The MGM logo: a hand-drawn cartoon of Mahler at the podium, glaring at the audience

Main heading: The Music of Gustav Mahler: A Catalogue of Manuscript and Printed Sources [rule] Paul Banks

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Early history

 

Eberle and Bruckner

 

EWZG and Mahler
   The first contacts

 

EWZG and Mahler
   The publication series

 

Waldheim-Eberle and
   Universal Edition

 
 

 

Notes

   

1

Full details, including a transcription, translation and commentary will be published in Paul Banks, 'Mahler and "the newspaper company": a newly discovered contract' (in preparation).

2

Presumably it was under the terms of this clause that the Fourth Symphony was acquired and published.

   
   
   
   

b&w half-length portrait of Josef Eberle, c. 1890

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

oval, b&w head and shoulders portrait of Rudolf von Waldheim

Figure 2

Rudolf v. Waldheim

Josef Eberle & Co. – Erste Wiener Zeitungs-Gesellschaft – Waldheim-Eberle

 

Das klagende Lied

Lieder aus Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Symphony No. 1

Symphony No. 2

Symphony No. 3

Symphony No. 4

 

 

Early History

For a period of more than ten years the owner of the copyrights in Mahler's music was a company whose name never appeared on his scores, the Erste Wiener Zeitungsgesellschaft (hereafter EWZG), one of the largest printing and publishing concerns in Vienna, and indeed, one of Austria's major corporations: it was the music department of one of its subsidiaries, Josef Eberle & Co that prepared and printed the works. The range of this conglomerate's activity as a printer can be gained from the list included in its entry in the report on the Internationale Ausstellung für Buchgewebe und Graphik held in Leipzig in 1914–15 (APOV, 103–4):

Verlagswerke. Modejournale, musikalische Werke. Brief- und Fakturenköpfe in Lithographie, Buchdruck und Stahltiefdruck. Briefverschlußmarken. Diplome, Wandkalender. Drei- und Vierfarbendrucke, Stahltiefdrucke, Gemäldereproduktionen in Chromolithographie. Eisenbahnkarten. Modeblätter. Etiketten. Kataloge, Preislisten, Prospekte, Reklamen. Menükarten, Parten. Musiktitel, Notenraster, Notenstich-Proben und -Platten. Plakate für Salon und Straße. Wertpapiere (Aktien, Schuldverschreibungen, Pfandbriefe, Couponbogen, Anteils-, Interims-, Gründer- und Schatzscheine, Kreditbriefe, Schecks, Wechsel und Lose).

Printers. Fashion magazines, music. Letter heads and invoices by lithography,  typesetting and steel engraving. Paper letter seals. Certificates, wall-calendars, three- and four-colour printing, steel engraving, chromolithographic art reproductions. Railway tickets.  Fashion magazines. Labels. Catalogues, price lists, prospectuses, advertisements, menus, obituaries. Music title pages, manuscript paper, music proofs and plates. Posters for indoors and the street. Financial documents (shares, bonds, mortgage bonds, books of coupons, share, interim,  dividend, floatation and stock certificates, letters of credit, cheques, bills of exchange, lottery tickets.

The history of these businesses is complex and closely interwoven with those of Mahler's other publishers. One of the leading personalities involved was Josef Eberle (24 January 1845–13 January 1921), born in Falkenau an der Eger (Bohemia; now Sokolow in the Czech Republic). Trained as a lithographer by an uncle in Germany, he reportedly founded his own printing company in Vienna in 1873 and having initially provided only decorative title pages for editions of printed music, by the end of the decade he was printing the music as well (ADFJD, passim; PBFU, passim). There is no evidence that Eberle had any musical training, but he was ambitious and also an innovator: he was probably the first Austrian printer to adopt the technique of printing music by transfer lithography from engraved plates, a process which, like his technique of Brennätzverfahren  for improving the robustness of lithographic plates, permitted significantly larger print runs derived from the original engraved plates. Without these techniques the international growth of Austrian music publishing, and the establishment of Universal Edition, would not have been possible.

By c. 1877 Eberle was married to Leopoldine Stritzko (7 August 1859?after 1940), the daughter of a linen merchant, Leopold Stritzko, and sister of the musician and businessman, Josef Stritzko (17 April 1861–8 March 1908) who later played an important role within Jos. Eberle & Co. Josef and Leopoldine had two daughters, Josefine (23 September 1878–06 August 1970) and Christine (26 September1879–8 October 1964), who would eventually inherit the family business.

By the late 1880s Jos. Eberle & Co. was an important printing company its Musikaliendruckerei was probably the largest in the Dual Monarchy and was also a major manufacturer of manuscript paper so, perhaps not surprisingly, Eberle branched out into music publishing. The earliest announcement of this new venture appeared in the autumn of 1887 (OBC 28/41 (8 October 1887), 527):

