Dvořák – Trio op. 65


Fully titled Piano trio no. 3 in F minor op. 65 (B 130), this composition was written in 1883, in a dramatic and aggressive style period in Dvořák’s life. I do not want to write about the adventures of Dvořák today. Let’s focus on something completely different.

Dvořák published this work through the German publisher Simrock. A curious name, that’s for sure. It sounds more like the bad guy in a superhero flick than a music publisher. Nikolaus Simrock started the company in Bonn 1793. He actually was a Waldhorn player dabbling in the publishing trade. The story goes however, that he was a publisher with love for his clientele. Works that were probably not going to be popular still found a place in his catalogue, and sometimes when a title sold better than anticipated in the contract, he paid out the extra income to the composer as a bonus.

It made him a lot of friends, and his name pops up all over the place. The company was close with Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and even the ancient Mozart was a customer. Of course it was not only founder Nikolaus, but also his son and grandson handling the business over the years. In 1929 the company was sold to Anton J Benjamin from Leipzig and now it found its way into the hands of the biggest music publisher in the world, the British company Boosey & Hawkes. Part of the catalogue, with many first editions, is now in the Saxon State Archive in Leipzig.

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