Editio Supraphon

Musica Viva Historica cover ca. 1960



Supraphon is the most common name under which the Czechoslovakian state music publishing company was known. The origins of this firm go back to 1949 when Czech music publishers, among which Pazdírek, Urbanék, Hudební Matice, and Emanuel Starý, were nationalized. In 1951 some firms were brought together under Národní hudební nakladatelství Orbis (People’s own music publisher Orbis) while the imprint Hudební Matice remained also in use.

In 1953, Orbis became a self standing department of Státní nakladatelství krásné literatury, hudby a umění (SNKLHU, State Publishers of Literature, Music and Art). In 1955 the Dvořák Complete Edition was started. As early as 1956, the cooperation between Bärenreiter and Editio Supraphon began, when Karl Vötterle, the founder of Bärenreiter, was able to secure the rights for publishing Czech music editions in the western world.

In 1961 the firm was split into two firms, Státní nakladatelství krásné literatury a umění (State literature publisher) and Státní hudební vydavatelství (State Music Publishers). The latter became Editio Supraphon in 1967, but the name change was backdated to 1961. In 1978, Editio Supraphon and Bärenreiter started co-producing the Janáček Complete Edition. In the 1980s Bärenreiter printed licensed editions of works that were out of stock at Editio Supraphon.

After the fall of the Soviet and Eastern Bloc regimes, beginning in 1990, the music publishing part of the company was separated from the incorporated company and converted into a separate but still state-owned firm. It was privatized under the name of Editio Praga in 1993 and ceased to exist in 2000.


Supraphon and its predecessors had an emphasis on publishing works of Czech composers, both of classical artist (with complete editions of Dvorák (Antonín Dvořák - Souborne Vydani dila), Smetana, Janáček, and two monumental historical series: Musica antiqua bohemica , Classical-era Bohemian instrumental works, and Musica Viva Historica, European 18th century works. They also published works of contemporary composers.



The critical editions of older composers such as Dvorak and Smetana produced by Supraphon more than 30 years ago are public domain in the EU due to the 93/98 EU Copyright Directive. As explained elsewhere, these editions - even those less than 30 years old - are most likely ineligible for copyright status in Canada due to both a failure to meet the "threshold of originality" and their status as government publications produced by state employees. However, IMSLP voluntarily observes a 25-year term for all such editions - including those issued by Supraphon. Most of these editions are likewise free in the USA thanks to their PD status in the country of origin, absent or defective copyright notices, etc. Thus they have been reprinted extensively by Dover, Kalmus and others. In contrast, the works of more recent Czech composers - who died less than 50 years ago (70 years in the EU and in Canada) - are fully protected by copyright. On the other hand, the entire catalog of Hudební Matice has been in public domain since the sheet publishing house Supraphon ceased to exist, and there is no successor.

Imprints, Addresses and Agents


  • Hudební Matice (1871-1951)
  • Národní hudební nakladatelství Orbis (1951-1953)
  • Státní nakladatelství krásné literatury, hudby a umění - SNKLHU (1953-1961)
  • Státní hudební vydavatelství - SHV (1961-1966 or 1967)
  • Supraphon, also Editio Supraphon (1967-1991)
  • Editio Praga (1993-2000)

Plate Numbers

The nationalised Hudební Matice changed its H.M. imprint to H ####, which was continued by the respective state music publishers. Issues with prefix H.M., preceding the change to H ####, should still go in the Hudební Matice table.

Titles from the Hudební Matice catalogue were frequently reprinted with new plate numbers. Orbis used the imprint EO ###.