[Wiener Volksausgabe musikalischer Classiker). Die Musikaliendruckerei Jos. Eberle & Co., welcher Firma seit kurzer Zeit Herr F. Rebay (früher in Firma Rebay & Robitschek) angehört, bereitet ein Unternehmen vor, das in den musikalischen Kreisen berechtigtes Aufsehen machen wird. In erster Linie sollen die österreichischen und speciell Wiener musikalischen Classiker: Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert ec., in einer würdigen Ausgabe ihrer Werke ein bleibendes Denkmal erhalten. Die Wiener Volkausgabe musikalischer Classiker soll in Ausstattung alle bisherigen Volksausgaben übertreffen, das Papier sowie Titel und Noten außerordentlich schön sein, die letzteren besonders  sich durch leichte Lesbarkeit und Übersichtlichkeit auszeichnen. Für die Correctheit und vorzügliche Revision wurden die besten hiesigen Professoren gewonnen und soll der Preis trotzdem den der ausländischen Volksausgaben nicht übersteigen. Die erste Nummer dieses patriotischen Unternehmens bringt die eben „frei” gewordenen beliebtesten Schulwerke Carl Czerny’s, des bedeutendsten Clavierpädagogen Wiens, in einer vorzüglichen Revision, theilweise Neubearbeitungen durch Prof. Hans Schmitt vom Wiener Conservatorium Es gehört großer Muth dazu, ein solches Werk zu wagen – wir wünschen besten Erfolg.

(Vienna Popular Edition of Musical Classis). The music printer Jos. Eberle & Co., to which firm Mr. F. Rebay (until recently in the firm of Rebay & Robitschek) belongs, is preparing an undertaking that will arouse justifiable interest in musical circles.  First and foremost Austrian and especially Viennese musical classics – Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert etc. - will receive, through worthy editions of their works, an enduring monument. The Vienna Popular Edition of Musical Classics will surpass all previous popular editions, the paper, title pages, and music text will be exceptionally fine, the latter especially because of its easy legibility and clarity. For accuracy and superb editing the best local professors have been engaged and the price will nevertheless not exceed that of foreign popular editions. The first item in this patriotic undertaking will publish the most popular studies – soon to be out of copyright – of Carl Czerny, the most important Viennese piano teacher, in a thorough revision, partly rearranged by Prof. Hans Schmitt of the Vienna Conservatoire. It requires great courage to risk such a project – we wish it the best of success.

When the first volumes began to appear in early 1888 it became clear that this was a very unusual venture: by the 1880s very few Austrian publishers included a substantial repertoire of serious music in their lists, but relied instead on operetta extracts, dance and other forms of popular music as the main source of income. Eberle's venture eschewed such repertoire, with the sole exception of a complete edition of the music of Josef Lanner (already a 'classic' of popular culture), edited by Eduard Kremser. Such a reliance on serious music at the start of what must have been an expensive project, proved to be a costly mistake: after the publication of 33 volumes the series was wound up and the rights of some volumes sold or licensed to Breitkopf & Härtel or Augener. Sales had evidently been miniscule and few copies of the volumes survive in libraries. At the same time, in 1888, Eberle also took over as the publisher of An die schönen blauen Donau, a literary periodical which included some authors - such as Artur Schnitzler and Hugo von Hofmannsthal - who were are the start of their very distinguished careers. This seems to have been part of a serious attempt to establish the firm as a publisher, and also to have a medium that could be used to offer modest support of the company's music publishing venture. When the latter failed, Eberle quickly disposed of his interests in the magazine.

Despite these setbacks, Eberle was not discouraged and by 1892 his firm was in negotiation over a contract with Anton Bruckner, which ultimately bore  more significant fruit (see below). Moreover, in the same year a new corporation, the Erste Wiener Zeitungsgesellschaft, was created with the primary aim of printing and publishing the large circulation tabloid newspaper, the Illustriertes Wiener Extrablatt, and one of the non-executive directors of the new company was Josef Eberle, presumably reflecting positive assessments of his technical and business acumen. On the other hand, his particular experience lay in very specialised areas of printing not obviously relevant to EWZG's existing core business: it seems likely that it was the intention for the company to expand into other areas of printing. Whatever the motivation, in late 1894 EWZG bought Jos. Eberle & Co for the equivalent of about £3,000,000 today: Eberle remained on the EWZG board and his firm's name was retained for the specialist business it undertook:

colour image of Jos. Eberle & Co. headed paper, c. 1896.

Fig. 3

Headed paper of Jos. Eberle & Co., c. 1896

The connection with EWZG is somewhat understated. Josef Eberle had acquired the printing company Reiffenstein & Uhl in 1891.

Further evidence of a coherent strategy on the part of the EWZG Board can be discerned in the acquisition in 1895 of an older, highly respected printing firm that had no interests in music,Brief report of the death of Josef Eberle from the Wiener Abendpost, 14 January 1921, p. 4. but specialised in a number of areas of printing that complimented Eberle's expertise. Rudolf v. Waldheim (1832–1890) was trained (notably in woodcutting) at the Staatsdruckerei in Vienna, and with F.W. Bader formed R. v. Waldheims Xylographische Anstalt in 1855 (ADFJD, II, 200–3). Unlike Eberle, Waldheim made a number of early attempts to publish illustrated newspapers – Mußestunden (1859–63), Waldheims illustrierte Zeitung (1862–3), Waldheims illustrierte Blätter (1864–6), Neue illustrierte Zeitung and most successfully Figaro (1857–1919). If this side of the business was not a huge success, the firm flourished overall: by 1876 Waldheim was using a wide range of processes (typography, lithography, woodcuts and stereotyping among them) with a workforce of about 250, 22 Schnellpressen and 40 Handpressen, and was printing a number of periodicals on contract. In the years that followed the EWZG board sought to merge the operations of both specialist departments on the Seidengasse site, but this evidently lead to tensions in the senior management team and the resignation of Eberle in January 1898. Within a matter of months he had re-established himself in a new business as a letter-press and lithographic printer and was soon printing and publishing music, and manufacturing manuscript paper. This time his music publishing business focussed on light and popular music, though he did include a few early works by composers such as Franz Schmidt and Franz Schreker in his list (PBFU, passim), and the printing business seems to have flourished, requiring a work force of 91 by 1907 (ADFJD, II, 208), making it one of the larger privately owned printing firms in the Dual Monarchy. By the time of his death in January 1921, Eberle was a highly respected member of the print industry (see RWWS 28–9): the firm remained in the family and, as the Austrian National Library's collection of posters attests, was still active in the field of lithography until at least the early 1980s.

