Universal Edition

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History

The company was founded on June 1, 1901 in Vienna by a group of Austrian music retailers who sought independence of domination from the large German firms in Leipzig. The initial offerings were geared towards the Austrian domestic market for standard classical repertoire and educational music. By the end of its first year, the U.E. catalog contained some 400 titles, dominated by works of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Schumann. In 1903, the Vienna publisher Ludwig Doblinger assigned its publication rights for Bruckner's works to U.E. in exchange for shares in the new company. The next year saw the addition of titles by Max Reger, Richard Strauss, and Franz von Suppe with the acquistion of the publisher Joseph Aibl. Rapid growth continued with the purchase of publishers August Cranz (1909), Otto Maas' Söhne (1918), Gutmann (1920), Hofmeister (1921), Wiener Philharmonischer Verlag and Blaha (both 1924).

Commencing with the directorship of Emil Hertzka and general editorship Josef von Wöss in 1907, the firm entered the field of publishing new works. Some of the first contemporary composers of the period who joined the U.E. catalog were Delius and Bartok (1908), Mahler, Schoenberg and Schreker (1909), Casella, Webern and Zemlinsky (1910), Szymanowski (1912), Wellesz (1915), Janacek (1917), Kodaly (1920), Kaminsky and Krenek (1921), Milhaud (1922), Berg (1923), Weill (1924), Hauer (1925), Martin and Martinu (1926). While the initial issues of new works consisted of joint publications with other publishers like Roszavolgyi (Bartok), Harmonie Verlag (Delius) and Ricordi (Casella), the very first work issued solely by U.E. was Josef von Wöss' vocal score for Mahler's Symphony No. 8 - published just in time for the work's premiere in September 1910. Universal's distribution in other countries was expanded greatly when Alfred A. Kalmus (elder brother of Edwin F. Kalmus), joined the company in 1909. Distribution and joint-publication contracts were negotiated with Fürstner, Bote & Bock, Breitkopf & Härtel, F.E.C. Leuckart, Ricordi, and other important publishers.

After a long disruption initiated by the Nazi takeover of Austria (1938), which saw the dismissal of director Hugo Winter (who became director after Hertzka's death in 1932) and Alfred Kalmus, the firm gradually regained its prominence in the promotion of contemporary music with the restoration of the original shareholders (1952), which continues to the present day. Composers with works added to the U.E. catalog in the post-war period include Bennett, Berio, Birtwistle, Boulez, Dallapiccola, Einem, Feldman, Halffter, Ligeti, Pärt, Stockhausen, and Takemitsu, among others. Since 1914, the company headquarters has been in the Musikvereinsgebäude (also home of the Gessellschaft für Musikfreunde and the Vienna Philharmonic); with branch offices in London, New York, Mainz, Melbourne, Milan, Tokyo, and Zurich.

In October 2007, Universal's attorney sent a Cease and Desist letter to IMSLP, in an attempt to force IMSLP to apply Austrian copyright laws to users worldwide. IMSLP subsequently shut down (from Oct. 2007 through June 2008) undergoing a reorganization in the process. On July 1, 2008, IMSLP-Petrucci Music Library re-opened to the general public.

Plate Numbers

UE's plate numbers coincide with the Edition number as a general rule.

