David Belcher wrote:Thanks Frank! This is an excellent transcription.
I've begun to wonder if I really should claim transcriber credits for it though. An important point I forgot to mention is that this isn't an adaption in the regular sense but a direct note-by-note translation. All I've done on purpose is to change the key and add fingering and tablature. Any other deviations from the original cello version are either typos or differences between different cello editions.
No, wait! I also removed all the bows from the original. Not sure what to do about them to be honest. The three surviving 18th century manuscripts all have different bows and besides, the phrasing and stroke bows in a cello piece can't really be directly translated into guitar slurs.
I do not consider this transcription as the "right" way to play the suite. It's certainly not how a 18th century lutenist would have done it and it's probably not even how I
would have done it. I consider it as a starting point for any guiatrist experienced enough to handle a work of this size at all to create his/her personal interpretation. That being said, I am amazed how well the suite in this raw form fits the guitar. It's so easy it's practically sight reading for anybody with the stamina to play for 15+ minutes.
David Belcher wrote:If I'm not mistaken, the G natural from the previous measure should carry forward to this measure as well--so it should be an Em rather than EMAJ chord: E, B, G(natural), E.
That makes sense, but it's not supported in any of the sources. It is of course possible that the reason why neither Anna Magdalena Bach nor Johann Peter Kellner nor anon. included a natural there is that they took it for granted. This is a common problem when editing music that only survives as manuscripts: what did the original copyist leave out simply because he or she didn't think it was necessary to mention?
In this particular case either solution would be reasonably consistent with what we currently know about 18th century music styles so I guess i'ts a question of taste rather than facts.
David Belcher wrote:I would also change some of the resolutions you have chosen. For instance, in the last measure of the A section in the Allemande (again just at the repeat bars, top of p. 5), you resolve the D# from the previous measure to the E an octave down. Is that how Bach has it in the Urtext?
Don't know about the urtext edition but yes, it is how it's written in all three sources and in all modern editions I've checked. This is where the problems of my true-to-the-original approach really becomes apparent.
David Belcher wrote:Typically, when I came to those sections I played an octave so the note would resolve at its own octave and also provide the support of the bass...but that may be a performance decision. Interested in your thoughts on that.
You could also just hold that d# until it is resolved in the right octave later in the bar - possibly with some ornament to really empasize the point. Either solution would be perfectly in style. I guess this is where the advantages of my true-to-the-original approach becomes apparent. It allows the performer to make such decisions himself/herself.
David Belcher wrote:I'm also interested in where you would put slurs. I added my own as I played
Please feel free to do so!
David Belcher wrote:Finally, you utilize campanella (cross-string) fingerings quite a bit in the first movement to great effect. Did you consider/experiment using such fingerings
I never though of that. The reason why I included the campanella effect in the prelude is simply that it is how that particular passage is written in all three source manuscripts.
David Belcher wrote:I may work on a recording of your version of the suite to post here soon!
I'd love to hear that.
If you haven't got an ego that is bigger than the world, forget it and let the music speak! (Pepe Romero)