Meanwhile, back at Seidengasse, the Erste Wiener Zeitungsgesellschaft was developing in unexpected directions: the profit from the publication of the Illustriertes Wiener Extrablatt  was declining while the printing side was apparently flourishing, notably Jos. Eberle & Co.'s music printing business which benefitted enormously from its position as  the sole printer used for the first phase of publication by Universal-Edition (1901–3). Despite these trends, the decision taken in 1905 to sell the newspaper was a radical one, involving a substantial financial loss and encouraging a change of company name to: 'Druckerei- und Verlags-Actiengesellschaft, vorm. R. v. Waldheim, Jos. Eberle & Co' agreed at the AGM on 23 March 1906 (OBDZ (29 March 1906), 169; for a facsimile of the undated circular announcing the change, see GMBsV, 32). This cumbersome formulation at least had the merit of referring to the two best-known trade names associated with the corporation: it was  formally reduced to the more manageable 'Waldheim-Eberle A.G.' in about 1915, though this had been used unofficially even before 1906 and is adopted where appropriate in the narrative that follows.

 

Eberle and Bruckner

The chief source of  information about the negotiations in 1892 between Bruckner and Eberle is the Göllerich-Auer biography of the composer, and although no sources are cited, the related anecdotes suggest strongly that it was founded at least in part on details provided by one of the participants, Josef Stritzko (1861–1908) (see GAAB, IV/3, 256–62; for a complete transcription and English translation of the passage (including the text of the contract), click here):

Nach den großen Erfolgen der letzten Jahre war Bruckners Ansehen als Komponist auch in Wien so gefestigt, daß sich eine heimische Firma, die graphische Anstalt Josef Eberle u. Co. (die später auf die Universal-Edition A.G. überging) zur Drucklegung der noch ungedruckten Werke des Meisters bereit erklärte.

After the great success of recent years Bruckner's reputation as a composer, even in Vienna, was so secure, that a local company, the printing establishment Josef Eberle & Co. (which later turned into Universal Edition A.G. [not quite correct – see below]) announced its interest in printing the Master's as yet unpublished works.

Die Verhandlungen mit dem Verleger Josef Eberle führte dessen Verlags-Direktor und Schwiegersohn Josef Stritzko, der seinerzeit Bruckners Schüler am Konservatorium gewesen war und sich später als Komponist von Operetten und Chören einen Namen gemacht hat.

The negotiations with the publisher Josef Eberle were led by the latter's Director of Publication and son-in-law [recte: brother-in-law], Josef Stritzko, who had been a student of Bruckner at the Conservatoire and who subsequently made a name for himself as a composer of operettas and choruses..

Zuerst sollten Großindustrielle zur Bereitstellung der Druckkosten gewonnen werden, doch zogen sich alle wieder zurück. So entschloß sich Eberle, die Werke auf eigene Kosten – sie beliefen sich auf 36.000 Gulden – zu drucken. Als Stritzko es dem Meister mitteilte, war dieser selig...

At the outset major industrialists were to be persuaded to cover the printing costs, but they all withdrew. So Eberle resolved to print the works at his own cost – which amounted to 36,000 Gulden. When Stritzko reported this to the Master, he was overjoyed...

Zunächst hatte Bruckner die Absicht, die erste, der Universität gewidmete Symphonie drucken zu lassen. Er holte von der genannten Firma einen Voranschlag (vom 1. Juli) ein, in welchem 100 Partituren mit 693.55 Gulden, das 100fache Stimmen-material mit 717.12 Gulden, zusammen 1410.67 Gulden geboten wurden. Im weiteren Verlauf der Verhandlungen kam es dann am 14. Juli zu folgendem Vertrag...

Initially Bruckner had the intention of  having the First Symphony, dedicated to the University, printed. He received  an estimate (dated 1 July) from the firm, in which 100 scores were costed at 693.55 Gulden and 100 part sets at 1410.67 Gulden. After further progress in the negotiations the following contract resulted on 14 July...

The account is of great interest, but needs to be treated with a little caution as some of the information is incorrect, and other details have so far resisted confirmation from contemporary sources: the biographies and obituaries of Josef Stritzko fail to refer to his putative studies with Bruckner. However, it is clear that the negotiations must have begun at least a couple of months earlier since Max Oberleithner  referred to the contract (rather ineptly, one might think) in a letter to Schott, dated, 27 May 1892, that attempted to interest the company in publishing the First Symphony (FSABC, I, 675). The identity of members of the group of major industrialists who were initially envisaged as providing the subsidy is not revealed, but it must be wondered whether this was the consortium of admirers who provided the composer with an annual honorarium from 1890 onwards (see GAAB, IV/3, 55ff.). The motives that lay behind Josef Eberle's decision that in the absence of such a subsidy he would bear the printing costs  – as direct patronage, a commercial project or a mixture of the two – remains unclear, but this was a major financial undertaking (see also PBFU, passimm). The details of the estimated printed costs is particularly valuable, giving the unit costs as just under 7 fl for the score and just over 14 fl for a set of parts: when published in 1893 the retail prices were 18 fl for both formats.

