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Leipzig and Berlin publishing house of music books and periodicals.

Max Hesses Verlag was founded in Leipzig in 1880 by Friedrich August Max Hesse (1858‒1907) initially for a range of works on literature, pedagogy, etc., but quickly focused on books and periodicals about music. In the press's first decade, Hugo Riemann became an adviser, entrusting publication of the third edition of his Musiklexikon to the house in 1887. With the launch of his pedagogical series of Illustrierte Katechismen, Hesse became the chief vehicle for Riemann's practical music primers and analyses between 1888 and 1902, continuing to publish them in expanded form as the series Illustrierte Handbücher up to and beyond Riemann's death in 1919. Hesse also published Riemann's Geschichte der Musiktheorie im IX. bis XIX. Jahrhundert in 1898, the Riemann-Festschrift in 1909, and Riemann's three-volume analyses of Beethoven piano sonatas (1917‒19). In 1915 the publishing house moved to Berlin. Wilhelm Altmann and Alfred Einstein became its advisers, and Einstein became the editor of the Musiklexikon.

Max Hesses Verlag also published the first editions of Ernst Kurth's Bruckner (1925) and Musikpsychologie (1931), and seem to have taken over his Grundlagen des linearen Kontrapunkt (1917) and Romantische Harmonik (1920) from M. Drechsel/P. Haupt in the 1920s. They also published the periodical Die Musik from its launching in 1901/02.

In 1883, with O. A. Becker, Hesse also founded a second publishing house, Hesse & Becker for publication of works about art.

After Max Hesse's death in 1907, its proprietor was Hesse's sole heir, the pianist Ella Pancera, and from 1911 Johann Krill became joint proprietor, taking over as sole proprietor from 1927 until his death in 1946. The firm has continued into the 21st century.

Max Hesses Verlag and Schenker

There is no known contact between Schenker and the publishing house, except for the pro-forma invitation of 1913 from Riemann to contribute autobiographical information for the entry on Schenker in the Musiklexikon (OJ 13/23, [1]) and Schenker's response (BerkAE, [1]), and a form letter from Einstein on the revision of that entry for the tenth edition of 1922 (OJ 10/17, [1]).


  • MGG "Hesse, Friedrich August Max"


  • Ian Bent

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