Göttweig Suite 14

Alternative readings of the text of the complete Gottweig edition

Suite 14

Jan 12, 2017

Update, May 14, 2017

This is another point in the manuscript where the 5 pages preceeding this work have been cut out with a knife. This is why the Prelude lacks its bass part, like Suite 1 and 24. The basso part in the edition is a reconsctruction.


Prelude (not Preludio as is given in the edition as Suite 14, page 20)

No key signature. In this work, the lower notes are sometimes written in gamba grip notation (like Suite 3 and Suite 21) and sometimes in bass clef real notation.

Bar 4 last two notes should sound c# b natural. Reminder, the basso part is a reconstruction. We have only the vda part.

Bar 6 I don’t know how to interpret the soprano c clef in the middle of this bar. Please let me know your ideas. If I were to play it, I would do what is in the edition but as a d minor rather than a d major scale.

Bar 14 In the manuscript the 2nd and 4th notes are d’’.

Bar 17 scordatura part. In the manuscript the 2nd note from the top of the chord is a b, mostly! but the note head does include the top line and could also be read as an a. Certainly it should sound a’.

Allemande/basso, Allemand/vda

Bar 8 These three movements remind me of the Grob partita for viola d’amore, viola da gamba and continuo. Here is the B section of the Alemand: from that work:

This is only a family resemblance, but the short passage of two part writing is for me strongly suggestive of a family connection between the two work. Also the way  d minor harmony is frequently followed by a G major one.

Bar 13 vda part beat 3: I suggest that one way to play a 4 note chord here, would be to play d’ f’ d’’ a’’.

Bar 17 I suggest adding an eighth rest to make a second beat to this bar to make it easier to take the repeat.


In the manuscript the resolution bars of both the A and B sections have only 3 quarter note beats in them.

Bar 10.  downbeat In the vda real notation part the chord should read e g c. beat 3 the lower f is doubled.

Bar 12. I suggest an A major harmony for the second half of the bar.

Gavotte. This sure looks like a Bouree to me.

bar 8 vda accordatura part. the middle note of the triple stop should be written a 3rd lower. In the real notation part the unison doubling is missing. The same situation is in bar 16 vda scordatura in the manuscript the notes are written bb, d’ and a’ , sounding f’/f’/a’

Bar 20 vda scordatura part. The low “a” in the chord is in the manuscript, I suggest ignoring it.

Bar 22 basso the last note in the bar is d, which is original, but I suggest changing it to g.


Here the 16 bar bass is written out 8 times in all, to 9 times in all in the vda part.

Two of the variations in the vda part seem to be abbreviated, as if we have the first half of the variation with the 32nd notes, and the 3nd half of the following variation. I think the copyist goofed, and added the repeat signs after he had finished copying the page, expecting the player to understand how to add the other half of the variations. This two variations could be completed easily, repeating what is there on the page with the right kind of cadence, depending on whether it at the end of  the 1st 8 bars or the second 8 bars.

Have a look, doesn't it seem crowded?

Another way of looking at the two non-matching 8 bar variations would be to start at bar 65 in the edition, and omit the end repeat and start repeat signs at the end of bar 72 in the edition. That would give you a variation that is half one texture and half another, which is odd, but at least the number of vda variations would be the same as the number of bass variations in the manuscript, 7. However, you would have a single variation in which the texture changes from first half to second half, which is weird.

I had wondered why the copyist copied out the bass line at all, since he was short of space. On further examination I see that the 14th bar of the bass folia pattern does have a few little variations throughout the movement.

Bar 3 and bar 11, vda: the last note is a tone higher in the manuscript

Bar 35 vda. Personally, I think a bass clef is missing the the manuscript, and that the d on the second beat should be an octave lower.

Bar 33 vda: Curiously, starting in bar 38 and for the rest of the variation, the bass notes on the 2nd beats are written in the gamba grip notation.

Bar 46 basso. the rhythm is quarter, dotted quarter, eighth.

Bar 47 vda scordatura part the second note is an "e"" in the top space, which is to say, an open top string.

Bar 62 basso here the ryhthm is dotted quarter, eighth, quarter.

Bar 65 vda Please note that in the manuscript there are no ties from beat 1 to beat 3.

Bar 78 basso Because of the confusion about the number of variations that are supposed to be in the movement, I cannot be sure which basso version of this bar is the right one.

Bar 81. Gamba grip notation is back for the first 8 bars of this variation.

Bar 94 basso In the manuscript there is no version of this bar in the bass which has a c natural on the third beat. I suggest playing c# on the third beat in both the basso and vda parts.

Bar 95 The player can play the chord without the f’ by fingering it 0 2 3. The advantage of this fingering in my opinion is it leads easier to the next chord

Bar 110 and 126 Basso. In the manuscript the last two appearences of the 14th bar of the folia bass have the rhythm dotted quarter, eighth, quarter.

Bar 111 vda in the manuscript the last note might be read as g'.

Bar 115 vda I suggest c#

Bar 117 and 125 vda: I suggest B natural for beat 3.

Final bar vda:

Please notice that in this manuscript the final bar of the viola d’amore part as you can see above is missing completely! This is because after it was copied, the manuscript was trimmed, bound, and gilded, consequently notes too near the edge of the page were cut. The edition gives a single modest d’ as a final note. The player could however, chose to play a big chord on some or all of the open strings.


When I have performed this Folia, we have played only the first two, and the final variation. In between the individual performers have invented their own variations. Here is a recent performance.