The final contract with Jos. Eberle & Co., signed on 14 July, makes no reference to the distribution of the works: in fact they were published (on commission) by Doblinger in the years between 1892 and 1899. In this context the publication and first complete performance of the Sixth Symphony, in 1899, reflects a nexus of personal, professional and commercial  relationships within the relatively circumscribed world of high art in fin-de-siècle Vienna. Published by a ex-student of the Vienna Conservatoire, Stritzko, it was first heard at a Philharmonic concert on 26 February 1899 conducted by a fellow admirer, Gustav Mahler, whose first three symphonies (and probably Das klagende Lied and the Wunderhornlieder) had already been acquired for EWZG by Stritzko; three years later the latter would also publish (and Doblinger would distribute) Mahler's Fourth Symphony.

 

Facsimile of an idealised image of the Eberle & Co. printing works on Seidengasse, used on the firm's headed paper, c. 1899

Fig. 4

Jos.Eberle & Co. headed paper, c. 1899

 

Erste Wiener Zeitungs-Gesellschaft and Mahler – the first contacts

Initially Mahler's association with Jos. Eberle & Co. (by then a subsidiary of EWZG) was the result of the efforts on his behalf by one of the friends of his student years, Guido Adler (1855–1941), who had been appointed Professor of Musicology at the German University in Prague in 1885. (For a full discussion of their relationship, see ERGA.) It was almost certainly Adler who came up with the plan to request financial support for the publication of the First and Third symphonies (full scores, parts and piano duet arrangements) and the Second Symphony (parts) from the Gesellschaft zur Förderung deutscher Wissenschaft, Kunst und Literatur in Böhmen). Apart from the publications themselves – some issues of which acknowledge the financial support – relatively few documents have been located that trace this process. Of greatest significance are the two reports that Adler submitted to the Gesellschaft, dated 23 and 24 January 1898 (drafts of which are now in the Papers of Guido Adler, US-ATS). These have not been published in full, but are summarised in ERGA (pp. 88–90) and extracts of the second are transcribed and translated in KBME (p. 216), including the details of the costs involved, and Adler's specific proposals for payment and acknowledgement:

The expense of printing the score, vocal score and parts of the First and Third Symphonies and the orchestral parts of the Second will amount to about 12,000 Fl., according to the calculations of Eberle & Co. in Vienna one of the best-equipped printers, who publish among other things the symphonies of Bruckner. On the recommendation of the under-signed as adviser they have agreed to take on Mahler's works too, on the understanding, and with the wish, that part of the costs can be raised in the form of a subsidy....Therefore: to accomplish on the one hand the great task which it is our duty here to fulfil, and on the other hand to pay due respect to the apportionment of our finances, the proposal should be put that we vote 3,000 Fl. for the publication and propagation of the works of Gustav Mahler, payable in two instalments, the first payment at once, the second instalment in January 1899. We attach one condition to this grant, namely that the following note should appear on the orchestral and vocal scores of the First and Third symphonies and on the cover of the orchestral parts or perhaps on the violin part, of the Second: 'with the support of the Society for the Advancement of German Science, Art and Literature in Bohemia'..

To put the production costs into some sort of perspective, the total was worth about $5784 (ERGA, 139, n. 37), or more pertinently, it was exactly Mahler's starting annual salary at the Hofoper (HLGII, 53).

Clearly there must have been substantive discussions between Adler and Jos. Eberle & Co. – presumably represented by Josef Stritzko, since by this time Josef Eberle had been replaced as manager of Jos. Eberle & Co., and was about to resign from the EWZG board – sometime prior to his drafting of the references, and there would have been ample opportunity for him to raise the matter with the company since it was responsible for the production of the Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich, published by C.A. Artaria under his editorship. Mahler was drawn into this additional nexus of relationships when, on Adler's recommendation, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the series in 1898, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Brahms. As might have been expected, Mahler was not hugely excited by meetings of the Board, as he made clear in a discussion about the series on 1 January 1900. Mahler was spending the day at an inn at Rodaun, on the road to Mödling, and in the evening Stritzko dropped in for a chat, during which the composer opined that the Denkmäler series 'contained only "mediocrities of the last century" on which he considered it a shame to spend so much money.' (an unpublished section of Natalie Bauer-Lechner's diary, cited in HLG11, 544).

The negotiations in 1897–8 for the grant application and associated publishing plans must also have involved  discussions between Adler and Mahler. A brief note from the composer to his friend and lawyer, Emil Freund, probably refers to the preparation of Adler's references (GMB, 257; GMSLL, 226): 'Adler has just written to say that if he does not receive my curriculum vitae within the next two days, the [whole undertaking] will have to be put off until the autumn.' This note was undated, but the original edition offers '1897' and GMSL refines this to Spring 1897. The latter seems unlikely: sometime rather later that year or even early January 1898 seems more probable. Nevertheless there must have been some assurances given even before Adler's references were submitted, since Natalie Bauer-Lechner recorded that by New Year's Eve, 1897, Mahler was celebrating the prospect of the publication of the works (NBL2, 109; NBLE, 109–10):

Als beglückende Neuigkeit teilte mir Mahler mit, daß durch Vermittlung Guido Adlers seine beiden noch ungedruckten Symphonien, die Erste und die Dritte, sowie die Klavierauszüge und das Stimmenmaterial aller drei bei Eberle in Wien gedruckt werden. Damit war ihm endlich die Sorge um Aufbewahrung und Erhaltung dieser Werke vom Herzen genommen und überdies die Möglichkeit zu ihrer Verbreitung und Aufführung gegeben, welche bisher – abgesehen von allem andern – schon daran scheiterte, daß Mahler nur zwei Exemplare (Original und Kopie) besaß, die er nicht zugleich aus den Händen zugeben wagte. Nachdem er jahrelang die größten Anstrengungen gemacht, dies zu erreichen, und dabei immer nur bittere Erfahrungen und Enttäuschungen erlebt hatte, ging ihm nun sein Wunsch fast ohne sein Zutun in Erfüllung.

