Göttweig Suite 24

Alternative readings of the text of the complete Gottweig edition

Suite 24

Jan. 26, 2017

This page was updated today to reflect alternative readings kindly offered to me by Johanna Weighart. These are in red.


May 15, 2017

These green updates reflect what I learned during my examination of HS 4806 when I visited the Göttweig Archive in May of 2017.


This Suite, and the movements given in the appendix of the edition, had been bound in the edition, but have come loose. It doesn't say so in the edition, but the pages of Suite 9 are likewise nearly loose from the binding, too. The paper of Suite 24 matches that of Suite 9, and the staff lines are likewise hand ruled. I speculate that the addition of Suite 24 to the manuscript reflects a 2nd binding in the 18th century, one that cost the manuscript the first basso page of Suite 1 and the final vda page of Suite 23, as well as pages that may have been lost at the beginning of Suite 10 to make space for Suite 9. Maybe Suite 24 had also been previously bound in another volume, because its first page, the basso part for the Allemande, is likewise missing.


According to the critical notes in the edition, the basso for the allemanda is lost. Here is my alternate reconstruction of the basso for this movement:



I have modelled my reconstruction of the bass on the Allemande of Biber’s partita 7 for 2 violas d'amore. The only place in this movements where i have had to interpret where notes might have been misplaced by a third in the manuscript, is Bar 9, beat 3 and 4, bar 10 beat 2, I have interpreted the notation differently than the editor of the edition, in a way I believe reads more smoothly. See for yourself:


Beat 4: I am adding a # to the lower voice at beat 4 to make a c#, and a first finger e to the string between the a string and the g’ string. For the second half of the 4th beat, I think the copyist is just a 3rd high.


To further stimulate your thinking about how the passage at bar 9 might sound, here is yet another alternative bass reconsconstruction for that bar, courtesy of Ms Weighart:


In Johanna's version the modulation happens a couple chords later than in mine.

Aria presto

bar 2 vda beat 1 in the manuscript there is a slur over the first two notes.

bar 4  basso in the manuscript the note on beat 2 is a half note.

Bar 4 vda It is possible to read what is in the manuscript as a short long, as in a Scottish snap, so 16th followed by a dotted quarter.

bar 5 and 7, in the manuscript the slurs can be read as being over three notes.

bar 6 basso in the manuscript there is a 6 over the first note. beat 2 all notes are beamed together.

bar 9 vda the upper notes of the double stops in this bar are a 3rd higher in the manuscript.

bar 10 basso in the manuscript the first 6 notes are even 8th notes.

Bar 11 and 13, vda 4th beats. the low note might more likely be a d, as there is never an accidental, and being off by a third is very easy in this notation.

bar 12 basso, beat 1 the 8th notes are beamed 2 and 2.


bar 18 basso in the manuscript beat 1 has a # over it.

Bar 19 basso, in the manuscript the rhythm is 8th note quarter note, as it is in parallel passages.


Bar 2 basso. in the manuscript there is a 6 over the basso note.

Bar 23 vda In the manuscript this bar is ambiguous. It may be that it all should be read a 3rd lower than the previous bar. It seems clear to me that the last two notes are d’’ eb’’, but they are to be played  2, 3 on the 2nd string, to prepare the fingers for the following bar.

Bar 24, vda. in the manuscript the double stop is a 3rd lower, to be played  2 2 on the second and third strings.

Saraband Adagio

Bar 9 vda the last double stop in this bar is written a 3rd lower in the manuscript, and the upper note has a flat. I suggest that the harmony is intended to be b flat minor. This move to the parallel minor is the same as in the second section of the Aria in Partita 7 from Harmonia Artificiosa-arioso 1696 of Biber.

Bar 9 basso in the manuscript beat 2 is a dotted quarter f, followed by an eighth Bb. I would myself add  flat 3 as the figure, but of course, there is a variatio of this saraband, where there are several opportunities for the b flat minor to be notated, but in all of them it is major. However, b flat minor is clearly marked the last 8th of bar nine in the saraband manuscript.

Bar 18 basso In the manuscript the half note d has the # figure.

There is one symbol that appears twice in these movements, that I cannot make sense of. Here it is as it appears in the the Allemand. I am referring to the f. that appears above the repeat signs at the end of the A section. The same f. appears in the same place at the end of the A section of the Saraband:


How about this for an explanation: Barline between bar 7 and 8. Here, and in the Saraband at the same point, there is a F. above the repeat sign. It seems possible that this is a dynamic, is a Forte, meant to cancel a piano for the petit reprieses that come just before in both these movements. True, no piano is indicated, but an echo repetition would work well in these places.