Göttweig Suite 14

Alternative readings of the text of the complete Gottweig edition

Suite 14

Jan 12, 2017

Prelude I have given critical notes to the prelude in my notes to Suite 17, as I think its gamba  grip accordatura and melodic motives fit better with those movements than the ones that are Suite 14 on pages 22 - 27 of Vol. 3 of the Göttweig edition.

This Prelude is one of the movements that lacks an original basso part. In this particular case I think it is just possible that there might have been no original basso part, that this might be a solo without bass movement.

Like many of the other works in d minor, the Allemande and following movements have no flats in the key signature.

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 to me strongly suggestive of a 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 in the vda part.

Two of the variations in the vda part are abbreviated, I think the copyist was trying to save space to get the entire movement on that page.

Have a look, doesn't it seem crowded?

A way of looking at the two 8 bar variations with repeats which start at bar 65 in the edition, would be to 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 bass variations and vda variations would be the same.

I 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 through the movement.

The repeats of the 8 bars with the 32nd notes, (bar 65 in the edition) and the following 8 bars of 8th notes (bar 73 of the edition) are not necessary. If you leave out the repeats, then the number of variations in the basso and the vda part are the same. You have a single variation in which the texture changes from first half to second half, however, which is weird.

Suppose, for another way of looking at it, that both the 32nd note variation and the following eighth note variation were meant to be the usual 16 bar folia length. The player can reconstruct this by creating a second ending at bar 71, that cadences in d, and a first ending at 79, that makes a half cadence. Then the basso player has to add a repetition of the bass line to the work.

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! The edition gives a single modest d’ as a final note. The player could however, chose to play a big chord on all the open strings.