„So ist es ja immer", sagte Mahler; „wer hat, dem wird gegeben, und dem Armen wird das Wenige, was er hat, noch genommen."

Mahler told me the happy news that, thanks to the efforts of Guido Adler, the scores of both his still unpublished symphonies (the First and the Third) as well as the piano reductions and the orchestral parts [to all three], are to be printed by Eberle in Vienna. As a result, he is at last freed from anxiety as to the storing and preservation of these works. Furthermore, there is the prospect of their becoming known and performed, where before – quite apart from anything else militating against their acceptance – Mahler possessed only two copies ([the] original and one copy) which he did not dare let out of his hands simultaneously. Having spent years in the most arduous efforts to bring this about, and having [gained] nothing but bitter experiences and disillusionments, his desire is now being realized almost without his having to raise a finger.

‘It's always like that,' said Mahler. ‘To him that hath, shall be given; and from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.'

The reference to 'Klavierauszüge' seems to relate to the piano duet arrangements of all three symphonies that were indeed issued, although they were not referred to in Adler's reference. The first editions of the arrangements of the first two symphonies carry appropriate acknowledgments, but none appears on that of the Third – presumably an oversight.

Although we know quite a lot about the terms of the subsidy, the final text of Mahler's contract with the EWZG has not been located, so it is fortunate that a working draft, which dates from late 1897/early 1898, has recently come to light. Exactly how this differed from the contract as signed on 12 August 1898, cannot be verified, but there are some clues to the latter's content.[1] One of the provisions of the draft (paragraph 9) was that Mahler granted EWZG the option of first refusal on the rights of reproduction, publication and of the marketing (publishing rights) in all musical works which he might compose in the future,[2] and this was one of the issues  that Mahler raised with his friend and lawyer Emil Freund in 1903 when Peters Editionsverlag expressed some interest in the Fifth Symphony in 1903 (GMB, 258–9; GMSL, 270):

Bitte, gib mir einen Wink, wie ich mich jetzt benehmen soll.
1. Um für mich am vorteilhaftesten zu wirken.
2. Um nicht gegen meine Verpflichtungen gegen Stritzko zu handeln.
N. B. – Ich möchte mindestens 10.000 fl. für mein Werk" bekommen. – Soll ich nicht zuerst an Stritzko mit der Frage herantreten, ob er mir diese Summe zugestehen will – eventuell, indem ich durchblicken lasse, daß ich sonst den Antrag einer anderen Firma akzeptieren möchte?

Please give me a tip how to tackle this.
1. To do as well as possible for myself.
2. To avoid acting contrary to my obligations towards Stritzko.
N.B. I should like at least 10,000 florins for my work. – Would it not be best for me to approach Stritzko first, asking whether he will pay me that amount – perhaps letting him understand that otherwise I should like to accept some other publisher's offer?

The situation was resolved amicably, as Mahler was able to report to Bruno Walter (GMB, 276–7; GMSL, 270–1):

Es trifft sich aufs beste, daß ich eben mich mit meinem bisherigen Verleger gütlich auseinandergesetzt habe, so daß ich von nun an über meine Werke frei verfügen kann! Ich bin daher gerne bereit, mit Peters zu negoziieren, wenn er sehr anständige Bedingungen zu bieten hat.

Luckily I have just reached an amicable settlement with my previous publisher so that from now on I can now dispose my works freely! I shall therefore be happy to negotiate with P[eters] if he can offer really decent terms.

No evidence has come to light to suggest that EWZG retained an interest in the publication of music following Josef Eberle's departure, which may explain why this particular provision was waived so readily in 1903. Further insight can be gleaned from a letter written by Mahler to an unidentified publisher (almost certainly the Berlin firm of Lauterbach and Kuhn) which apparently dates from the summer of 1908, and in which he offers them the Seventh and Eighth Symphonies (AMGM, 412; AMGME3, 307–8):

Herr Fried hat mich gelegentlich seiner Anwesenheit in Toblach auf Ihren Verlag aufmerksam gemacht und ich bin gerne bereit, mit Ihnen in Verbindung zu treten. – Falls Sie nicht ein Prinzip daraus machen, ein Werk vom Autor vollständig zu erwerben, (in welchem Falle ich Sie bitten müßte mir Ihre Vorschläge zu machen) so würde ich Ihnen einen Modus vorschlagen, wie ich ihn mit dem Verlag meiner ersten vier Symphonien und Liedwerke getroffen habe. Sie drucken also die VIII. Symphonie und über-nehmen den vollständigen Verlag, und beteiligen mich an den Einnahmen dermaßen, daß ich die Hälfte derselben erhalte. Zugleich gewähren Sie mir bei Übergabe des Werkes einen angemessenen Vorschuß. Die Rechnungs-legung geschieht am Ende eines Geschäftsjahres.

