Document signed twice ("F. F. Chopin").
Autograph ist nicht mehr verfügbar
Rare document ("Memorandum") by which Chopin sold to the London-based music publishers C. R. Wessel & Co. the British (but not French or German) copyright for two piano works. A printed form filled in by hand, it reads (in part): "I have this day sold to Messrs. Christian Rudolph Wessel & Co. Importers and Publishers of Foreign Music [...] at the price or sum of Ten Pounds, - Shillings, sterling, all my Copyright and Interest, present and future, vested and contingent or otherwise, for the Kingdom of Great Britain [...] of and in the following Compositions (in M.S.) to be published conjointly in France & Germany, viz: Op. 28. Impromptu pour le Piano Solo dedié à Madame la Comtesse d’Agoult - to appear the 14th October 1837; Op. 30, Quatre Mazurkas being his 5th Set, dedicated to La Princesse de Wurtemberg [...]". Signed twice by Chopin (once for the assignment of copyright, once for the receipt of the funds), and counter-signed as witness by Chopin's friend, the the piano-maker and publisher Camille Pleyel. - The latter-named work, dedicated to Princess Maria Anna Czartoryska of Württemberg (Maria Wirtemberska), is a set of four pieces based on the traditional Polish Mazurka dance. Confusingly, "Opus 28" is in fact a set of 24 Preludes commissioned by Pleyel, and dedicated to the German pianist and composer Joseph Christoph Kessler. They were not published until 1839. Chopin's first published "Impromptu" (No. 1, in A flat major), on the other hand, composed in 1837 and published in December of that year, was Op. 29, which he dedicated to his pupil Lady Caroline de Lobau, while his Opus 25, "Douze Études", was indeed published in October 1837 with a dedication to Marie d'Agoult, a friend of Chopin's and the mistress of Franz Liszt. Interestingly, it appears that in July of 1837 Chopin was as yet undecided as to the title and dedicatee of what was to become opus 25 or 29; it also seems likely that the English publishers misread either figure in Chopin's manuscript for "28". - Founded by the Bremen-born Christian Rudolf Wessel (1797-1885), Wessel & Co. was active in publishing from 1824 onwards. Wessel began to publish the works of Chopin in 1833, later gaining exclusive British publishing rights for him. In 1860, Wessel retired and transferred his business to Edwin Ashdown and Henry John Parry, who had been his managers. This document originates from the collection of the Ashdown family. - A small repaired area of paper loss to right edge and chips to two corner tips, otherwise in fine condition.