Aug 29, 2014

Neglected double stoppings (1st Suite: Prélude)


1st Suite  in G major  BWV 1007



It is the greatest mystery of Bach's Cello Suites:
"Why did no cellist play them in double stopping for 200 years, from Dotzauer to our days ?"

From bar 33, 3rd beat to bar 36, 2nd beat: All the four manuscript copies show that the a notes must be played in double stopping because they have double stem. Especially at the beginning (bar 33, 3rd beat), 3 notes must be played in double stopping consecutively.


   Anna Magdalena Bach (AMB):

   Source C:

   Source D:

But Dotzauer published his edition in 1826 as follows. 

It is a complete misunderstanding but all the editions of 19th and 20th century such as Bach-Gesellschaft-Ausgabe, Wenzinger and even New Bach Edition (Hans Eppstein/1988) followed it until Werner Icking's edition appears in 1997 (!!!).


However, AMB's copy was published by Diran Alexanian in 1929. Since then, more than 80 years already passed. Why don't we yet play them in double stopping?

   Fingering suggestion:

If you are still doubtful about double stopping, Bach himself will answer to your question in his famous "Chaconne" for violin solo (BWV 1004).

From bar 173: I suppose there is no violinist who doesn't play the sixteenth notes in double stopping because they have double stem.

   J.S. Bach's autograph:

And if Bach wanted single stopping, he would write them like from bar 229.  It is just the same manner as Dotzauer !

1 comment:

  1. Hello there. I have a question for you regarding bar 26 beat 3 of the Prelude. I noticed the Anna Magdalena Bach version does not lower the B to a Bb until the last 16th note of that beat while other editions have lowered the first B to Bb immediately after the C#. Could it be the A.M. Bach manuscript is in error? To my ear, those groups of 16th notes are sequences which would mean the Bb should appear right after the C# is played, to match the two seqeunces that follow. I'd love to know your thoughts about this and why some editions have changed it from C# B A Bb to C# Bb A Bb.