Herr Fried, who is here at Toblach, has mentioned your publishing house to me and I should be very glad to enter into relations with you. Assuming that it is not your principle to acquire an author's work outright (in which case I must ask you to state your terms), I would suggest an arrangement I adopted with the publisher of my first four symphonies and my songs. According to this, you would print the Eighth Symphony and undertake its entire publication, and pay me half the receipts. At the same time you would undertake to pay me a suitable advance on receipt of the manuscript. An account to be presented at the end of the business year.

Of course Mahler is being disingenuous. Some of the early EWZG publications had been supported by financial subsidy, and Alma Mahler remembered another element in the arrangement with the company (AMGM, 412; AMGME3, 176):

Als ich im Sommer [1910] nach Toblach gekommen war, berichtete mir Mahler, dass Direktor Hertzka von der Universal Edition da gewesen sei; er habe die ersten Symphonien Mahlers aus dem Verlag Waldheim & Eberle übernommen und diese vier Symphonien, die mit der Gestehungssumme von 50.000 Kronen (10.000 Dollar) gebucht waren, seien nun fast aktiv gewesen, es fehlte nur noch die Summe von 2500 Kronen.

When I returned to Toblach that summer [1910] Mahler told me that Hertzka of Universal Edition had been to see him. He had taken over Mahler's first four symphonies from Waldheim & Eberle. The terms of publication were that the symphonies were to earn 50,000 crowns (10,000 dollars) before yielding Mahler any royalty. They were now within 2,500 crowns of doing so, and Mahler was therefore just about to profit from them.

If Alma's memory was correct, Jos. Eberle & Co. had estimated the production costs costs (not specified in the draft contract) for the four Symphonies (but possibly also the Wunderhornlieder  and Das klagende Lied as well, as these were also Waldheim-Eberle publications taken over by Universal Edition in 1910), at 25,000 Fl., compared with the 12,000 Fl. Adler had quoted for the production costs of the First and Third Symphonies and the parts for the Second. This provision is broadly similar to one in Bruckner's contract with Eberle & Co., though the subsidy that was forthcoming for Mahler was well below the subventions of up to 50% of the costs of Bruckner's Symphonies that were envisaged. In one sense Mahler had a better deal, in that he was nevertheless entitled to the same percentage of any profits as Bruckner, but on the other hand the draft makes no reference to an annual retainer comparable to that due to Bruckner. In both contracts there  was also a provision for a regular statement of accounts to be submitted to the composer, though curiously both Mahler and EWZG/Waldheim-Eberle seem to have forgotten about this at different times (see below).

 

Erste Wiener Zeitungs-Gesellschaft and Mahler – the publication series

The details of the contract with EWZG were not yet finalised when, in mid-January 1898, Mahler wrote to his Hamburg friend and patron Hermann Behn: it was Behn, and the Hamburg businessman  Wilhelm Berkhan who had paid for the publication of the full score of the Second Symphony in 1897, so reporting the news about the grant from Prague that would subsidize the publication of the parts of the work was of considerable import. Mahler commented (HLG1, 466; the otherwise unpublished letter is at F-Pbgm):

The firm of Eberle only engraves; they are printers in the style of Röder, with plenty of capital (a corporation) and were created to promote Austrian works; they also secure the most suitable publisher: my work will probably go to Doblinger. Advertising and distribution will be on a large scale.

Apparently Stritzko's first thought was to issue the work on commission through Doblinger, but for some reason that firm's involvement in the publication of Mahler was postponed until the Fourth Symphony (1902), after – and it is not clear whether this is significant – the publication of the last major work in their Bruckner portfolio (the Sixth Symphony: see above). Perhaps in 1897 the firm concluded that for the moment it had enough large-scale symphonic works in its publishing schedule. On the other hand, another Viennese publisher of some importance, Josef Weinberger, had accepted  Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen for publication (the cycle finally appeared in December 1897), so two or three symphonies by the same composer would not have looked out of place in the firm's catalogue. The availability of the scores, performing material and arrangements of the first two symphonies was announced by Weinberger in a publicity flyer of November 1898 and the EWZG Mahler series began to take shape. This eventually included all of the works by the composer published between 1899 and 1903, all bearing plate numbers in a single sequence: that the sequence was one devoted entirely to Mahler is revealed  by the form in which the plate number is given on p. [2] of the first edition of the full score of the Fourth Symphony: G.M. 31.

Title

Format

Pl. no.

Date

Publisher

French/Vienna Office Address

Symphony No.1

PF1

1

1899

Weinberger

Boulevard Haussmann

Symphony No.2

PF2

1

1899

Weinberger

Boulevard Haussmann

Symphony No.2

PV2

4

1899

Weinberger

Boulevard Haussmann

Symphony No.2

PO2

4

1899

Weinberger

N/A

Symphony No.2

PCh2

4

1899?

Weinberger

N/A

Symphony No.2

PTp41

5

1899

Weinberger

Boulevard Haussmann

Symphony No.1

PO1

7

1899

Weinberger

N/A

Symphony No.1

PTp41

8

1899

Weinberger

Boulevard Haussmann

Symphony No.3

PF1

9

1899

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

Symphony No.3

PO1

10

1899?