Plate Composer Work Year
EO 003 Voříšek Piano Sonata, Op.20 (ed. Kundera) MAB 4 1949
EO 135 Novák Variations on a Theme by Schumann, Op.4 (ed. Máslo) 1950
EO 139 Godard Etudes, Op.149 Book 1 (ed. Karel Hoffmeister) 1950
EO 246 Fibich 5 Feuillets d'Album, Op.2 1950
EO 297 Suk About Mother, Op.28 1950
EO 298 Suk Spring, Op.22a 1950
EO 305 Fibich Etudes Picturales, Op.56 1951
EO 384 Fibich Moods, Impressions, and Souvenirs, Op.41 (book 1) 1951
EO 425 Fibich Moods, Impressions, and Souvenirs, Op.41 (book 2) 1951
EO 475 Novák Sonatinas, Op.54 1951
EO 479 Novák Sonata Eroica, Op.24 1951
EO 675 Fibich Moods, Impressions, and Souvenirs, Op.41 (book 3) 1951
EO 738 Fibich Romance, Op.10 (Šolc/Sorm edition?) 1951
Plate Composer Work Year
H 0739 Fibich 2 Scherzi, Op.4 1953
H 0907 Dussek 12 Etudes Melodiques, Op.16 (MAB 21) 1954
H 1748 Dussek 6 Harp Sonatas (MAB 22) 1956
H 1100 Smetana The Bartered Bride, JB 1:100 (full score) 1953
H 1530 Burian Reminiscens of Czech Dances 1954
H 1780 Dvořák Piano Concerto, Op.33 1956
H 1796 Benda 16 Piano Sonatas (collection) 1956
H 1952 Dvořák Serenade for Wind Instruments, Op.44 1956
H 2063 Tomášek 3 Ditirambi, Op.65 1956
H 2065 Mysliveček 3 String Quintets 1957
H 2078 Voříšek Violin Sonata, Op.5 (ed. Štědroň) (MAB 30) 1956
H 2182 Voříšek 6 Impromptus, Op.7 (ed. Kaprál) (MAB 1) 1957
H 2262 Voříšek Symphony, Op.24 (ed. Bartoš) (MAB 34) 1957
H 2303 Benda 34 Piano Sonatinas (collection) 1958
H 2456 Dvořák Symphony No.8, Op.88 1955
H 2541 Koželuh Piano Sonata, Op.2 No.3 1969
H 2668 Janáček On the Overgrown Path 1958
H 2704 Dussek Violin Sonatas, Op.69 Nos.1 and 2 (MAB 41) 1959
H 3099 Dussek Piano sonatas. Vol.1. Sonatas I-VII (MAB 46) 1960
H 3237 Voříšek Composizioni per piano solo (MAB 52) 1961
H 3289 Dussek Piano sonatas. Vol.2. Sonatas VIII-XVI (MAB 53) 1961
H 3333 Smetana Má Vlast (arr. Solc) 1961
H 3406 Mysliveček 3 Octets for Winds (Schoenbaum edition) 1962
H 3413 Dussek Piano sonatas. Vol.3. Sonatas XVII-XXIII: (MAB 59) 1962
H 3666 Suk Life and Dreams, Op.30 (ed. S̆rom) 1963
H 3756 Dussek Piano Sonatas. Vol.4. Sonatas XXIV—XXIX (MAB 63) 1963
H 4035 Michna, Adam Missa Sancti Wenceslai. (MAB II, 1) 1966
H 4151 Brixi, Šimon Magnificat (ed. Vratislav Bělský). (MAB II, 2) 1967
H 4154 Suk Lullabies, Op.33 (ed. Šolc) 1966
H 4358 Feld String Quartet No.4 (1965) (score) 1967
H 4496 Plánický, J.A. Opella ecclestiastica (MAB II, 3) 1968
H 4788 Zelenka 6 Lamentationes pro hebdomada sancta, ZWV 53 (ed. Bělský). (MAB II, 4) 1969
H 4872 Tomášek Eglogues for piano (ed. Borkova), Vol.1 (MAB 73) 1970
H 4973 Smetana Klavírní Dílo (Piano Compositions) Vol.5 1968
H 4974 Zelenka Psalmi et Magnificat (ed. Bǎlský). (MAB II, 5) 1971
H 5039 Brixi Missa integra (ed. Novák). (MAB II, 6) 1971
H 5180 Reicha 36 Fugues pour Piano (ed. Sýkora) 1973
H 5182 Mysliveček Tre notturni. (MAB II, 7) 1972
H 5390 Tomášek Eglogues for piano (ed. Borkova), Vol.2: (MAB 74) 1973
H 5451 Benda Medea, L.477 (MAB II, 8) 1976
H 5623 Campanus-Vodňanský Carmina festiva. (MAB II, 9) 1978
H 5668 Páleníček Piano Concerto No.3 (arr. M. Kuna) 1975
H 5766 Suk Piano Pieces, Op.7 1975
H 5796 Fibich From the Mountains, Op.29 (reprint) 1976
H 6036 Voříšek 12 Rhapsodies, Op.1 (ed. Sýkora) Nos.1-6. (MAB 78) 1978
H 6065 Janáček Lašské Tance (ed. Máslo) 1977
H 6114 Voříšek 12 Rhapsodies, Op.1 (ed. Sýkora) Nos. 7-12. (MAB 79) 1979
H 6550 Benda Ariadne auf Naxos, L.476 (MAB II, 10) 1984
H 6626 (coll.) Carmina carissima (MAB II, 11) 1984
H 6825 Zelenka Sub olea pacis, ZWV 175 (ed. Belský). (MAB II, 12) 1987
H 7215 Smetana Rêves, JB 1:103 (ed. Novotný)
H 7226 Linek Missa pastoralis. (MAB II, 13) 1988
H 7580 Fibich Etudes Picturales, Op.56 1951
H 7701 Zelenka Requiem in D minor, ZWV 48 (ed. Bělský). (MAB II, 14) 1997
H 7739 Voříšek Mass in B-flat major, Op.24 (Z I-24). (MAB II, 15) 1997

Sources Consulted

  • 1. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie.
New York and London: Macmillan Publications, 1980.
  • 2. Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. 2., neu bearb. Ausg. ed. Ludwig Finscher. Kassel: Bärenreiter, Stuttgart: Metzler 2006. Personenteil Bd. 16, S. 296-297
  • 3. Wikipedia article
  • 4. Department of Justice, Obchodni rejstrik (Online database of Czech companies).
  • 5. Bärenreiter Chronik, December 18, 2013.

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