in the collection of early editions of the works of Frédéric Chopin
in the University of Chicago Library
The University of Chicago Library Chopin Collection mainly consists of individual scores published before 1881. These scores are identified in the Register of Scores section of the Chopin Online Catalog.
In addition, the Chopin Collection has eleven editions in which scores issued by a single publisher are listed collectively. The purpose of this section of the online catalog is to describe these eleven editions. They have a variety of forms, but all are referred to here as “collected editions”. Together with the Register section, the Collected Editions section of the online catalog is part of the complete view of the Collection.
The table that follows identifies the collected editions, lists them chronologically, and provides imprint and other general information about them. (The data come mainly from Chominsky & Turlo (C&T), pp. 252–290.) The information in the table applies to “ideal” copies of the editions — copies complete with all volumes and works as issued by the publisher. It does not apply to all of the Chopin Collection’s holdings because most of these are incomplete. For example, according to the table there are eight volumes in the ideal Breitkopf & Härtel edition of 1868–73, but the Collection has only one of them.
After the table, comments are made about some of the ideal editions and about Chopin collected editions in general. The discussion then proceeds to descriptions of the Collection’s holdings.
Publication data for eleven ideal collected editions of Chopin works
Comments about the ideal editions
Editions 2 and 8 in the list are the first and second of the Breitkopf & Härtel collected editions noted by C&T. No editors are named. Edition 10 (1878–80) is the fifth of the 19th-century Breitkopf & Härtel collected editions, and perhaps the most widely cited. Reinecke was the chief editor; Bargiel, Brahms, Franchomme, Liszt, and Rudorff were the other editors.
With three exceptions, each of the ideal editions in the preceding table is represented in the Chopin Collection by at least two individual scores from the edition. For example, edition 2 is represented by the three scores in the description table below for edition 2. The exceptions are edition 5 (Schonenberger), edition 8 (Breitkopf & Härtel), and edition 11 (Schlesinger-Lienau). For editions 5 and 11 the collection has all of the volumes in the ideal edition, and for edition 8 it has one of the eight volumes. However, the collection does not have individual scores that come from any of these three editions.
Most of the ideal editions have distinctive collective title pages with scores grouped by either work number or genre. This feature of the edition is indicated in the last column of the table above. Exceptions are the title pages for Lemoine, Richault, and Heugel, which are not in collective format. In the case of Richault, according to C&T the plate numbers correspond to a grouping by genre.
For an illuminating discussion of Chopin editions, please refer to The works of Frédérick Chopin. Score editions and editorial traditions, by Krzysztof Grabowski, which is part of the comprehensive site Fryderyk Chopin Society in Warsaw (editorial board: Zofia Chechlinska, Zbigniew Skoron, Hanna Wroblewska-Straus). The Grabowski essay is in three parts: Historical context, First editions and copyright editions, and Editions published after expiration of copyright. The author points out that in France and England, copyrights expired in 1859, ten years after Chopin’s death. In contrast, this interval was thirty years in countries that followed the German convention, so in those countries copyrights continued until 1879.
A result was that in Germany, only Breitkopf & Härtel could publish a nearly complete collected edition before 1879, because they were an original publisher of most of Chopin’s work. The 1852–67 edition is the first of their five pre-1879 collected editions. In England, where copyrights expired in 1859, the corresponding position was held by Wessel, whose collected edition began in 1840. In France (also with 1859 copyright expiration), Brandus purchased the M. Schlesinger firm and copyrights in 1846, but Schlesinger had not published a sufficient number of Chopin’s works to form a satisfactory collected edition, so Brandus waited until 1859 to issue his edition of 1859–78.
A noteworthy post-copyright German collected edition is that of Kistner (1879), edited by Mikuli. It is not included in the preceding table because the Collection does not have a copy of it. (There is, however, a Dover reprint, 1998, call number M22.C54P585.)
