Composers / Fryderyk Chopin / Places catalog

Antoni Brzezina’s bookshop

Antoni Brzezina was a well-known Warsaw publisher in the 1820s and 1830s, who also owned a music shop, a lithography workshop and a printing press. Little is known about when and where he has born, or his family life, except that sometime prior to 1823, he married the daughter of a Lwów [now Lviv, Ukraine] bookseller named Bogusław Pffaf, and that he died in that city in June 1831. He is, however, a person of significance to anyone wanting to follow the trail of the young Fryderyk Chopin.

After advertising the publication of his first music print in 1822, Brzezina expanded his operations considerably over the next few years. The wide range of publications he had on offer attracted a large clientele, including a teenage Chopin, who reported to Tytus Woyciechowski in 1829: ‘I go to Brzezina’s each day’. References to the bookshop actually appear in Chopin’s letters even earlier, as in 1824, when the homesick youngster wrote home from where he was holidaying in Szafarnia: ‘We await Papa with the greatest impatience, and I ask Papa that he be so kind as to buy Air Moore variete [varié] pour le piano forté [forte] à quatres mains par Ries at Brzezina’s and bring it with him, because I want to play it with Mrs Dziewanowska’.

From 1822, Brzezina’s music shop was located at what is now ul. Miodowa 8. It is highly likely that the proximity of the café in Tepper Palace had something to do with the frequent visits that young people made to the bookseller, as no doubt did some of the publications available there, which had alluring titles like ‘Courier for the Fair Sex or Journal Dedicated to Literature, the Arts, Innovation and Trends’, ‘Lute’, the annual ‘Wanda’, and ‘Musical Weekly for Pianoforte’.

Chopin published his Rondo in C minor, Op. 1 (1825) and Rondo à la Mazur, Op. 5 (1828) through Brzezina, who, thanks to his many contacts with publishers outside the country, also appears in the young composer’s letters in the context of his Variations, Op. 2 (1827) finally being published in Vienna by Haslinger: ‘I don’t have anything at hand to send you from my pieces of nonsense, because it isn’t even worth it’, Chopin explains to Tytus Woyciechowski in a letter from 1830. ‘As far as the 3rd concert is concerned, which they await here all the more, I won’t give it until shortly before my departure, and I would play the new Concerto; that new one that is not yet finished; I would play the Polish Fantasy, which they are demanding, and the Variations dedicated to you, for which I am only waiting, since the fair in Leipzig has already begun, so Brzezina will also receive a delivery’.

Piotr Mysłakowski notes that Brzezina entered into an agreement with an employee, Gustaw Sennewald, under the terms of which the company name was changed to ‘Brzezina i Komp’ [Brzezina & co.]. Not long afterwards, one of Chopin’s letters (again to Tytus Woyciechowski) mentions a failed business venture of Sennewald (who eventually took over the lithography workshop and printing press after Brzezina’s death, in July 1831). ‘Sennewald, a friend of Brzezina’s, asked me for my portrait, but I couldn’t permit him this, because it would have been too much at one time, and I have no desire that they wrap butter up in me, as happened with Lelewel’s portrait’, Chopin wrote after giving a concert at the National Theatre.

Place Category
Antonin Manors / Palaces / Castles
Antoni Brzezina’s bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Apartment of Dominik Magnuszewski Flats
Apartment of Stefan Witwicki Flats
Apartment of the family of Alfons Brandt Flats
Augsburg Evangelical Church of the Holy Trinity Churches / Places of worship
Belvedere Appearances
Bielany, Camaldolese monastery Churches / Places of worship
Blue Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
‘Botanika’ Other
Brochów Churches / Places of worship
Brühl Palace Appearances
Buchholtz’s instrument store Other
Casimir Palace Flats
Chopin Monument in Łazienki Park Other
Czapski (Krasiński) Palace Appearances, Manors / Palaces / Castles
Dal Trozzo bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Duszniki Zdrój Hotels / Inns
Dziewanowski home Flats
Engraving studio of Fr Izydor Józef Cybulski and Antoni Płachecki Education
Franciszek Klukowski bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Fryderyk Chopin Museum Other
Fryderyk Skarbek’s apartment Flats
Gdańsk Hotels / Inns
Gładkowskis' apartment Flats
Golub Other
Holy Cross Church Churches / Places of worship
Home of Jan Matuszyński Flats
‘Honoratka’ Coffeehouses
Jabłonowski Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Jan Böhm’s townhouse Flats
Kalisz Other
Kikół Manors / Palaces / Castles
Kolbergs' apartment Flats
Kowalewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Kozłowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Krakow Other
Ludwik Dmuszewski’s house Flats
Magnus's bookshop Publishers / Bookshops
Marceli Celiński’s apartment Flats
Maurycy Mochnacki’s home Flats
Miss Kicka's Salon in Lubomirski Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
National Theatre Appearances
Obory Churches / Places of worship
Obrowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Ojców Other
‘Old’ Merchants' Hall Appearances
Patisserie Lourse Coffeehouses
Pieskowa Skała Other
Płock Other
‘Pod Kopciuszkiem’ and ‘Dziurka’ Coffeehouses
Poturzyn Manors / Palaces / Castles
Powązki Cemeteries
Poznań Other
Presbytery of St Jadwiga (Hedwig) parish church in Milanówek Other
Pruszak Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Residence of Józef Reinschmidt’s parents Flats
Rościszewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Sanniki Manors / Palaces / Castles
Saxon Palace Flats
Saxon Post Office Other
Skating rink Other
Sochaczew Other
Sokołowo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Staszic Palace Manors / Palaces / Castles
Strzyżew Manors / Palaces / Castles
Szafarnia Manors / Palaces / Castles
Toruń Other
Turzno Manors / Palaces / Castles
Ugoszcz Manors / Palaces / Castles
‘U Brzezińskiej’ Coffeehouses
Viceroy's Palace Appearances
Vilnius (Wileński) Hotel Hotels / Inns
Visitandine Church of St Joseph Churches / Places of worship
Waplewo Manors / Palaces / Castles
Warsaw Other
Warsaw Charitable Society Appearances
Warsaw Conservatory Appearances
‘Wiejska Kawa’ Coffeehouses
Wieliczka Other
Wojciech Żywny’s apartment Flats
Wola Tollhouse Other
Wrocław Appearances
Żelazowa Wola Flats
Żychlin Manors / Palaces / Castles