Dresden Mus. 2R2

One of the hurdles for would be players of the viola d'amore is finding music to play.

This is not because there isn't repertoire. On the contrary, the canon of the viola d'amore has expanded in the last decade, with large collections like the Göttweig Ms 4806, as well as the Galanteries of Fuchs and Götz becoming available.

The difficulty is that the music publishing industry, already stressed by decades of photocopying and online resources like Imslp, cannot undertake to publish editions of music for viola d'amore for the small community of players that exists.


I would like to experiment with a new kind of edition, a pdf edition offered to all for free, juxtaposing the fasimile with modern scores, supported by musescore files of each movement.


In fact, I am running a gofundme campaign to support this edition!


Over the last 3 months I have worked on Dresden Mus. 2_R_2, 33 solos for viola d'amore. (Perhaps the person who posted this copy of the facsimile on Imslp as 43 Solos counted each of the German Country Dances as a separate piece?) The 33 solos range from the introductory Intrada to the concluding Saltus Germanici, which I see as set of 10 German Country Dances to be played together. In between the Intrada and the dance set there are contrasting pieces, including Minuets, Polonaises, Allegros and Adagios. The three adagios are perhaps the most unique and surprising music in the collection.


You can hear my home recordings of the entire Ms here on my youtube channel. In the recordings I play my reconstructed basso part on a viola with octave strings.


As this collection of solos is missing its original accompanyment book, I have created bass parts for all the solos. My inspiration for this is a single cue bar labled "vcl" in # 30, a movement titled Fausti. See the fourth last system, 2nd last bar, in which a very fully worked out violoncello continuo is given. It fits harmonically under the preceeding solo bar. It is only a single bar, but rich in implications.

In my pdf edition, I have included a facsimile of the original manuscript, with each solo followed immediately by a pdf of a Musescore edition of the same, in real notation with the bass reconstruction. My goal here is to make it easy for the player to refer to the facsimile, which will help them learn to read scordatura, as well as a resource to resolve to their own satisfaction any questions they may come up with working on my edition.



In addition to my modern scores, I am including the musescore files of each movement. This is to enable every player to create parts in any clef they may prefer, and to alter and augment the reconstructed bass parts to suit themselves and their performance needs. Even if the player does not become another Bach or Haydn, the benefits for the player of this kind of work are great.


I plan to make this edition availble here, on my website on this very page. My hope is, that as players use the edition and play its music, they will provide feedback that I can use to improve the edition.


Here are some samples:


Here is my performance on a Youtube video of the opening Intrada, the video part of which is the facsimile of the viola d'amore part.


Here is a pdf of the Intrada. Open this next to the facsimile in the link above for an idea how I want this to work.


And here is a musescore file for the Intrada.


This collection is a very worthwhile part of the history of the viola d'amore, completely overlooked until now, perhaps because of the absence of a basso part. The creator(s) of these pieces were very skilled players, with a particular and unique zest for contrasting the various registers of the viola d'amore. The multiple stops in high positions on the lowest 4 strings is also unique in the repertoire of the viola d'amore.


Tom Georgi, Toronto, 27th August, 2022