MUSIC FOR VIOLA DA GAMBA FROM EDITION GUNTERSBERG.
George Friedrich Handel. Concerto a Cembalo Solo con Viola di Gambe o Braccio C-Dur. Herausgegeben von = Edited by Gunter von Zadow. Heidelberg: Edition Guntersberg, 2010. [Pref. in Ger., Eng., p. 2-3, 16; score, p. 4-15, and 2 parts, 4 p. ea. ISMN M-50174-189-2; pub. no. G189. [euro]13.50.]
Jean-Philippe Rameau / Ludwig Christian Hesse. Les Surprises de l'amour. Ballettoper in vier Akten; Zeitgenossische Transkription fur zwei Violen da Gamba [unci Cembalo] = Contemporary transcription for two violas da gamba [and harpsichord] by Ludwig Christian Hesse (1716-1772). Herausgegeben von = Edited by Jonathan Dunford; Cembalostimme von = Harpsichord part by Dankwart von Zadow. Heidelberg: Edition Guntersberg, 2010. Akt I: L'Enlevement d'Adonis. [Introd. and editorial notes in Ger., Eng., p. 2-5; libretto in Fre., Ger., Eng., p. 3; facsimile, P. 5; editorial note about harpsichord realization in Ger., Eng., P. 2-3 of harpsichord part; score, p. 6-23, and 2 parts, 19 and 27 p. ISMN M-50174-168-7; pub. no. G168. [euro]19.80.]
Jean-Philippe Rameau / Ludwig Christian Hesse. Les Surprises de l'amour. Ballettoper in vier Akten; Zeitgenossische Transkription fur zwei Violen da Gamba [und Cembalo] = Contemporary transcription for two violas da gamba [and harpsichord] by Ludwig Christian Hesse (1716-1772). Erstausgabe herausgegeben von = First edition edited by Jonathan Dunford; Cembalostimme von = Harpsichord part by Dankwart von Zadow. Heidelberg: Edition Guntersberg, 2010. Akt II: La Lyre enchantee. [Introd. and editorial notes in Ger., Eng., p. 2-5; libretto in Fre., Ger., Eng., p. 6; facsimile, p. 5; editorial note about harpsichord realization in Ger., Eng., p. 2-3 of harpsichord part; score, p. 7-27, and 2 parts, 21 and 32 p. ISMN M-50174469-4; pub. no. G169. [euro]19.80.]
Jean-Philippe Rameau / Ludwig Christi= Hesse. Les Surprises de l'amour. Ballettoper in vier Akten; Zeitgenossische Transkription fur zwei Violen da Gamba [und Cembalo] = Contemporary transcription for two violas da gamba [and harpsichord] by Ludwig Christian Hesse (1716-1772). Erstausgabe herausgegeben von = First edition edited by Jonathan Dunford; Cembalostimme von = Harpsichord part by Dankwart von Zadow. Heidelberg: Edition Gantersberg, 2010. Akt III: Anacreon. [Introd. and editorial notes in Ger., Eng., p. ii--v; facsimile, p. v; libretto in Fre., Ger., Eng., p. 20; editorial note about harpsichord realization in Ger.. Eng., p. 2-3 of harpsichord part; score, p. 2-19, and 2 parts, 19 and 28 p. ISMN M-50174-170-0; pub. no. G170. [euro]19.80.]
Jean-Philippe Rameau / Ludwig Christian Hesse. Les Surprises de l'amour. Ballettoper in vier Akten; Zeitgenossische Transkription fur zwei Violen da Gamba Lund Cembalo] = Contemporary transcription for two violas da gamba [and harpsichord] by Ludwig Christian Hesse (1716-1772). Erstausgabe herausgegeben von = First edition edited by Jonathan Dunford; Cembalostimme von = Harpsichord part by Dankwart von Zadow. Heidelberg: Edition Guntersberg, 2010. Akt IV: Les Sibarites. [Introd. and editorial notes in Ger., Eng., p. 2-5; facsimile, p. v; libretto in Fre., Ger., Eng., p. 24; editorial note about harpsichord realization in Ger., Eng., p. 2-3 of harpsichord part; score, p. 2-23, and 2 parts, 23 and 32 p. ISMN M-50174-17]-7; pub. no. G171. [euro]19.80.]