Descriptions of the Chopin Collection collected editions
Each of the following description tables corresponds to one of the eleven collected editions in the introductory table above. A description table for a particular edition identifies the Collection’s holdings of the individual scores included in that edition. It also provides other descriptive information about the edition’s scores. As noted above, the Collection does not have individual scores of collected editions 5, 8, and 11. In these cases call numbers are given for access to Library bibliographic data.
In the description tables, individual scores are linked to their images in the Library site Chopin Early Editions. These links enable the user to view an image of the collective title page of the edition. (In some cases there is no link because a Library image is not available.)
Each of the following tables is headed by a name (for example, “1. Wessel, 1840–60”) designed for use in the online catalog. Under this is the name assigned by the publisher (“Wessel & Co.s complete collection of the Compositions ...”).
|1. Wessel, 1840–60|
“Wessel & Co.s Complete Collection of the
Compositions of Frederic Chopin for the Piano Forte”
The Collection’s holdings are:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from the title page of score 1-W-1. Dates are from bibliographic descriptions linked to the online catalog’s Register of Scores. In the last column the “date based on” inferences W1, W2, and fe are explained in the Description methods section of the online catalog — in particular, see dating methods summary.
As discussed in the Appendix section of the online catalog (specifically in appendix 7), Wessel used a collective title page for all works after Opus 37, including first editions.The collective title page lists Opus 1–64 but not 4, 8, 12, or 65–74, for which Wessel did not have copyrights. It lists one work without opus number, namely the “Notre Temps” Mazurka, B134, which it refers to as the “Cracow” Mazurka, “Opus 59 bis”.
There are 32 scores in the above table. Of these, 21 have title pages that list all scores through Opus 64 except as noted in the preceding paragraph. In the remaining 11 scores the title pages are incomplete as follows. In seven scores 1-W-1, 3-W-2, 9#1,2-W-1, 16-W-1, 18-W-1, 41-W-1, 42-W-1 the last score listed on the title page is Opus 42. In two scores 34#1-W-1, 50-W-1 the last score in the title-page list is Opus 50. In one score 7-W-1 the last score in the list is Opus 51, and in one score 43-W-1 the last score listed is Opus 63.
The subject of Wessel’s collective title page is bibliographically complex. A remarkably detailed analysis of the evolution of that page was made by Christophe Grabowski, “Wessel’s Complete Collection of the Compositions of Frederic Chopin: the history of a title-page”. Early Music, 29, 425–433, 2001. In his analysis he presented evidence for 37 different versions!
|2. Breitkopf & Härtel, 1852–67|
“Oeuvres de Piano de Fréd. Chopin”
The Collection’s holdings are:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from the title page of score 15-BH-2. Dates are from bibliographic descriptions linked to the online catalog’s Register of Scores. In the last column the “date based on” inference c1 is explained in the Description methods section of the online catalog — in particular, see dating methods summary.
|3. Brandus, 1859–78|
“Oeuvres Complètes pour le Piano de Frédéric Chopin”
The title page lists Opus 1–65 except 4 and 12. It also lists B70, B130, B134. The Collection’s holdings are:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from the title page of score 2-BD-1. Dates are from bibliographic descriptions linked to the online catalog’s Register of Scores.
|4. Lemoine, 1859–94|
“[Oeuvres] par Fr. Chopin”
The Collection has eight Lemoine scores, five of which have plate numbers among those given by C&T:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from C&T p. 270. Dates are from C&T p. 270 and Devriès & Lesure p. 280. The title pages of this edition are distinctive but not collectve.
|5. Schonenberger, 1860|
“Oeuvres Complèts de F. Chopin en quatre volumes”
The Collection has the four volumes of the ideal edition. The ideal edition does not include 17 opus-numbered works: 4, 8, 10, 12, 25, 28, 45, and 65–74. The Collection does not have individual works of the Schonenberger edition. Its holdings are:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from C&T p. 284. The call numbers of the four volumes are M22.C54 P54 v.1, v.2, v.3, v.4. The Chopin Collection acquisition number is 06-2B.
