Breitkopf & Härtel

views updated

Breitkopf & Härtel. Ger. firm of mus. publishers founded Leipzig 1719 by Bernhard Christoph Breitkopf (b Clausthal, 1695; d Leipzig, 1777) as book publishers. His son Johann Gottlieb (b Leipzig, 1719; d Leipzig, 1794) invented system of movable mus. type in 1750 enabling publication in 1756 of full score of an opera pseudonymously comp. by Princess of Saxony. Breitkopf family severed connection in 1800, dir. being transferred to Gottfried Christoph Härtel (b Schneeberg, 1763; d Cotta, Leipzig, 1827) who concentrated on mus. and prod. complete edns. of Mozart (17 vols., 1798–1816), Haydn (12 vols., 1800–6), Clementi, and Dussek. He also founded Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (1798–1848). By 1874 firm's catalogue listed over 14,000 works, incl. complete edns. of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, and Berlioz, and edns. of earlier composers such as Palestrina, Schütz, Victoria, Lassus, and Sweelinck. In 20th cent. many important composers have been added to their lists. A 26-vol. Brahms edn. was pub. 1926–8. Leipzig works was destroyed by bombs Dec. 1943. Rebuilt 1945–6. After 1945, firm was divided between Leipzig in E. Germany, becoming state-owned 1952, and Wiesbaden in W. Germany