Max Eschig

The Éditions Max Eschig was founded in 1907 in Paris by Max Eschig of Czech origin. Eschig began to introduce several foreign publishers to France, mainly from Central Europe. At first his publishing activity involved the distribution of French language versions of Viennese operettas such as Lehár's Die lustige Witwe.

Max Eschig's own catalogue was entirely devoted to twentieth century music, and was enriched with the acquisition of the catalogues of Demets and La Sirène Musicale, as well as, more recently, by a merger with the Amphion catalogue (Dutilleux's First Symphony, Boulez's Sonatine for flute and piano, and his Piano Sonata no. 1, together with works by Amy, Constant, Ohana, Manoury).

The range of the Max Eschig catalogue is very broad and includes much French music: Satie (Socrate, La Belle Excentrique), Koechlin (The Jungle Book, Les Heures persanes, Le Docteur Fabricius), Tournemire (the Eight Symphonies), Ravel's first works (Pavane pour une infante défunte, Jeux d'eau, Miroirs), Milhaud (Le Bouf sur le Toit , La Création du Monde), as well as many works by Honegger, Poulenc, Sauguet and others.

Spanish and Latin American music form another important category within the Eschig catalogue. Manuel de Falla was the first major composer directly to join the company, with his opera La Vida Breve and the concertante work Noches en los Jardines de España for piano and orchestra. Other Spanish composers published by Eschig include Albéniz, Nin, Turina, Mompou and Ernesto Halffter.

In 1924, a young Brazilian composer contacted Max Eschig. His name was Heitor Villa-Lobos, an adventurous man brim full of originality and imagination who wished to give Brazil its own serious music through the combination of characteristic features of its popular music with the technical achievements of the European tradition. Max Eschig is the principal publisher of this extraordinary composer, famous in particular for his guitar works (all published by Eschig), but whose prolific output of chamber and symphonic works includes the highly original series of twelve Brazilian Choros, the opulent Amazonian tone-poems Amazonas, Erosão and Genesis and the last three Bachianas Brasileiras (7, 8, 9), all of which are to be found in the Eschig catalogue. This was the start of the integration into the catalogue of many Latin-American composers, from Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile and Cuba (including the well known guitarist and composer Leo Brouwer). From the late twenties the guitar became an instrument particularly well represented in the catalogue with Emilio Pujol's 'Bibliothèque d'oeuvres anciennes et modernes'.

The third direction of the Eschig catalogue comprises the music of Central and Eastern Europe, as befitted the origins of the company's founder. Eschig has published Polish composers such as Szymanowski (notably his last works: the ballet Harnasie, the Second Violin Concerto, Symphonie Concertante) and most of Alexandre Tansman's works (Sabbatai Zevi, Stèle in memoriam Igor Stravinsky), as well as works by the Romanian Marcel Mihalovici, the Czech Bohuslav Martinú (including his Oboe Concerto), the Russian Alexandre Tcherepnine, and the Hungarian Tibor Harsányi.

This international profile of the catalogue was recently reinforced with the introduction in the 1990s of new composers such as the Catalan Joan Guinjoan (Trama, First Piano Concerto), the Korean Sukhi Kang (Piano Concerto, Cantata Peace on the Brilliant Green Earth), the Argentinian Martin Matalon (Metropolis, Las Siete vidas de un gato, the series of Trame), the American Joshua Fineberg (Origins, Empreintes), the Englishman Adrian Williams (Dies Irae, String Quartet nr. 2), the Polish Piotr Moss (Fresque, Le Cirque de Giuseppe), and the Lebanese Bechara El-Khoury (Méditation poétique for violin and orchestra, Requiem).

The Max Eschig catalogue reflects a state of mind, that of someone who keeps his ears open to the music of the world.