Maurice Schlesinger

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Maurice Schlesinger (born October 30, 1798 in Berlin , † February 25, 1871 in Baden-Baden ; actually Moritz Adolph Schlesinger ) was a German music publisher .


Maurice Schlesinger was born as Mora Abraham. He worked in Adolf Martin Schlesinger 's father's company and visited Ludwig van Beethoven in 1819 on behalf of his father. In 1821 he went on a business trip to Paris, stayed there and called himself Maurice from then on. He opened his own music shop with a publisher and dedicated himself to introducing German composers to France. With his father he published the last three piano sonatas by Beethoven and others at the same time in order to obtain mutual protection from publishers in both countries. His first publications include piano reductions for the operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart . He also introduced the works of Carl Maria von Weber and Johann Nepomuk Hummel to France.

The concert piece Hexaméron , published by Maurice Schlesinger for a charitable purpose, testifies to the Parisian collaboration between German piano virtuosos and those trained in German art . These Grandes Variations de bravoura sur la “ Marche de Puritains ” de Bellini were composed and performed jointly by six of the most important pianists, namely Franz Liszt , Sigismund Thalberg , Johann Peter Pixis , Henri Herz , Carl Czerny and Frédéric Chopin . All of these virtuosos were not born in Paris, but worked from there.

In 1826 Schlesinger's music shop at 97 rue Richelieu burned down completely. Not only were numerous manuscripts by publishers lost, but also the valuable letters from Ludwig van Beethoven. In 1835 Maurice Schlesinger secured the publishing rights to Jacques Fromental Halévy's opera La Juive (The Jewess) and later to Der Blitz . He had Richard Wagner do the piano reduction for Reine de Chypre six years later . The opera was a great success. Halévy couldn't understand why Reine de Chypre of all people liked the audience after his last operas had failed . He attributed this success to the skill of his publisher.

Maurice Schlesinger employed the young Richard Wagner on the mediation of Giacomo Meyerbeer between 1840 and 1841 with copying out piano reductions. These were lucrative jobs, but the master's unworthy of jobs. Richard Wagner wrote: "He (Meyerbeer) introduced me in this sense to his publisher Maurice Schlesinger, left me to the fate of this monstrous acquaintance and left for Germany." Although Schlesinger saved the composer from complete financial collapse, he showed for it own compositions no interest: "Maurice Schlesinger's clever Parisian musical factotum, of having kept the greatest German opera composer afloat for two years with his coveted musical and literary wage labor, is not diminished by the misunderstanding of Wagner's values."

Maurice Schlesinger began with the magazine Revue et Gazette musicale , which served the interests of German music, to influence the musical life of France in unexpected ways. In the choice of his means he was not questionable and was considered a feared trader when people were at war with him. Heinrich Heine criticized the unworthy behavior of artists and composers towards the all-powerful music publisher Maurice Schlesinger: “I could see with my own eyes how those famous people lay submissively at his feet and crawled and waved in front of him to be praised in his journals . "

Maurice Schlesinger married Élisa Foucault in 1840 after living together for eight years and converted to Christianity for her. In 1836 the two met the French writer Gustave Flaubert in the seaside resort of Trouville-sur-Mer . Flaubert fell in love with Elisa, eleven years his senior, and she remained his lifelong ideal. The Schlesinger couple was the godfather of the protagonists of the novel The Education of Emotions , which appeared in print in 1869.

At the height of the economic boom of his company, Maurice Schlesinger surprisingly sold his company to his “premier commis” Louis Brandus in 1846. Schlesinger retired to Vernon and later to Baden-Baden. The publisher changed hands several times and expired in 1899.


  • The music in the past and present . Kassel 1997

supporting documents

  1. ^ Richard Wagner, Mein Leben, Munich 1963
  2. Oskar von Hase, Breitkopf & Härtel memorial , Wiesbaden 1968
  3. ^ Heinrich Heine, Lutezia , published by Adamant Media Corporation, 1960