Johann Christian Bach. Vier Sonaten fur Cembalo / Pianoforte unci Viola da Gambia = Four Sonatas for Harpsichord / Pianoforte and Viola da Gamba. Sonata I: Sonata di Cembalo e Viola da Gambo obligata, B-Dur, NATarb B 2b. Sonata II: Sonata Cembalo, Viola da Gamba, G-Dur, Warb B 4b. Erstausgabe herausgegeben von = First edition edited by Thomas Fritzsch and Gunter von Zadow. Heidelberg: Edition (Winters-berg, 2012. [Introd. and editorial notes in Ger., Eng., p. 2-9; score, P. 10-26, and 2 parts, 4 p. ea. ISMN 979-0-50174-226-4; pub. no. G226. [euro]17.50.]
Johann Christian Bach. Vier Sonaten fur Cembalo / Pianoforte unci Viola da Gamba = Four Sonatas for Harpsichord / Pianoforte and Viola da Gamba. Sonata III: Sonata a Piano Forte e Viola da Gamba, F-Dur, Warb B 6b. Sonata IV: Sonata a Piano Forte [e Viola da Gamba], F-Dur, Wan) B 15b. Erstausgabe herausgegeben von = First edition edited by Thomas Fritzsch and Gunter von Zadow. Heidelberg: Edition Guntersberg, 2012. [Introd. and editorial notes in Ger., Eng., p. 2-9; score, p. 10-27, and 2 parts, 4 p. ea. ISMN 979-0-50174-227-1; pub. no. G227. [euro]17.50.1
This selection of viola da gamba publications from Edition Guntersberg comprises several newly-discovered period works published for the first time, and several new editions of known but relatively obscure works. All of these pieces offer viol players OppOrtUnitiCS to play period examples of repertoire by composers from whom there has not historically existed much, if any, music for solo gamba. Several of these works, too, provide interesting glimpses into the realm of private music making, marking changes in home keyboard preferences as well as ways for musicians to consume popular operatic tunes at home.
The Kremsierer Gambensonate appears in a manuscript in the Hudebni Archive in the Moravian town of Kromeriz (Kremsier in German), the home of Prince-Bishop Karl II von Liechtenstein-KastelKorn (16231695), bishop of Olomouc, whose court chapel became a significant musical center in the latter half of the seventeenth century. The manuscript contains two versions: one for scordatura violin tuned a--[e.sup.l]--[a.sup.1]--[d.sup.2], and one for viola da gamba in the normal D--G--c--e--a-[d.sup.1] tuning. The sonatina, as it is labeled on the manuscript. opens with an introductory movement of contrasting free and structured sections linked by brief adagio transition points, suggestive of Frescobaldi keyboard toccatas or Biber violin sonatas, then continues through several dance movements with variations (Allemande-Variatio-Courente-Variatio-Santbande--Variatio [l.sup.ma]--Variation [2.sup.da]--Gige [l.sup.ma]--Gigue [2.sup.da]). The opening movement, with its improvisalory moments, chordal textures, and l'ast polyphonic passages, requires virtuosic playing abilities, as do the gigues, which build increasingly richer chordal passages. The other dance movements and their variations are simpler in technique and structure, but allow a skilled player to improvise and embellish upon the foundations they provide.
