Now available to researchers is the Library publication A Catalogue of Early Printed Editions of the Works of Frederic Chopin in the University of Chicago Library, by George W. Platzman (The University of Chicago Library, 1997). The illustrated, 293-page catalogue contains detailed bibliographic descriptions of music scores by Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) in the University of Chicago Library. The collection contains first and early printed editions of Chopin scores and a wealth of other evidence for understanding the complex printing and publishing history of his works. The Catalogue will be of interest to musicologists, bibliographers, performers, and collectors of Chopin and other nineteenth-century music.
The goal of the Library's still-growing collection is to assemble copies of first and early editions of Chopin's entire oeuvre, which consists of 74 opus-numbered works, including nine published posthumously. In the catalogue, 288 items are described, of which about half are first editions. Chopin presents particular challenges to bibliographers, since most of his works appeared nearly simultaneously in France, Germany or Austria, and England. In order to establish the sequence of publication and study variations among first and later editions, scholars need to consult and compare as many copies as possible.
The Catalogue's detailed descriptions of all copies in the collection include title-page transcription; pagination and method of printing (engraved or lithographed); main elements of contents; notes on dates, printing or publishing history, and on other aspects of the copy. Four appendixes provide comparisons of variant title pages and issues of several works; six groups of tables list Chopin's works and publishers, and include chronology, plate numbers and the publisher's addresses; a final table gives citations to published title-page images. The Catalogue contains a list of references and 31 facsimile reproductions of title pages.
First and early printed editions of Chopin scores are included in the exhibition, Frederic Chopin and His Publishers; which will be on view in the Special Collections Department exhibition gallery February 2 - April 10, 1998. The exhibition surveys the relationship between Chopin's music and its publishing history through examples from the Library's collection.
A Catalogue of Early Printed Editions of the Works of Frederic Chopin in the University of Chicago Library is available to members of the University community for $22.50 from the Department of Special Collections, Room 130 Joseph Regenstein Library, 702-8705.
For more information, contact the Department of Special Collections, at 702-8705, or www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/.