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date: 18 August 2019

Frey, Jacques-Josephlocked

  • Richard Macnutt


(b 1782; d June 9, 1838). French music publisher. He studied the violin at the Paris Conservatoire and from 1816 to 1838 played the viola in the Opéra orchestra. In August 1811 he purchased the engraved plates, manuscripts and business of Magasin de Musique (ii), establishing himself in their premises at 76 rue de Richelieu. Shortly afterwards (by November 1812) he moved to 8 place des Victoires, and in April 1838 to 22 boulevard Montmartre. On 17 November 1839 Richault announced that he had purchased ‘all the engraved plates constituting the music business of the late M. Frey’.

Frey's prime achievement was to publish orchestral scores of Mozart's seven major operas. Only two had previously appeared in France: Die Zauberflöte, published by Sieber père in a strange adaptation entitled Les mystères d'Isis, and Figaro, published by Magasin de Musique (ii); Frey engraved a correct edition of the former and reissued the latter as part of his series, which attracted more than 250 subscribers. He also reprinted 32 of Grétry's operas from the original plates, but this series had a mere 19 subscribers. He published full scores of operas by Rodolphe Kreutzer, Le Sueur and Méhul as well as instrumental and vocal music and a number of instrumental methods; the latter included two of his own authorship, for violin and for tambour de basque. All his publications were engraved....

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A. Devriès and F. Lesure: Dictionnaire des éditeurs de musique français
C. Hopkinson: A Dictionary of Parisian Music Publishers 1700-1950