The Guntersberg edition of the sonata, edited by Marc Strumper and Gunter von Zadow, draws largely upon the gamba version of the manuscript, referring to the violin manuscript for comparison in instances where errors or unclear transcriptions appeared. A brief critical report in German by von Zadow lists all of these changes, which are also indicated in score by small parenthetical numbers appearing above the staves at each occurrence. The editors retained all original note values, beams, and clefs found iii the manuscript, as well as most stern directions. In some cases, they added editorial figures to the basso continuo line, borrowing from the violin part for the implied harmonies: these are indicated in brackets to clearly differentiate them from the original bass figures. The score showing the solo and continuo lines, as well as the separate parts for each, are cleanly set, easily read, and well arranged to facilitate page turns. The gamba part. for example, configures the sectional introductory movement so as to avoid page turns in the longest and busiest movement. then groups each dance movement on the same page as its respective variation or paired movement.
Marc Strumper contributes a lengthy introduction in both German and English that explains the provenance of the manuscript., describes the slight differences between the violin and gamba versions, and devotes much discussion LO the question of compositional attribution. Several attributions have been suggested Inc the composer of this work. Czech musicologist jiri Sehnal attributed it to August Kertzinger (1622-1678), Kapellmeister at St. Veit Cathedral in Prague in 1658 and later Kapellmeister at St. Stephen's in Vienna from 1666 to 1678, an attribution also supported by American musicologist Charles E. Brewer in his edition published as volume 82 of Recent Researches in the Music of the Baroque Era (Solo Compositions for Violin and da Combo with Basso Continuo: From the Collertion of Prince-Bishop Carl Liechtenstein-Castelcorn in kromeriz [Madison, WI: A-R Editions, 1997]). Kert-zinger composed the only other works in the Kromeriz archive besides this one that feature extended parts for viola da gamba: furthermore, this sonata was accompanied by an unattached page with the tide heading "BaHeal a 3, Violino Solo, Gamba Sola, con Violone, A: R: D: Augustino Kertzinger, A 1676 in Februario." That this inscription does not appear to belong to the sonatina is one reason why Marc Strumper, coeditor of this edition, discards the attribution to Kertzinger in favor of attributing it to Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704). Strumper identifies more stylistic similarities to Biber's writing, particularly the Mystery Sonatas, and suggests that it requires more virtuosic skill than an of kertzinger's compositions for viol (though Brewer regards it as stylistically consistent with Kertzinger). More important, Biber was active at the court in Kromeriz from 1669 to 1670, and was a skilled viol player in addition to his reputation as a composer and virtuoso violinist. While he wrote no solo works for viol that remain extant, archival catalogs from Bamberg and Rudolstadt indicate that Biber did compose solo sonatas for viola da gamba (his opus 1), but that these were destroyed by a fire in 1735. The clean hand of the sonatina manuscript indicates that it was a cops'. so it may be possible that this is a copy of one of those lost Biber sonatas, or of another work of his. Based on the watermarks in the paper, Sehnal dated this manuscript to sometime alter 1680, placing it well after both Kertzinger and Biher had left the area, arid two Years alter Kent zinger's death. This could certainly be a later additional copy of a work added to the collection earlier. Moreover. Biber retained close ties to the Kromeriz court after he took up residence in Salzburg, at times sending music back to its Kapellmeister Pavel Vejanovsky. While the editors of this edition firmly come down in favor of Biber's authorship of the piece, they recognize that hard evidence is lacking to support either attribution, and thus chose to title the edition Kremsierer-Gambensonate ("Kromeriz Viola da Gamba Sonata") alter the archive in which it is held. Regardless of the specific authorship, it presents a fine example of late-seventeenth-century virutosic gamba repertoire From Central Europe, and satisfies a lack of solo music for gamba in the virtuosic style of Biber and his contemporaries.
