Publications of Kistner

This Leipzig firm brought out eight Chopin opuses, including editions of the Mazurkas Opp. 6 & 7 and the Nocturnes Op. 9 which were re-engraved with unusual frequency because of their popularity. In effect Kistner published several distinct editions of Opp. 6, 7, 9, 10 & 13, even though many of these retained their original plate numbers. From 1858, however, a new plate number was assigned to each successive edition; initially this was added next to the original plate number (i.e. in Opp. 8, 10 & 11)[1] before eventually supplanting it altogether (in Opp. 6, 7 & 9).[2]

Kistner’s editions of Op. 9 pose unique challenges of identification. The second nocturne in the set was also released separately and was re-engraved on numerous occasions, to an even greater extent than Nos. 1 & 3 were. Indeed, no fewer than eighteen individual catalogue entries are needed to encompass all known impressions of Op. 9, the evolution of which was extraordinarily complex (see 9–1-KI and subsequent prints). In general, however, few changes to the music text were made in the successive reprints of most editions; notable exceptions include Op. 10 (Book 2 of third edition)[3] and Opp. 11 & 13.

Colour was introduced by Kistner in several early impressions of Opp. 6, 7 & 11 the title pages of which are in sepia, while the TPs of Opp. 8 & 11 feature a decorative blue or green background. Later editions of Opp. 6, 7 & 9 were produced using lithographic transfer, as were the reprints of Opp. 13 & 14 dating from the late 1860s and the editions of Opp. 8, 10 & 11 with double plate numbers (see notes 1–3).

[1] Plate numbers as follows:

  • second edition of Op. 8, published in 4/1872 (MlM): 3778|999 (copy available at A-Wn)
  • fourth edition of Op. 10, published in 1865: in Book 1, 1018.2961.–1018.2966. (engraved copy available at A-Wn; lithographic transfer copies available at A-Wgm, D-Bds, D-Bs, GB-Lam, GB-Lbl); in Book 2, 1019.2967.–1019.2972. (lithographic transfer copies available at D-Bs, D-Mbs, GB-Lam, GB-Lbl)
  • second edition of Op. 11, published in 1858: 2340|1020. 1021. 1022 (engraved copies available at A-Wgm, A-Wn, D-LEm, D-Mbs, PL-Wn, PL-Wbfc, US-NYp; lithographic transfer copies available at PL-Wbfc).

Note that the fourth edition of Op. 10 was also released in separate editions, the publication of which was announced in AmZ (11/10/1865) and MlM (11/1865). US-Cu holds a copy of the fifth edition (1868) with plate number 3581 and ‘2 EDITION’ on the TP (see M25.C54 E712 c.1).

[2] Plate numbers as follows:

  • fifth edition of Op. 6 and seventh edition of Op. 7, published in single volume in 12/1872 (MlM): 3615 (copy available at D-Mbs)
  • fourth edition of Op. 9 Nos. 1 & 3 and sixth edition of Op. 9 No. 2, also published in 12/1872: 3616 (copy available at US-Cu, see M25.C54 N62 c.1).

[3] The later reprints of the third edition of Book 2 are not included in the catalogue because they already contain the double plate numbers 2967|1019 ➛ 2972|1019, which are similar to the fourth edition’s (see note 1 above). In an A-Wn copy (shelfmark M.S. 88171-4o), the music text is identical to that of 10/7-12–3-KI and 10/7-12–3a-KI, whereas variants exist in an A-Wgm copy (shelfmark VII 23955; see, e.g., b. 11 of Op. 10 No. 7).