for individual arias when you only need one or two of them and don’t want to buy a complete opera score or anthology
- Custom PDFs – Even if something isn’t in their catalog, you can call/email them and they may be able to create or obtain a PDF and supply it to you
- Great coverage of the standard vocal literature
I’m trying to convince CVR to sell their PDF sheet music in forScore’s in-app sheet music store, too. That would be super convienient for us forScore users. If you’d like to see that happen, drop CVR a line on Facebook or Twitter.
If you are not familiar with CVR, they are an independent sheet music retailer founded in 1987 and based out of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The owner is Glendower Jones, who is himself a singer and knows all the ins and outs of vocal literature, score editions, and music publishing companies. Glendower is like the concierge of classical vocal music – he’s the guy who picks up the phone when you call CVR, and he is knowledgeable and happy to advise on score editions, provide custom PDFs or other custom services, and track down and help you get your hands on any possible score you can think of (and CVR also has a retail website for traditional printed sheet music, for items that are only in that format). Even if a item is not listed on CVR’s website, just call or email Glendower and he can definitely hook you up. Glendower has supplied sheet music to such luminaries as Joyce DiDonato, Martin Katz, Susan Graham, and Thomas Hampson, but I can attest that he provides fabulous personal service to us mere mortals, too. He’s advised me about art song editions and publishers, given me discounts and free/reduced shipping charges from time to time, and once offered to send me a Bärenreiter edition at no extra charge when the score I originally requested was on backorder. I’m quite happy doing business with CVR.
A special plea: Please consider patronizing CVR for your sheet music needs (digital AND printed) and not just the “big-box” online sheet music retailers. The prices are competitive, and for you choristers, CVR’s printed music division carries choral/oratorio scores too. The PDF download store is not just CVR’s latest venture, it is also Glendower’s bid to keep his business afloat in a difficult economy and a changing music retail market environment. Except for those who have been living under a rock, musicians everywhere know that independent sheet music retailers, especially brick-and-mortar stores, have been downsizing or flat out folding left and right, and if CVR goes, it will be a huge blow to the classical vocal community. CVR is one of the last bastions of personal service in the sheet music retail world. Glendower has been known to look up a specific measure on a specific page of a specific score to provide information to a customer to help them make the right purchase. Good luck getting that kind of service from S**** M**** P***. If you’d like to see that kind of personal service and selection thrive in the 21st century, please support independent businesses like CVR.