George Frideric Handel's Concerto in C is another work of disputed authorship, albeit a more widely known one with a longer publishing history, a continuous performance history, and an established place in the gamba repertoire. Usually titled Sonata rather than Concerto, and belonging to the repertoire of accompanied keyboard sonatas written for obbligato harpsichord with a solo melody instrument, it has been attributed to Handel in ten of the eleven surviving manuscript copies from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as in published editions from the nineteenth century onwards. This attribution, however. has long been considered uncertain enough that the sonata appears in the "spurious and doubtful" section of the works list in the New Grove entry on Handel (Anthony Hicks, "Handel, George Frideric," New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed. [London: Macmillan. 2001], 10:802). An alternative attribution to Johann Matthias Leffloth (1705-1731) was proposed by Alfred Einstein in 1902 (Alfred Einstein, "Zuni 48. Bande der Handel-Ausgabe," Sammelbande der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft 4, Heft 1 [November 19021: 170; indeed, one extant nineteenth-century manuscript copy bears Leffloth's name as the composer). While the Leffloth attribution continues in many scholarly sources that catalog or discuss this work, the association with Handel has persisted, and more recent research by Alan Marc Karpel and Graham Pont has rejected Leffloth's authorship in favor of Handel's. Pont has argued that the sonata was composed by a young Hamdel on his first tour of Italy in 1706-7, noting a number of stylistic similarities between this work and some sonatas of Vivaldi and Marcello, whom Handel might have met or at least heard while visiting. Venice during that trip ii tot there is no documentation that he did meet either composer).
The new Guntersberg edition of the sonata supports the Handel camp. Editor Gunther von Zadow collaborated with Pont in extensive archival research, during which they examined eleven extant manuscript copies, several of which had been unknown before this. The edition that von Zadow and Pont have curated--von Zadow's preface acknowledges Pont's collaboration in this edition, though the latter is not identified as coeditor by the publisher--draws primarily on two manuscripts: one found in the University Library in Lund, Sweden, that contains only the harpsichord part, which the editors selected for its numerous corrections and added embellishments; and the second of two manuscripts located at the Staatsund Universitatsbibliothek in Hamburg, of which the viola da gamba part fits almost exactly with the harpsichord pail from the Lund manuscript. The Lund manuscript also supplies the title heading "concerto," which the editors opted to use for this edition in acknowledgement of the soloistic showcasing of both instruments and a nod to other early keyboard repertoire by Handel that fits the category of the unaccompanied concerto--though the editors do consistently refer to the work as a sonata in their discussion of it in the preface to the Guntersberg edition. The preface, provided in German and English, is relatively brief, containing a short historical context [Or the work and a barely passing mention of the attribution debate, though it does cite published scholarly discussions of this sonata in the footnotes. Its discussion of the manuscripts and published editions that Pont and von Zadow consulted is slightly more detailed, with descriptions of the two manuscripts from which the new edition is compiled. Given the typical scholarly detail in the prefaces of most Guntersberg editions, and the interesting historical debates regarding this piece, a longer and more detailed prefatory essay might have been desirable, but the prefatory remarks here focus on identifying the innovations and contributions of this particular edition. Von Zadow does provide a list of the eleven manuscript sources surveyed, highlighting the two that from the basis of this edition. He also provides a critical report charting, the editorial changes made to reconcile the two manuscripts and correct scribal errors--surprisingly few, in fact, at an average of two per movement.
The score and parts are cleanly and clearly set in this edition. Particular care shows in the setting of the harpsichord part, arranged to cleanly line up the page turns with the repeated sections and movement endings. The harpsichord part includes several curious details found only in the Lund manuscript: the addition of figures to the left hand bass line in the second movement, and an embellishment marking consisting of two vertical strokes indicating a downward mordent. The explanation of this latter marking, however, appears only in a footnote at the end of the preface; it would have been practical to have reiterated its meaning in a footnote within the harpsichord part as well. There are several performing instructions in Italian in the harpsichord part, mostly indicating immediate segues to the following movements, that do not appear in the string parts of the edition. While presumably this is because those indications originate in the Lund manuscript and do not appear in the Hamburg manuscript from which the gamba part is taken, it would serve the performers well to have consistent performing instructions in all parts, especially as the third and fourth movements begin tutti. Perhaps the strangest editorial choice found in this edition is the inclusion of an alternate solo part for viola. Although the title page of the Lund manuscript (reproduced on the cover of this edition) identifies the instrumentation of the work as "con Viola da Gambe o Braccio," and it is certainly not unusual for editions of works for viola da gamba to include alternate parts for cello or viola with appropriate changes of clef and bowing indications to accommodate the performance needs of modern string players, such an addition here is befuddling because the two parts are identical: both parts are in alto clef, I here are no editorial bowings that would need to be altered for underhand or overhand bow positions, and the pitch range of the piece falls easily within the range of either instrument. In short, there is no reason that a violist could not read from the viola da gamba part, and the editors have provided no information to suggest. why they felt it necessary to include an extraneous performing part, rather than identifying one single part as applicable to either instrument.
