Although copies of the Polish first editions are extremely rare and thus have a limited presence in this catalogue, they are nevertheless highly significant, particularly in the case of the early works for which no manuscript sources survive. The posthumously published Polish editions are also of interest, given that some were based on sources other than the ‘official’ version prepared by Julian Fontana and brought out in Paris and Berlin. (See Tables 17 & 18.)

Polish edition of one work has not been located: the Mazurka in B- major published by Kolberg (cf. MazG–1-KOL). Chopin biographies also refer to a Military March of which no trace can be found.[1] One of relatively few compositions published in Poland during Chopin’s lifetime – the popular Mazurka Op. 7 No. 1 – was issued on three separate occasions by Ignacy Klukowski, in January 1835 and March 1842, and by C. A. Simon in 1837.[2]

The editions of Gebethner, Kocipiński and Chaberski as well as Kaufmann’s of the Polonaise in G# minor were all engraved and printed by foreign firms. This hybrid provenance makes it difficult to classify Gebethner’s two impressions of the Songs Op. 74,[3] in which the publisher’s name was removed from the TP and replaced by that of A. M. Schlesinger, which was made more prominent into the bargain. In view of this modification, and according to conventional music-bibliographic practice regarding attribution, these impressions should be listed under Schlesinger’s name; however, to avoid confusion with the reprints of the German edition published by Schlesinger, the original attribution is maintained within the respective edition/impression codes (i.e. 74–1d-G, 74–1e-G). It is interesting to speculate about the reasons behind Gebethner’s apparent disinterest in this publication. Most likely, having taken the decision to bring out a wholly independent edition of the Songs (released in 1879),[4] Gebethner abandoned any active marketing of the original edition for which Schlesinger’s assistance had been enlisted, thereby giving the latter an opportunity to distribute the score exclusively under his own name.[5]

[1] This supposedly was offered by Chopin to the Grand Duke Constantine and was anonymously published around 1820; see Kobylańska 1977: i/356–357.

[2] These publications are not catalogued in this volume. Both Klukowski editions – based on the Kistner edition – were probably unauthorised. The 1835 score is available at PL-Kj (shelfmark 407 III Mus.), while the 1842 one – which contains no indication of the publisher – can be found at PL-Wp (shelfmark Mus. Cim. 10886). As for the Simon edition (for which a publication announcement appeared in MlM in March/April 1837), the exemplar belonging to a private collector in Poland contains numerous imperfections and omissions compared with the Kistner and Klukowski editions. These flaws make it difficult to identify the relevant Stichvorlage, which could be either a somewhat careless copy of one of the earlier prints or possibly a manuscript unlikely to have emanated from Chopin himself, the location of which is currently unknown.

[3] The same problem arises with two other editions – namely, those of the Rondos Opp. 1 & 5 which in this catalogue are classified under Hofmeister’s name. For further discussion see Publications of Hofmeister.

[4] Gebethner published virtually all of Chopin’s music between 1863 and 1873, but in 1882 he brought out a new Chopin edition revised by Jan Kleczyński.

[5] As noted in the preface to the German edition, A. M. Schlesinger held the worldwide rights to this work. Although details of the agreement between Gebethner and Schlesinger with regard to the Polish edition are not known, it is clear that the proofs of this edition were corrected in Warsaw. In a letter to Gebethner of 9 November 1859, Fontana expressed considerable dissatisfaction with the modifications introduced by Polish proofreaders subsequent to the corrections that he himself had made in January 1859 while in Berlin. See Hoesick 1912: 439–441.