Publications of Brandus

As the successor to Maurice Schlesinger, Brandus[1] published the last seven opuses released during Chopin’s lifetime, three of which he also offered to the subscribers of the RGMP in keeping with the practice of his predecessor (see 59/2–1a-BR, 62/2–1a-BR, 64/1–1a-BR). Lithographic transfer was used to produce the three works in question; two of them – the Nocturne Op. 62 No. 2 and Waltz Op. 64 No. 1 – appeared in albums with beautiful title pages in colour. The reprints of Opp. 9, 23, 31 and Op. 34 No. 2 are another examples of the use of this technique (see 9–1g-M, 23–1d-BR, 31–1a*-BR and 34/2–2a-BR). 

After buying the Preludes Op. 28 from Catelin, the Mazurka from La France Musicale and Troupenas’ list, Brandus possessed a vast proportion of Chopin’s music, and this allowed him to launch the ÉDITION ORIGINALE|OEUVRES COMPLÈTES POUR LE PIANO|DE| FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN late in 1859 even though a good many works were missing from his catalogue, namely Opp. 5, 10, 18, 19, 25, 42, 57 & 58 and the Mazurka dedicated to Emile Gaillard. Brandus therefore set about producing new editions of Opp. 18, 42 & 57, which were published by 1859,[2] whereas nearly twenty years elapsed before he released Opp. 5, 19 & 58.[3] Despite this output, the series remained incomplete, given the absence of the Variations Op. 12 and possibly also of Op. 10, Op. 25 and the Mazurka dedicated to Emile Gaillard, no copies of which have been located to date.[4] 

After 1859 Brandus continued to publish Chopin’s music independently of his main series, for example in the three volumes entitled Succès universels (Op. 10 Nos. 3 & 4, Op. 18, Funeral March and Presto from Op. 35)[5] and within an anthology of more than 250 pages containing a wide range of works.[6] It goes without saying that these amounted to new Chopin editions rather than reprints prepared from the original engravings.

Financial difficulties caused a dramatic reduction in the output of this publisher from 1873 onwards. In 1874 a loan was negotiated to settle the most urgent debts, and as collateral Brandus deposited nearly 50,000 engraved plates with the printer Jean Thierry. Among them were numerous Chopin works, thus explaining the presence of the name of the firm Buttner-Thierry at the bottom of the music text of many late reprints brought out in the ‘EO’ series.[7] After Louis Brandus’ suicide in 1887, control of the firm passed to his associate Philippe Maquet; then, in 1899, the Brandus/Maquet works were acquired by Celestin Joubert. Only two first-edition reprints released after 1887 have been catalogued in this volume: Maquet’s Nocturnes Op. 9 (see 9–1g-M) and Joubert’s Hexameron (see HEX–1a-J).[8]

[1] The trading name of this firm changed several times. The following versions appear on Chopin edition TPs: Brandus et Cie (14/1/1846 to 31/8/1854); G. Brandus, Dufour et Cie (31/8/1854 to 6/2/1858); G. Brandus et S. Dufour (15/2/1858 to 25/7/1872); G. Brandus et Cie (14/8/1872 to 12/2/1873); and Brandus et Cie (12/2/1873 to 18/11/1887).

[2] Each of the known exemplars of Op. 18 (plate no. B. D. 10.192., available at US-Cu: M32.C54 W395) and Op. 42 (B. et D. 10195.; US-Cu: M32.C54 W471) has an ITP, whereas that of Op. 57 (B. et D. 10.197; F-Pn: Vm12 5504) was sold with a STP.

[3] Respectively, Op. 5 (plate no. B. et Cie 12,409, available at F-Pn: Vm12 5558), Op. 19 (B. et Cie 12408; F-Pn: Vm12 5509), Op. 58 (B. et Cie 12.405; F-Pn: Vm12 5567). According to the plate numbers, these date from as late as 1877. Two other works belonging to Brandus but originating in Troupenas’ list were released in a second edition within the ‘EO’ series: Op. 37 (B. et C 6481; F-Pn: Vm12 5544) and Op. 43 (B. et C 6480; F-Pn: Vm12 5568).

[4] Opp. 10 & 25 appeared in Brandus’ catalogue from July 1868, and the Deux Mazurkas in the one from July 1869. Nevertheless, the fact that Opp. 5, 19 & 58, which were not published for another ten years, also appear in these catalogues casts doubt over their credibility. Moreover, the Mazurka dedicated to Emile Gaillard is not included within the score catalogued under MFM–2b-BR, despite the presence on the STP of the title ‘Deux Mazurkas en la mineur’, whereas on versions 5 & 6 of the ‘EO’ STP, the title was changed to ‘Mazurka en la mineur’ (see description in Appendix I). Both of these observations indicate that the mazurka in question was never published by Brandus. It is noteworthy that even after 1860 certain works by Chopin were reprinted with an ITP rather than a STP; these include the US-Cu scores of Op. 16 and Op. 64 No. 1 classed respectively under 16–1c-Sm and 64/1–2-BRD&C, the F-Pmounier copies under 24–1-Sm and 64/3–1-BR, the US-Wc copy under 33–1b-Sm, and the copies of the Etudes from Méthode des Méthodes under MM–2a-BR.

[5] See F-Pn: L 1421 (1-2) and Vm7 3868.

[6] Entitled Oeuvres choisies pour piano and published in 1875, the volume is available at F-Pn: Vm7 2423.

[7] See 1–1a-BR, 1–1b-BR, 2–1d-BR, 3–1c-BR, 7–2a-BR, 7–2b-BR, 9–1f-BR, 9–1g-M, 11–1f-BR, 14–1b-BR, 15–1d-BR, 17–1b-BR, 20–1b-BR, 22–1e-BR, 23–1c-BR, 23–1d-BR, 26–1e-BR, 27–1d-BR, 28/1-12–1h-BR, 28/13-24–1h-BR, 29–1c-BR, 31–1a*-BR, 31–1b-BR, 32–1c-BR, 33–1c-BR, 34/1–1b-BR, 34/1–1c-BR, 34/2–2a-BR, 34/2–2b-BR, 34/3–1c-BR, 34/3–1d-BR, 35–1e-BR, 36–1g-BR, 38–1d-BR, 40–1d-BR, 40–1e-BR, 41–1c-BR, 48/2–1e-BR, 50–1b-BR, 53–1c-BR, 64/2–1b-BR, 64/3–1a-BR, MFM–2b-BR and MM–2a-BR.

[8] A Joubert catalogue from c. 1900 in the F-Pn collection confirm that virtually all of the Chopin editions brought out by Brandus were also available from Joubert. This indicates that Maquet kept the original plates of his predecessor. Furthemore, the printer's imprint in the FL on p. 13 of 9–1g-M confirms that Maquet upheld the arrangement made between Brandus and Jean Thierry in 1874. Note that one work absent from Joubert's catalogue – the Grand Duo Concertant – most likely formed part of the lot bought by Benoît aîné in April 1894 (see the Benoît aîné catalogue held by F-Pn; see also Devriès and Lesure 1988: 50).