Dating the German and Austrian editions

Reference can be made to a large body of documentary evidence to determine the publication dates of these first editions:

  • Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (AmZ) – Leipzig’s leading music periodical
  • Musikalisch-literarischer Monatsbericht (MlM)[1] – periodical established by the Verein der deutschen Musikalienhändler
  • Musikalischer Monatanzeiger aller im Jahre 1840 neu erscheinenden Musikalien – similar to preceding periodical, providing supplementary information about the dates of Opp. 35–42
  • Wiener Zeitung[2] – Austrian periodical in which the publication of Opp. 2, 3, 44, 45 & 50 and of Hexameron was announced
  • books by Niecks (1888, R1902), Brown (1972), and Chomiński and Turło (1990). Many of the dates proposed by these authors diverge from those indicated in the press.

Publishers in Germany and Austria used the musical press not only to announce the release of their editions but also, quite frequently, to inform readers that they had acquired certain works. It is essential to distinguish between acquisition advertisements and publication advertisements (respectively ‘AA’ and ‘PA’ in Tables 10 & 11) and above all not to confuse the dates of first publicity notices with those of actual publication. The fact that advertisements such as these were not produced systematically means that significant gaps occur within any chronology constructed on the basis thereof. A fuller picture of publication dates can be gained by referring to the review sections of the AmZ, i.e. ‘Kurze Anzeige’ and ‘Rezensionen’ (respectively abbreviated ‘KA’ and ‘R’ in Table 10). The abbreviation ‘IB’ in Table 10 indicates a date emanating from the Intelligenz-Blatt, published as a supplement to the AmZ. For a short time in 1842–43, the AmZ printed a summary list of those editions released during the week or fortnight before the appearance of the journal itself; dates listed in Tables 10 & 11 which come from these summaries are marked with an asterisk.[3] Comments are provided in note 88 for dates followed by a dagger (†).[4]

It is important to consider which information most reliably reflects the actual dates of publication. In general, dates taken from MlM are both extremely accurate and more or less complete, thanks to their likely provenance from and correspondence with the dates inscribed in the registers in the archives of the Verein der deutschen Musikalienhandler, which unfortunately have not survived. Compared to the AmZ’s dates, those from MlM sometimes follow by one month (see Opp. 40–42) but rarely longer (Opp. 59, 60–62). Cross-reference between the MlM’s dates and asterisked ones from the AmZ leads to two conclusions: editions published in the second half of the month appeared in the next month’s MlM, whereas for those editions published in the first half of the month the two sources’ dates are identical.

No press advertisements appear to exist for A. M. Schlesinger’s edition of the Rondo Op. 1; therefore, a choice is required between the date proposed by Brown as well as Chomiński and Turło (December 1835), versus the more general one indicated in this catalogue (1835; see 1–1-Sam). As for the Polonaise Op. 3, the advertisement in the Leipzig press appears to have been released long after the edition itself (cf. 3–1-ME), again necessitating a choice. In the case of the Posthumous Works, a noteworthy discrepancy exists between the dates in MlM and the ‘4 JU 55’ stamped on the volume registered by A. M. Schlesinger at Stationers’ Hall to gain copyright protection in England (see England; see also note 4 under Publications of A.M. Schlesinger and successor (Robert Lienau). This deposit demonstrates that the German edition was ready for release some time before the date announced in the Hofmeister periodical.

[1] As its name suggests, MlM normally appeared on a monthly basis, but occasionally it spanned a two-month period – including the issues containing announcements of Chopin’s Opp. 2, 3, 6–19, 25–27, 32, 37 & 74, Grand Duo Concertant, and Hexameron.

[2] The dates attributed to this periodical derive from Weinmann 1966 and 1980.

[3] These include the following:

  • 5/1/1842: publications from 15/12/1841 to 4/1/1842 (Op. 43, ‘Notre Temps’ album including the Mazurka from La France Musicale)
  • 2/2/1842: publications from 26/1/1842 to 1/2/1842 (Op. 44, ‘Album-Beethoven’ containing Op. 45, Opp. 46–49)
  • 9/2/1842: publications from 2/2/1842 to 8/2/1842 (separate edition of Mazurka from La France Musicale)
  • 31/8/1842: publications from 23/8/1842 to 29/8/1842 (Op. 50)
  • 26/4/1843: publications from 18/4/1842 to 24/4/1843 (Op. 51)
  • 1/5/1843: publications from 2/5/1843 to 8/5/1843 (separate edition of Op. 45)
  • 22/11/1843: publications from 14/11/1843 to 20/11/1843 (Opp. 52–54).

[4] Further comment is needed in the following cases:

  • Op. 2: the actual publication date appears to coincide with the one stipulated by Chomiński and Turło (1990). In successive letters to Tytus Woyciechowski dating from 27 March, 27 April, 15 May and 5 June 1830, Chopin refers to the publication of these variations; thus there is little doubt that Haslinger brought them out in 1830 on the occasion of the Oster-Messe (Easter Fair) in Leipzig.
  • Op. 3: the advertisement appeared in the Intelligenz-Blatt accompanying the AmZ from August 1836 (No. 10), though bearing the date ‘Wien, im Juli 1836’.
  • Opp. 13, 14: because an unusually extended interval elapsed between the acquisition advertisement and actual publication, Kistner placed an updated version of the advertisement in the Intelligenz-Blatt of December 1833.