Göttweit Suite 5

Alternative readings of the text of the complete Gottweig edition

Suite V

Feb. 5th, 2017


Ritornello (basso) Allegro (Ariosti) Entree (editor)

The 24 musical works, (suites? partitas?) in this collection commence with a wide variety of opening movements, reflected in their titles as follows: Allemande, Entre, Ritornello, Sonatina - is this possibly meant to be a title for the whole work? - ( the one movement called Sonatina is just like others labelled Entre) Praeludium (Prelude, Preludio) Sinfonia, Intrada, and Sonate - once again, meaning the whole work? Some first movements are unlabelled. Overall, of the labels Entre seems to me to be most consistent, as it is always associated with a simple binary form movement in cut time with dotted quarter eighth motion through out. I have not considered Aria Presto as an opening movement because I think Suites 12 and 13 are a single musical work.

The edition’s Suite V opens with a Ritornello, which apart from being in binary form, has little in common with the other opening movements labelled Entre. It would already be familiar to violists d’amore who have played a version labelled Allegro in Eb, in the Recueil de Pieces of Ariosti, page 61 of Roman 99, also available on Imslp: http://imslp.org/wiki/Recueil_de_pièces_(Ariosti,_Attilio)

The contrast between the Göttweig Suite V Ritornello and the version labelled Allegro in Ariosti’s collection is fascinating, I attempt to enumerate the differences here: http://violadamore.com/index.php/gottweig.html.

In addition to being a unique movement title in the Göttweig manuscript,  the Ritornello has a very close family resemblance to the Pastorello in Suite 6. This Pastorello is labelled Salterello in the edition, see the notes for Suite 6 for more information, and is also unique in the manuscript. The two movements have the same basic rhythmic motive, the difference is in the Saltarello the musical line ascends instead of descends.

Bar 4 vda. beat 2.5 should be a sounding c’’, taken with the 4th finger on the 3rd string. This is how that symbol is realized as a pitch in Ro. 99.


The very first bar of the Aria presents a difficulty. What to make of the sextuple stop with a c’’ at the top of it?

I propose that the player slowly arpeggiate the opening chord, so that she can play both the open a’ string and c’’ on it. That way the original melody can be played, which I read in the manuscript in the first and 4th bars as c’’ d’’ b flat’ a’.

Or, consider omitting a’ from the opening chord; it is already in the chord an octave lower.

Bar 3 vda in the manuscript beats 2 and 3, there is an upper and lower voice. the lower voice is quarter note f followed by quarter note e.

Bar 6 basso in the manuscript the last two 8ths are d c, followed in the bar 7 by a B flat quarter on the first beat.

Bar 14 basso in the manuscript the first note is G.


This movement, like the first movement of this Suite, also exists in an alternate version in Ariosti’s Recueil, Ro. 99, page 63. The differences this time are also interesting, see the main Göttweig page for more.

bar 3 vda in the manuscript the 16ths are slurred two by two.

Bar 7 basso, in the manuscript the last note is e.

Bar 11 basso the last note is an 8th note A.

Bar 12 basso in the manuscript the first beat is 2 16th notes A c, I suggest they might be 2 16th notes c e.

bar 13 basso in the manuscript the downbeat is c.

bar 14 vda in the manuscript the second note is a sounding f’’, also the same in Ro. 99.

Bar 14 basso in the manuscript the second note is d.

bar 30 vda in the manuscript the second note is the open top string.


In the manuscript the vda part time signature is 2 with a vertical line through it, the basso is as it is in the edition.

Bourre. (sic)

In the manuscript both vda and basso parts have time signature of a 2 with a vertical line through it.

The octave displacements in this suite are comic.

Bar 3 vda in the manuscript the 3rd note is f.

Menuet 1

In this movement, the editor has all but composed bars 13 - 24, or most of the B section. In the manuscript the first B section is crossed out, and an alternative version given at the bottom of the page 21R, if you have access to HS 4806.

However, as the editor found, the alternative version does not fit with the vda part given on 22v. I tried fitting the vda B section part to the crossed out bass part of the B section ( despite being crossed out it is still legible) and for the most part it works. I have altered 6 notes, as you can see in the parentheses:


Menuet 2

I found no errors in this movement.


The placement of slurs in HS 4806 can seem very careless. It is tempting to realize most of them as 2 plus 1.  However, in this particular movement, I have a theory that some of them, not all, are actually quite precise, esp. those that indicate 1 plus 2, and that these in particular indicate that one of the main features of this movement is bariolage, i.e., playing the same pitch of two adjacent strings for the variety of color. The first movement of the Bach Cello Suite #6 is a famous example of this technique.  Here is an annotated copy of the manuscript vda part:

Here is a score I created, with fingerings, so you can try this out without have to deal with scordatura. This is still a draft, there are some rough edges I hope I will find better solutions for. The use of the original open strings adds attractive cross rhythms, I feel.

There are many challenges in this slight work. Musically, players will find more rewards elsewhere in the edition. But the issues themselves are interesting. The color of the technique used in the Gigue is rare, but maybe not as rare as I had thought it was, and the kinds of freedoms 17th century musicians took adapting works, the repetition of cadences, the prolongation of dominant pedals, the reworking of bass lines to give a movement a more conversational feel (and a more modern style) are fascinating to me. Thanks for reading all the way to here!