Overall, however, this edition offers a refreshing take on a familiar sonata that deserves to be better known. In drawing from different manuscript sources than previous editions, it emphasizes the soloistic interplay of the two instruments, placing this work alongside other sonatas for gambit and obbligato keyboard such as those of J. S. Bach. In reasserting Handel's authorship, it also doubles his extant solo gamba repertoire (the only other confirmed work being his Sonata in G Minor for viola da gamba and continuo, HWV 365b). This sonata offers sparkling Italianate fast movements and gracefully singing slow movements that allow ample opportunities for improvised embellishment and virtuosity by professional performers, vet is technically straightforward enough to be accessible intermediate players.
In previous work, Graham Pont has suggested that Handel may have written this sonata for the renowned Gernian gambist Ernst Christian Hesse (1670-1762), who played the gamba part in the performance of Handel's oratorio La Resnorzione in Rome on 8 April 1708, coinciding with trip to Italy (Graham Pont, "Handel 's Souvenir of Venice: The 'Spurious' Sonata in C for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord," Early Music Performer 23 [March 2009]: 16). Ernst Hesse's biography includes a colorful--though perhaps apocryphal--episode regarding his early training: between 1698 and 1701, the Young Hesse traveled to Paris to study with the great French gamba players Marin Marais and Antoine Forqueray. whose rivalry with each other was widely known, leading Hesse to study with Marais under his own name, and with Forqueray tinder the name "Sachs." Supposedly Marais and Forqueray bragged to each other about their German prodigies, and arranged a performing duel to see whose student was superior. Hesse arrived alone and admitted the ruse, then attempted to placate his teachers by playing first in the style of one, then of the other. For his efforts, he was rejected by both teachers and sent back to the court of his employer, the Landgrave Ernst Ludwig of Hesse-Darmstadt. In any case, Ernst Hesse went on to have a distinguished performing career in Germany and Italy. He also passed on his virtuosity to his son, Ludwig Christian Hesse (1716-1772), who became one of the last great virtuosos of the viola da gamba before the in faded from popularity.
It is to Ludwig Christian Hesse that the Guntersberg edition of Jean-Philippe Rameau's opera-ballet Les Surprise de l'amour transcribed for two Violas da gamba owes its existence. The younger Hesse worked in Berlin as private teacher to Prince Frederick William II, and produced numerous opera transcriptions for two or three gambas to play with his royal pupil, though he does not appear to have written any original compositions. While many of these transcriptions were destroyed in 'World War II, listings for them in Georg Thouret's Katalog der Musiksammlung auf der Koniglichen Haushibliothek im Schlosse zu Berlin (Leipzig: Breitkopf 1895) indicate that Hesse transcribed many Fret tel operas. indicating the German court's desire to keep up with the musical trends in Paris. Several manuscripts of Hesse's transcriptions, including that of Rameau's survive in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin--Preulischer Kulturbesirz.
Les Surprises de l'amour is more properly termed tides de ballet than opera: it comprised several sell-contained acts whose plots were unrelated to each other. and which could be rearranged, exchanged for new acts, and reordered in various performances and publications. The version published here--containing L'Enlevement d'Adonis. La Lyre enchantee. Anacreon, and Sybaris--most likely dates from 1757. While the overarching theme is love, and many of the characters and episodes depicted come from classical mythology. there is no overall plot. Instead, each act is like a miniature opera, made up of overtures, airs, choruses. and dance movements.
