Wessel & Co.



Typical cover (1836)
violin works catalog ca.1850

Founded by Christian Rudolf Wessel (1797-1885) with William Stodart, Wessel & Stodart of London was active in publishing starting in 1824. Wessel began to publish the works of Chopin in 1833, and in 1836 gained exclusive British publishing rights for that composer. In 1838, Stodart backed out of the partnership, and in 1839 Frederic Stapleton replaced him until his own withdrawal in 1845. In 1860, Wessel retired and transferred his business to Edwin Ashdown and Henry John Parry, who had been his managers. Subsequent issues were made under the imprint Edwin Ashdown Ltd.

Wessel explicitly promoted itself as an importer of foreign works, especially from Germany. Thus the catalog included many works by Chopin, Weber, Heller, Kuhlau and others. They had a large catalog of harp works (see cover of Gems of Verdi, Op.149 (Oberthür, Charles)), German songs (see cover of Grand Trio No.3, Op.10 (Clinton, John)), violin works (see cover of Murmures du Rhone, Op.66 (Burgmüller, Friedrich)) and piano works (see cover of Polacca brillante, Op.72 (Weber, Carl Maria von)).

Another Wessel & Co. operated in Rostock in the second half of the 19th century.

Imprints, Addresses

  • Wessel & Stodart (1824-1838)
  • Wessel & Stapleton (1839-1845)
  • Wessel & Co. (presumably 1845-1860)
  • 6 Frith Street, Soho Square (ca. 1838-1839)
  • 67 Frith Street, corner of Soho Square (ca. 1839-1846)
  • 229 Regent Street, corner of Hanover Square (ca. 1846-1856)
  • 18 Hanover Square (ca. 1856-1860)

Plate Numbers

Note: Plate numbers were assigned fairly regularly untill about 1840, after which the numbers were not used chronologically. Instead, runs of numbers were allocated in part by subject or composer.

  • Plate number prefix was "W. & Co. No. ####".
Plate Composer Work Year
0907 Kuhlau 6 Divertissements for Flute and Piano, Op.68 (No.1) (1833)
0924 Chopin Piano Trio, Op.8 (1833)
1662-63 Chopin Introduction et polonaise brillante, Op.3 1836
1704 Clinton Grand Flute Trio No.2, Op.9 (1836)
2141 Ganz The Secret that Lies in My Heart (1837)
3098 Chopin Preludes, Op.28 (Nos.1-14) (1839)
5416 Spohr Piano Quintet No.1, Op.53 (parts)
6037 Ernst Introduction, Caprices et finale de 'Il Pirate', Op.19 (arr. violin and piano) 1845
6318 Chopin Polonaise-fantaisie, Op.61 1846
6880 Hallé Miscellanées, Op.5 (No.1)
6881 Hallé Miscellanées, Op.5 (No.2)
8979 Oberthür Gems of Verdi, Op.149

Sources Consulted

  1. Institutions Related to Chopin: Wessel & Co. Fryderyk Chopin Institute, accessed 18 August 2011.
  2. Humphries, Charles and William C. Smith. Music Publishing in the British isles From the Beginning Until the Middle of the Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1970.
  3. Neighbour, O. W. and Alan Tyson. English music publishers' plate numbers in the first half of the nineteenth century. London: Faber and Faber, 1965.

External Links

Authority control

  • VIAF (Wessel & Co. (Music publisher))