Weinberger

N/A

Symphony No.3

PTp41

11

1902

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Maximilienstrasse

DKW 1–12 (3 vols)

PV

12a–c

1900

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 1

PF/PO

13/13a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 2

PF/PO

14/14a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 3

PF/PO

15/15a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 4

PF/PO

16/16a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 5

PF/PO

17/17a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 6

PF/PO

18/18a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 7

PF/PO

19/19a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 8

PF/PO

20/20a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 9

PF/PO

21/21a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No. 10

PF/PO

22/22a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

DKW No  12

PF/PO

24/24a

1900?

Weinberger

rue d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

Das klagende Lied

PV1

25

1899?

Weinberger Boulevard Haussmann

Das klagende Lied

PF1

26

1899?

Weinberger

Boulevard Haussmann

Das klagende Lied

PO

28

1899?

Weinberger

N/A

Das klagende Lied

Pch

?29

?

Weinberger

N/A

Symphony No. 3

PV1

27

1902

Weinberger

d'Anjon/Kohlmarkt

Symphony No. 3

PCh1 (parts)

30

1902?

Weinberger

N/A

Symphony No. 4

PF1

31

1902

Doblinger

 

Symphony No. 4 PT4p1 33 1902 Doblinger  

Symphony No. 4

PV1

34

1902

Doblinger

 

Symphony No. 3

PCh1

(particell)

35

1902?

Weinberger N/A
           
Table 1

Address information for Weinberger's Vienna and Paris offices given on title pages and wrappers cannot be used as a guide to publication dates. There seems good evidence that the Vienna office moved from Kohlmarkt 8 to Maximillianstrasse 11 between 20 September 1899 and 27 January 1900 at the latest (see HYJW, p. 11, and facing page), but the older address appears on several publications that appeared in 1902–3. Although HYJW reports that when it opened in 1896 the Paris office was at rue d'Anjou, the evidence of the Mahler publications suggests it was actually at 40 Boulevard Hausmann until early in the 20th century.

There are some anomalies early in the sequence of numbers, at least in part the result of the fact that it was incorporating the three printed formats of the Second that had been published by Friedrich Hofmeister on commission in 1895–7 (Table 2). 

Symphony No.2

PF1

1

1897

Symphony No.2

PT2p41

3

1895

Symphony No.2

PV1

4

1895

       

Table 2

Hofmeister seems not to have issued any material for the work with a plate number ‘2’, though this may have been notionally assigned to the parts. It would appear that Eberle decided to simply retain the original plate numbers for new printings of the other Hofmeister items, though a Titelauflage or new edition of the arrangement for two pianos was never issued – presumably because sales had not been large enough.

Otherwise, Eberle/EWZG assigned plate numbers for the publications associated with each symphony in a relatively systematic way, score, parts and arrangements in that order: the arrangement Hofmeister had probably planned  for the Second Symphony. It is therefore particularly curious that Eberle did not use the vacant ‘2’ for the orchestral and choral parts, but instead used the ‘4’ already assigned to the vocal score of Urlicht (though there is a logic in this: all three publications could be conceived as ‘performance material’ for the Symphony). EWZG also commissioned and published an arrangement of the Second Symphony for piano duet and, logically, assigned it the next number in the sequence, '5'.

The parts and duet arrangement of the First Symphony carry the numbers '7' and '8' respectively, but inexplicably the number ‘1’ was used on the plates for the full score – so there were now two Mahler publications with this number in the Weinberger catalogue. The error was eventually corrected in 1906 when Universal Edition was licensed to issue study scores of the first four symphonies: all were photo-lithographically reduced from revised states of the full score plates. Symphonies 2, 3 and 4  retained the plate numbers of the full scores; for the study score of the First Symphony the 'correct' plate number ‘6’ was adopted. It may be that a simple error also accounts for the final anomaly: it would seem that the plate number for the parts for the Fourth Symphony should have been '32', but they were actually assigned a number in the Doblinger sequence (D. 2720).

All this publishing activity left relatively few traces in Mahler's surviving correspondence, but at some stage he replied to J.V. von Wöss in connection with the score of the Second Symphony (unpublished letter; see GMS2Fac, 93):

Esteemed Herr Woess,

You are right: Page 49 of the score, the last bar, horns 1 through 6 must be D and not D-flat. Further, on page 51, horns 1 through 6, must be written as E-flat ohne Dämpfer, and stay that way until the end! Further, on page 107, bars 3 and 4, the 2nd, 4th and 6th horns must be marked open, same on page 109 for the 1st and 3rd horn. Similarly on pages 125–127, the last 3 bars are open....

...The strengthening of the trumpets on page 203 remains to the end. On this occasion I note that in the score the B-flat trumpet in the 7th bar has a B-natural instead of a B-flat...

The published summary of the letter quoted above is dated '1897' but it's not clear what the status of this date is. Von Wöss was a proof-reader in the music department of Jos. Eberle & Co / Waldheim Eberle from 1889 until 1907 (he joined Universal Edition in 1908) and might well have been involved in both the preparation of the second edition of the full score and the first edition of the parts, but not until somewhat later than 1897 – i.e. after the award of the subsidy had set the project in motion in 1898. In the event none of the errors that Mahler discusses were corrected in PF2, but they were in PS1, which suggests that the correspondence may date from late 1905-early 1906.

Apart from von Wöss, for whom Mahler had considerable professional respect, his only other significant personal contact at EWZG was with Stritzko himself, and in his first letter to his sister Justine after his marriage – while on his honeymoon/concert tour in St Petersburg in March 1902 – Mahler requested that she send both of them copies of the announcement of his marriage to Alma Schindler (GMLJ, 503; GMLJE, 369); and Stritzko was a close enough acquaintance to meet Mahler for a New Year's Day chat in 1900 (see above).