Hesse's transcription does a remarkable job of drawing out full harmonies, inner voices, and details of orchestration from Rameau's full score, rather than simply transcribing the melody tines and bass accompaniment. The upper gamba line carries most of the melodic weight., supplying some chordal harmonies as well, while the lower part functions primarily as basso continuo, though the two lines also share occasional moments of dialogue and interplay. The transcription works best in the energetic overtures, plaintive and often pastoral airs, and the dance and character movements. which allow the gambists to interact with each other and employ the arsenal of French baroque expressive techniques familiar from the viol repertoires of Marais and Couperin. By contrast, in the choruses and some of the linking sections. there are often odd moments of musical stasis where some action may likely have occurred onstage, but without am indication of such, the instrumental parts feel empty and awkward. Hesse often provides specific expressive markings, including dynamic changes and articulation notations. lit the upper part, Hesse supplied a curious notation consisting of a superscript. numeral 3 followed by a dotted line; according to editors Jonathan Dunford and Gunther von Zadow, who apply Michael O'Loghlinss term "figured treble" to it, it denotes sequences of parallel thirds (or sometimes sixths), and is an optional embellishment of which an individual player may include as much or as little as desired, according to judgment and ability. The Guntersberg edition indicates these embellishments as small grace notes in parallel to the notated
While the manuscript in the Staats-bibliothek zu Berlin is the primary source for this edition, the editors also consulted the printed edition of Ramean's 1757 version of Les Surprises for comparison and to resolve any scribal errors or harmonic questions. For the two-gamba edition, they provide two performing scores showing both gamba parts--one score uses the original treble clef notation for the upper instrument, to be played one octave down, and the other provides an alto clef option for the tippet line. The lower line is in bass clef in both scores. The original vocal text for each movement appears at the start of the movement, although no text underlay is provided. Accompanying each volume is a preface in German and English that provides historical context both for the original work, and for Hesse and his transcriplions. For this edition, the editors also include a newly-created part for harpsichord ad libitum, constructed by Dankwart von Zadow. to help flesh out, some of the missing harmonies and instrumental lines lost in the transcription process, as well as incorporating the basso continuo figures found in Rameau's published version. The editorial note accompanying the harpsichord part in each of the four volumes clarifies the intent of this addition: rather than Functioning as a literal continuo realization, it is more akin to a piano score of an opera in representing the full orchestral writing distilled onto a keyboard. Performers may choose to play it, alter it, simplify it, or leave it out altogether. When played as written, it has a tendency to obscure the parts, lies awkwardly under the fingers, and feels rather over-composed--however. it was entertaining to play, and did convey the orchestral richness and sheer volume that are lost when these pieces are P1' td on gambas alone. It does suggest that sonic keyboard support of the gambit lines is desirable, though perhaps not as busy a rendition as this edition provides; happily, the left, hand of the keyboard part also includes figures, allowing a continuo player to create an original realization as desired. While it is doubtful that every note and movement of these four actes de ballet that comprise Les Surprises de rumour can or should make it to the concert hall in this instrumentation, Hesse's masterly and idiomatic transcription for two gambas offers a great many enjoyable moments for players and listeners. and allows gambists a previously unknown gateway into Rameau's repertoire.
Finally, another recently discovered set of manuscripts have generated the first published edition of four sonatas for viola da gambit and obbligato keyboard by Johann Christian Bach. Given Bach's long friendship and performing collaboration in London with the acclaimed German gambist and composer Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787), it seemed likely that Bach would have composed for the viola da gamba, but rio such works were known to exist. There was circumstantial evidence, however, in the form of legal records concerning a lawsuit that Bach brought against London publishers James Longman and Clnirles Lukey in 1773 for publishing pirated editions of his music; among these were listed a sonata for harpsichord or piano forte with accompaniment by viola da gamba. At a Sotheby's auction in 1992. a private collector purchased a set of previously unknown manuscripts that included Four sonatas for keyboard and viola da gamba by J. C. Bach. German gambist Thomas Fritzsch (coeditor of this edition) eventually persuaded the new owner to allow him access to the sonata manuscripts, and performed the sonatas at their contemporary world premiere in 2008.
