Unlike Bach's violin solos, his “Six Suites for Violoncello Solo” have not come down to us in his own hand. The four surviving handwritten sources and the original first edition of 1824 differ in many details, the articulation and phrasing being particularly ambiguous.
Now Andrew Talle has fundamentally reassessed the relations between these surviving sources for Volume 4 of the “New Bach Edition - Revised”. He has drawn major conclusions regarding their evaluation and consequently the genesis of the suites, which presumably took place over a lengthy period of time. His evaluations are augmented with thorough discussions of the instrument for which the suites were conceived and the interpretative practices in Bach's day.
The musical text presented in Part I of the edition is based on these findings. It approaches the composer's original intentions as far as the sources will permit: “This edition does not present a perfect reconstruction of the lost autograph; no editor could claim to do so. Instead, I have attempted to provide musicians and scholars with a reliable version of the surviving musical text of the six cello suites and to shed light on the options which Bach encouraged his musicians to explore.”
Part II presents, for the first time, facsimiles of the handwritten sources and the original print in s y n o p t i c form, including Bach’s own lute arrangement of Suite V. This enables users to compare any given passage in all sources at a single glance, making it possible to retrace every editorial decision.
• Detailed Introduction with discussions of the relations between the surviving sources, the genesis of the suites, the instrument for which they were conceived, and the interpretative practices in Bach's day
• Coherent musical text based on these new findings
• Synoptic presentation of all relevant sources in facsimile, allowing direct comparison of any given passage