Talk:William Ratcliff (Cui, César)

Publishing history

While I can't verify this without seeing more exemplars, my research indicates that this opera originally was printed by C. G. Röder in Leipzig at Cui's own expense. Cui's wife (of German extraction) assisted in the negotiations with Röder. At some point, R. Seitz acquired rights as "publisher" or at least distributor, placing a sticker on the title page as a mark. Then W. Bessel acquired that status. I would consider Röder to be the original, earliest "publisher," for lack of another firm.

Also, at some point, at least when Bessel had it, Mary's second Romance (from Act III) had a French translation included above the staff. Lyle Neff

Hi Lyle
As you probably already know, the German legend "Eigenthum des Componisten" (Property of the composer) printed on the title page indicates that this was a self-published work. The legend typically encountered is "Eigenthum des Verlager." Röder, in my experience, was never involved as a publisher per se (meaning they actually sold works through retail distribution channels). While their name appears commonly on scores, especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it is only as an engraver and printer. Röder was the dominant music engraver and printer in the world a century ago. R. Seitz, on the other hand, was active as a publisher in Germany during this period. Do you think that Cui and his wife initially arranged western distribution through Seitz while retaining Russian publication rights fo themselves? Bessel commenced his publishing operation in St. Petersburg that very year (1869) but I've no idea of when he may have taken over distrubition of this work. He was involved in publishing Cui's work as early as 1872 though. I also know that Bessel, at some point, engaged Breitkopf as their agent for the west.
I wish we had a separate field for engraver and/or priinter, as this (like other publicaton details) can really help in dating and even identifiying works encountered. That's why I put Röder's name in the "Editor" field, which is typically used for transcriber or arranger along with editor here. Thanks for submitting this very interesting item from one of the "kutchka." Carolus 15:20, 14 September 2007 (EDT)

I don't know when or whether Cui might have arranged Seitz to be distributor/publisher. That information might be found in unpublished letters or other documents (the Röder negotiations are mentioned in the Soviet book of Cui's Избранные письма). My having seen a Seitz copy without the French for Mary's 2nd Romance and a Bessel copy with the French would suggest that Seitz at least preceded Bessel. But I could be wrong.

By the way, a separate field for plate number(s) might be helpful, too, because I often forget to include that information. Lyle Neff 17:30, 14 September 2007 (EDT)