First Editions

in the collection of early editions of the works of Frédéric Chopin
in the University of Chicago Library

For scores published before 1881, this section has a census of first editions that are not in the Chopin Collection. Such scores are referred to here as first-edition “deficits”.

The Collection approximately spans the 50-year interval 1830 to 1880. During that interval about 260 first editions were published in France, Germany, Austria, England, and Poland, both before and after Chopin’s death in 1849. Of these, the Collection currently has about 160, leaving a deficit of about 100. Future acquisitions of first editions most likely will be French, German or Austrian imprints, which together account for about 30 deficits. The other 70 in the overall deficit are scarce English and Polish first editions.

The following lists itemize the current first-edition deficits by publisher and score. An asterisk (*) on a deficit score indicates that, although the Collection does not have a first edition, it does have a non-first edition (for example, Mechetti’s Vienna publication of Opus 3). If there is no asterisk, the Collection does not have any edition of the score in question (for example, Pleyel’s Paris publication of Opus 17). For a list of all scores currently held by the Collection, please refer to the Register of Scores section. There, a first edition is identified by an equal sign (=) inserted in front of the score’s estimated publication date.

Chopin first editions is the subject of a comprehensive study by Krzysztof Grabowski, published online at: The works of Frédéric Chopin, Score editions and editorial traditions (translated by Wojciech Bońkowski).

Only editions published before 1881 are considered here.

French first-edition deficits (total: 17)

Brandus (Paris):  Opus 65 cello part*.
Chabal (Paris):  Brown 140.
Pleyel (Paris):  Opus 17.
Richault (Paris):  Opus 4; Brown 14.
M. Schlesinger (Paris):
    Opus 10*, 13, 14, 21 piano part*, 21 orchestral parts*, Brown 130, 140.
Schonenberger (Paris):  Opus 5.
Troupenas (Paris):  Opus 36, 39, 43; Brown 113.

German and Austrian first-edition deficits (total: 14)

Breitkopf & Härtel (Leipzig):  Opus 21 orchestral parts*, 29*, 34#1*.
Kistner (Leipzig):  Opus 11 orchestral parts*, 14*.
Mechetti (Vienna):  Opus 3*.
Peters (Leipzig):  Opus 19*.
A. Schlesinger (Berlin):  Opus 32*, 69, 71#3, 72*, 74*.
Schott (Mainz):  Brown 6*.

English first-edition deficits (total: 62)

Chappell (London):  Brown 130.
Cocks (London):  Opus 4; Brown 14.
Cramer, Addison, Beale (London):  Brown 113.
Wessel (London):
    Opus 1*, 3*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 9#1*, 9#2*, 10*, 11, 13, 14, 16*, 17*, 18*,
    20*, 21, 22, 23*, 24*, 25*, 26, 27, 28 (Book 2)*, 29,
    30, 31, 32*, 33, 34#2 & #3, 35, 37–39, 40*, 43*, 44*, 45–49,
    51, 52, 53*, 54, 55*, 56*, 57*, 58, 59*, 60, 61*, 62, 63*; Brown 35, 70, 134*.

Before Opus 38, Wessel’s Chopin first editions were issued with individual title pages or other early formats. Later, he re-issued some of these with his collective title page that lists all Chopin works then currently published by Wessel. To our knowledge, from Opus 38 all of his first and later issues have the collective title page. Of these, a score with title-page list that ends with the work in question probably is a first edition. The Collection has three such scores: Opus 42, 50 and 64.

Polish first-edition deficits (total: 7)

Brzezina (Warsaw):  Opus 1, 5.
Gebethner (Warsaw):  Opus 74.
Kaufmann (Warsaw):  Brown 6*, 36, 56, 82.

* An asterisk on a deficit edition indicates that the Collection has a non-first edition.

Please note

If a reader has a first–edition deficit available for purchase, the managers of
Chopin Online Catalog would appreciate receiving information about it at