|6. Richault, 1860|
“Collection des oeuvres pour le piano
par Frédéric Chopin en douze livraisons”
The Collection has nine Richault scores, eight of which have plate numbers in the range given by C&T:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from the Commentary on p.  of score 19-Rich-1 and p.  of score 26-Rich-1. C&T p. 270. The Commentary also identifies Tellefsen as the editor. Title pages are not collective.
|7. Heugel, 1860–63|
“Edition Classique. 1re, 2e, 3e, 4e, 5e Séries
des chefs d’oeuvre classiques du piano”
The Collection’s holdings are:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from C&T p. 265. The date comes from a reference to 1867 at the foot the advertisement in score 22-Heu-1. A preface by Marmontel, the editor, is on p. [iii]. Title pages are not collective.
|8. Breitkopf & Härtel, 1868–73|
“[Werke] für das Pianoforte von F. Chopin. Neue Ausgabe”
The Collection does not have individual scores that belong to this edition. The ideal edition has eight octavo volumes. The Collection has two of these, one with eight waltzes (Opp. 18, 34#1–3, 42, 64#1–3; the other with a selection of preludes, scherzos, and polonaises:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from C&T p. 256. Volume 1 is acquisition 06-4B; it has not yet been cataloged. Volume 6 is acquisition 06-3J; its call number is M22.C54 P55.
|9. Jurgenson, 1873–75 and 1876|
“Oeuvres de Fr. Chopin”
In the 1873–75 edition the works are arranged by work number. In the 1876 edition they are arranged by genre. The Collection’s holdings are:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from the title page of score 23-Jur-1. The dates of 23-Jur-1 and 28-Jur-1 are given explicitly at the foot of the title page. The date of 37-Jur-1 is from C&T.
|10. Breitkopf & Härtel, 1878–80|
“Friedrich Chopin’s Werke.
Herausgegben von Woldemar Bargiel, Johannes Brahms,
August Franchomme, Franz Liszt, Carl Reinecke, Ernst Rudorff.
Erste kritisch durchgesehene Gesammtausgabe.”
The Collection’s holdings are:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from C&T p. 257. The date is given explicitly by the publisher at the foot of the title page or at the foot of the first page of music. In 22-BH-5 it was probably clipped off.
The holdings listed above are located in the Library’s Special Collections Research Center. The Library has additional holdings of this edition located in the Regenstein Reference area, namely volumes 1–6 and 10–14 (of which volumes 4–6 are presently missing).
* This multi-score item includes seven of the 11 scores in volume 10 (Verschiedene Werke), namely Opus 12, 19, 29, 36, 43, 46, 49. (The other items in the Collection’s holdings of edition 10 are individual scores.) Its call number is M22.C54 P56. Its Chopin Collection acquisition number is 06-3K.
|11. Schlesinger-Lienau, 1880–84|
“Friedrich Chopin’s Werke.
Instructive Ausgabe mit erläuternden
Anmerkungen und Fingersatz von Dr. Theodor Kullak.”
The publisher is Schlesinger-Lienau (Berlin), successor to A. Schlesinger; the co-publisher is Schirmer (New York). The Collection has the 13 volumes of the ideal edition, bound in six volumes as indicated by the parenthetical numbers in the first column. The ideal edition does not have four opus-numbered works: 3, 8, 65, 74. The Collection does not have individual works of this edition. Its holdings are:
The publisher’s name of this edition is taken from the Library catalog. Call numbers of the six volumes begin with MT247.C54 and end with three or four characters that depend on the volume number: vol. 1: E883, vol. 2: P656, vol. 3: W358, vol. 4: R66, vol. 5: S66, vol. 6: P536. The Chopin Collection acquisition number is 06-3L.
The holdings listed above are located in the Library’s Special Collections Research Center. The Library has additional holdings of this edition located in the Regenstein Reference area, namely volumes 1–3 (only) bound together.