Göttweig Suite 18

Alternative readings of the text of the complete Gottweig edition

Suite 18

Updated: May 15, 2017


This Suite in D major is on the only 6 pages in 196 pages of manuscript in the so called standard D major viola d’amore tuning.

This suite is a bigger challenge to understand than some of the others. The composer may have been fairly inexperienced. The bass line seems more like an inner part than a bass.

Bar 2 the accordatura of this suite is a combination of violin grip (fingerings) and gamba grip (fingerings.) The copyist had some difficulties with the gamba grip notation. In the edition for some reason both gamba grip and real notation are used. The accordatura notes in bar 2 should be the open strings of the bass gamba, dgcead.

As it is, the vda part in the manuscript the chord has an e on the bottom, which should be d.

Bar 9 vda, in the manuscript the vda harmony is wrong for the bass. in the scordatura part in the edition I suggest rewriting the lower two notes of beat 2 to f# a, sounding g b, to be more consistent with gamba grip notation in the pieces.

Bar 10 vda part beat one The way I read the manuscript, the chord on the first beat is, from the bottom, e e’ g’, fingered 1 4 3. The “d” in the middle of the chord would usually be a first finger on the 3rd string from the bottom, so this is an ambiguous use of the notation.


Bar 2 vda part beat 1. In the manuscript this is a double stop. Missing from the edition is a dotted eighth g’’ 16th a’’

Bar 2 vda part beat 4. I suggest a’ for the lower note of the double stop.

Bar 3 vda part, the tie is faint but is in the manuscript.

Bar 4 vda part beat 1 in the manuscript the double stop is written ce, sounding d f#. vda part beat 4 g is missing #

Bar 6, the repeat signs have fermatas over and under them. Goodness knows what this means.

Bar 9 vda part down beat the chord in the manuscript is


The top note should be a written a, as it is in bar 23 of the corrente.

And so should sound in real notation b f# b, fingered 1 2 3.

Bar 10 vda in the manuscript the second note is d, not e as in the real notation part. in the accordatura part beat 2 starts with an f. beat 3 is written g c, if it were fingered 3 3 it would sound in G major and fit with the bass. I realize this is not intuitive.

Bar 11 vda part beat 3 in the manuscript there is a quarter rest for the lower voice. Oddly, the notation is real for a couple of beat, not gamba grip.

Bar 12 vda part. in the manuscript the downbeat harmony is A major, but the editorial adjustment to D is convincing.


Bar 16 and 18, vda part. In the manuscript the rhythm is dotted quarter eighth quarter.

Bar 18 In the manuscript vda part there seems to be a piano, or maybe a petite reprise:

Or both piano and reprise? would be attractive.


Bar 6 basso. In the manuscript the first note is a b, not a d. I suggest tying the g on the 3rd beat over to the next bar, also in bar 22.

Bar 7 in the manuscript the anticipation is a d’’


Bar 6 vda part I suggest double stop sounding f# a.

Here is what bar 17 to the end of the movement look like in the original:

The penultimate note in this manuscript excerpt is a step high, as it the final note in the manuscript equivalent of bar 18. I wanted to share the series of apparent parallel seconds in bars 18 and 19 with you! As far as I can tell the rest of the notation works well.

At the conclusion of the Gigue there is a word in the vda part, in Latin, Vertater, meaning to turn the page. At least, this is how the expert at the Göttweig Archive read the word. Maybe because the gigue is often the final movment of a Suite, the player needed a prompt to turn the page to additional following movements, Courrante. Gavotte. and Saraband. As in the like movements of Suite 17, I find these movements ungainly and unattractive.  I have not had time or energy to work out critical comments.