Like the Handel concerto earlier in this review, the J. C. Bach sonatas fit into the eighteenth-century tradition of accompanied keyboard sonatas, but they also reflect decidedly postbaroque tastes in style and instrumentation. In particular, an interesting question of keyboard instrumentation arises: in the primary source manuscripts, the title pages of the first two sonatas (in B-flat major and G major) label the keyboard instrument "cembalo," while the third and fourth sonatas (both in F major) call for "piano forte." Several printed editions published in London in the 1770s that incorporate these sonatas or individual movements arranged for alternate instrumentation such as violin or Hine All call for "harpsichord or piano forte." At the time these were written, the fortepiano was gaining popularity as the preferred keyboard instrument for music making in the home, so titling the sonatas as playable on either a harpsichord or a fortepiano was certainly a wise marketing move for publishers. J. C. Bach himself* had a hand in in and popularizing the square pianos built by Johannes Zumpe in London, so it certainly seems possible that he could have written these sonatas intentionally for the piano rather than harpsichord. Indeed, the stylistic gestures and figurations of the keyboard part in all four sonatas are more reminiscent of Bach 's solo piano works, as well as those of Muzio Clementi, than of midcentury harpsichord writing. Additionally. both the keyboard and gamba parts feature extensive dynamic markings. a feature that would highlight the capabilities of the fortepiano. While all four sonatas certainly are playable on harpsichord, the combination of fortepiano and gamba creates a distinctive mixture of new and old, with a particularly sweet and intimate sound.
The Guntersberg edition divides the sonatas into two volumes, each commencing with the same historical introduction ill German and English by Thomas Fritzsch and Gunter von Zadow, as well as a full list of the primary source manuscripts and secondary source print editions from which the current edition draws, and editorial notes about standardization of markings and clefs. The gamba parts in the source manuscripts were written in a transposing treble clef, but. the editors have included two copies of the gamba parts, one in treble clef and one in alto clef. The sonatas themselves are brief works of just two movements apiece, typically an opening AABB allegro movement followed by a rondeau or other character piece, and have a charming galant style with a hint of the early nineteenth century. The gambit parts have been arranged to set one sonata on each side of a single folded sheet, thus avoiding page turns, while the keyboard part lines up page turns neatly with the repeats. Although the parts have been carefully edited for tile most part, the alto-clef gamba part for the first sonata in B-flat major contains a misprint in the Lime signature of its second movement, marking the meter as common time where it should be [??]; however, the time signature is correct in the treble-clef gamba part and the keyboard score.
This edition is an invaluable contribution to the viola da gamba repertoire. The discovery and publication of these sonat-as expands the known output of]. C. Bach, settling some questions about the compositional fruits of his longterm collaboration with Abel. Moreover, it presents an unusually late example of virtuosic writing for the viola da gamba at a time when the instrument was already rewarded as old-fashioned and going out of style, thus extending the later chronological limits of the viola da gamba repertoire. Finally, it affords gambists a rare period-sanctioned opportunity to pair with fortepiano, for a sonic combination that proves surprisingly effective. This group of sonatas makes a fine addendum, and perhaps bookend, to the in late-eighteenth-century galant style gamba sonatas by P.E. Bach and Abel.
Overall, this array of new publications for the viola da gamba by Edition Guntersberg makes some fine contributions to the instrument's repertoire, expanding it chronologically and stylistically. There is much to offer players and audiences alike in these works. Although all four works have their technical challenges, most are within reach of upper-intermediate gambists, and elements such as the "figured treble" in the Rameau allow higher-level players to: embellish as they wish. The intimate performing forces also make these works easy to program for performance, yet also enjoyable to read through with friends in private--much as Hesse and Bach, at least, intended.
University of Oregon