Plate Composer Work Year
U.E. 228 Boieldieu La Dame Blanche
U.E. 627 Schumann Allegro, Op.8 (1901)
U.E. 682 Erb Violin Sonata No.1, Op.21 1901
U.E. 760 Hummel Etudes, Op.125 (1901)
U.E. 814 Ascher La Moscovite - Dance nationale 1901
U.E. 815 Mayer Valse-Etude, Op.83 (1901)
U.E. 940 Grädener String Quartet No.2, Op.39 1905
U.E. 970 Beethoven Symphony No.2 – piano 4h arr (1901)
U.E. 1007 Strauss Cello Sonata, Op.6 (1901)
U.E. 1081 Strauss Tod und Verklärung, Op.24
U.E. 1268 Reger Symphonische Phantasie und Fuge für Orgel
U.E. 1287 Reger Ausgewählte orgel choralvorspiele (1901)
U.E. 1368 Strauss Nocturno, Op.7 (1904)
U.E. 1369 Strauss Horn Concerto, Op.8 (horn,pf arr) (1904)
U.E. 1592 Strauss Horn Concerto No.1, Op.11 (1904)
U.E. 1699 Sibelius Musik zu einer Szene, Op.45 No.2 (piano arr.) (1904)
U.E. 1996 Schütt Paraphrase on J.Strauss' waltz motives from 'Voices of Spring', I (1910)
U.E. 1997 Schütt Paraphrase on J.Strauss' waltz motives from 'Voices of Spring', II (1910)
U.E. 2598 Walter Violin Sonata in A major 1910
U.E. 2759 Korngold Der Schneemann 1910
U.E. 2772 Mahler Symphony No.8 1911
U.E. 2806 Graener Quartett über ein Schwedisches Volkslied, Op.33 1910
U.E. 2992 Schoenberg 3 Pieces, Op.11 (no.2 elaborated by Busoni) 1911
U.E. 3000 Mahler Symphony No.8 1911
U.E. 3075 Beethoven Piano Sonata No.30, Op.109 1913
U.E. 3283 Stöhr String Quartet No.1 in D minor, Op.22 (parts) 1913
U.E. 3852 Szymanowski 9 Preludes, Op.1 1906
U.E. 3855 Szymanowski 4 Etudes, Op.4 (1906)
U.E. 3864 Szymanowski Piano Sonata No.2, Op.21‎ 1912
U.E. 3974 Beethoven Piano Sonata No.28, Op.101 1921
U.E. 3977 Beethoven Piano Sonata No.31, Op.110 1914
U.E. 3999 Novák Serenade in D major, Op.36 (score) 1913
U.E. 4038 Beethoven Piano Sonata No.29, Op.106
U.E. 5540 Zemlinsky 6 Songs after Poems by Maeterlinck, Op.13 1914
Beethoven Piano Sonata No.32, Op.111 1916
U.E. 5662 Zemlinsky Eine florentinische Tragödie, Op.16 (vocal score) 1916
U.E. 5858 Szymanowski 3 Masques, Op.34 1919
U.E. 5894 Peters String Quartet in A major (score) 1918
U.E. 6017 Marx Romantisches Klavierkonzert (2pf. arr.) 1920
U.E. 6082–83 Weingartner String Quartet No.4, Op.62 (score, pts) 1918
U.E. 6018 Marx Romantisches Klavierkonzert (score) (1921?)
U.E. 6209 Schoenberg Herzgewächse, Op.20 1920
U.E. 6231 Heller Ballade, Op.34 (1915)
U.E. 6234 Heller Ballade, Op.34 (1915)
U.E. 6236 Heller La Chasse, Op.29 (1915)
U.E. 6371 Bartók String Quartet No. 2, Op.17, Sz.67 1920
U.E. 6626 Szymanowski Nocturne and Tarantella, Op.28 1921
U.E. 6878 Casella Undici Pezzi Infantili 1921
U.E. 6964 Wellesz Eklogen, Op.11 1921
U.E. 6997 Szymanowski Metopes, Op.29 1922
U.E. 7000 Beethoven Piano Sonata No.14, Op.27 No.2 (Schenker ed.) 1921
U.E. 7103 Janáček Káťa Kabanová 1922
U.E. 7723 Sauer Concert Polka 1924
U.E. 7932 Schulhoff Partita für Klavier 1925
U.E. 8393 Berg Kammerkonzert 1925
U.E. 8685 Schoenberg Suite, Op.29 1927
U.E. 8772 Bartók Piano Sonata, Sz.80 1927
U.E. 8780 Berg Lyrische Suite 1927
U.E. 8854 Huberman Transcriptions for Violin and Piano 1930
U.E. 8943 Kodaly Intermezzo from "Hary Janos" 1927
U.E. 8958 Schulhoff Toccata on 'Kitten on the Keys' 1927
U.E. 9046 Blumenfeld 2 Pieces, Op.53 (1926)
U.E. 9697 Satie 5 grimaces pour Le songe d'une nuit d'été 1929
U.E. 10888 Bartók Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta 1937
U.E. 11247 Bortkiewicz Lyrica Nova, Op.59 (1940)
U.E. 12198 Webern Symphony, Op.21 1929
U.E. 12416 Webern 5 Pieces for Orchestra, Op.10 1923
U.E. 12417 Webern Variations, Op.30 1956
U.E. 12421 Webern Cantata No.1, Op.29 1957
U.E. 12461 Webern Cantata No.2, Op.31 1956
U.E. 12487 Webern Concerto, Op.24 1948
U.E. 12450 Boulez Le marteau sans maître 1954
U.E. 17827 Friedman Paraphrase on J.Strauss' waltz motives from 'Voices of Spring' 1925*
M.R. 27 Reger 3 Sechsstimmige Chöre, Op.39
  • The 1925 date is most likely a case of copyfraud.

Catalogs

Typical typefaces employed (1901-ca.1950)

Many, perhaps a majority, of Universal's output in for the first five decades or so was engraved by the firm Waldheim-Eberle in Vienna. Eberle's work has a very distinct style, easily recognized with experience, that is exemplified by scores of the "Philharmonia" series of study scores first published by the Wiener Philharmonischer Verlag.

The copyright warning was typically situated on the upper left corner under the title:

Aufführungsrecht Vorbehalten .
Droits d'exécution réservés .

Title

Szymanowski: Piano Sonata No.2, Op.21, plate U.E.3864 (1912)

U.E.3864 (1912)

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, ed. H. Schenker (1918-1921)

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Composer

Szymanowski: Piano Sonata No.2, Op.21, plate U.E.3864 (1912)

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Tempo indication

Szymanowski: Piano Sonata No.2, Op.21, plate U.E.3864 (1912)

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Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, ed. H. Schenker (1918-1921)

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Plate number

Szymanowski: Piano Sonata No.2, Op.21, plate U.E.3864 (1912)

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Rehearsal or bar number indication

Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, ed. H. Schenker (1918-1921)

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Authority control

  • VIAF (Universal Edition (Vienna, Austria))
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