In 1903 Mahler realised that one of the provisions of the contract with Eberle was not being honoured, as he explained in letter to Alma of 2 September (GMBaA, 164–5; GMBaAE, 131):

Beiliegend wieder die Abrechnung von Schott über meine Lieder. Eine ganz gleiche werde ich von nun an auch von Stritzko verlangen.

I enclose the royalty statement for my Lieder from Schott. From now on I shall request exactly the same of Stritzko.

Seven years later, after Stritzko's death, the problem persisted and Mahler wrote to his lawyer, Emil Freund, on 3 February 1910 with a request that he contact the firm - by now Waldheim-Eberle - to resolve the matter (GMB, 451; GMSL, 351):

Bitte ... poche einmal energisch bei der Zeitungsgesellschaft an, die seit Jahren nicht mehr die kontraktliche Verpflichtung erfüllt, mir eine Abrechnung zu schicken.

Please ... give the newspaper company a sharp prod, since it has for years been neglecting to fulfil its contractual obligation to send me a statement....

In fact the issue was about to be made redundant by the transfer of all of Waldheim-Eberle's rights in Mahler's works to Universal Edition

 

Waldheim-Eberle and Universal Edition

EWZG had been one of the Viennese publishers involved in the creation of UE in 1901, and was the main printer used by the new company; then in 1906 Waldheim-Eberle licensed Universal Edition to distribute study scores of the first four Mahler symphonies (a format Weinberger and Doblinger had not employed for these works) and the piano duet arrangements (which those firms had printed under their own imprints – see the Weinberger and Universal Edition pages for further details of these transactions). At this stage the works were still part of the Waldheim-Eberle portfolio, and when reprinted by UE in the period 1906–10 the various publications mostly retained their original plate numbers (see above). This first phase was apparently to be followed in 1908 by a second phase of licence transfers relating to Mahler's music.  The UE Verlagsbuch reveals that a block of four UE Edition numbers were assigned in that year:

Ed. No. Work Format Date of order

Date of receipt

No. of copies

1690

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Voice & Piano

1908.10.30

1908.11.27

200

1691

Des Knaben Wunderhorn, vol. 1

Voice & Piano

1910.03.14

1910.03.18

100

1692

Des Knaben Wunderhorn, vol. 2

Voice & Piano

1910.03.14

1910.03.18

100

1694

Das klagende Lied

Vocal score

1910.02.08

1910.02.30

30

 

Table 3

 

The immediately adjacent items in the Edition number sequence on either side of this block are in a fairly consistent chronological order (the next two items were first ordered in September 1908), so it appears that after the edition numbers were assigned to the Mahler publications there were delays or postponements in the ordering of all four. Of these the first, and least delayed, was the song cycle owned by Weinberger; the other three items were works owned by Waldheim-Eberle but published on commission by Weinberger, and the first UE printings were not ordered for two years. Why the delay? At present no obvious explanation presents itself, but it might be wondered whether it was in any way connected with Josef Stritzko's departure from Waldheim-Eberle (and subsequent death) early in 1908. It might also be tempting to link their eventual publication in 1910 with the wholesale acquisition of Waldheim-Eberle's Mahler rights by UE in that year, but Mahler did not agree to the transfer until August 1910 and it is striking that all the other works transferred to UE made their first appearance in the Verlagsbuch in November 1910. There is one other piece of evidence for planning at about this time for a new Mahler issue, though not one reflected in the UE Verlagsbuch. A set of proofs of the Second Symphony (APPr) were run off, probably in May 1908, and revised by Mahler. Again nothing immediately resulted from this activity and it was not until 1913 that a second edition of the full score was published.

Clearly the 1908 Verlagsbuch entries and the Second Symphony proofs are mere traces of more complex commercial strategies and decisions which will only be elucidated if further documents come to light. Equally obscure are the motivations behind Waldheim-Eberle's decision in 1910 to transfer the rights the company held in Bruckner and Mahler to Universal Edition at a moment when – it turns out – the Mahler publications were about to come into profit. However, their acquisition by UE was entirely in line with the catalogue development policy of the managing director of that company, Emil Hertzka, so perhaps he made Waldheim-Eberle a financial offer the latter simply felt unable to refuse, especially since Stritzko's departure had probably severed any high-level interest in music publishing. Whatever the reasons, Waldheim-Eberle's direct interest in Mahler's music ceased, although the firm remained Universal Edition's printer until 1960 (when UE acquired a different printing company), and its engraving of many of Mahler's scores and parts remains the graphic basis for the majority of subsequent impressions of the works it had owned.

After 1938 Waldheim-Eberle was aryanised, but survived the war and continued in existence until 9 June 1974; the history of its post-war ownership is usefully outlined by Ursula Schwarz in her thesis Das Wiener Verlagswesen der Nachkriegszeit (Vienna, 2003).

 

Facsimile of an advert for Jos. Eberle & Co. c. 1906, showing a strongly modernist design.

Fig. 5

Advert: 1906

Facsimile of an advert for Waldheim-Eberle, c. 1907 showing a strongly modernist design.

Fig. 6

Advert: 1907

Facsimile of an advert for Waldheim-Eberle, c. 1910, reflecting no modernist influence

Fig. 7

Advert: 1910

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