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Thursday, November 22 • 09:30 - 10:00
The Sixth Source: Creating Your Own Edition of Bach’s Cello Suites

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The lack of an autograph manuscript for Bach’s Cello Suites presents performers with a puzzling question: which edition should I use? Answer: your own! By studying the five original sources in facsimile, every violist can create their own edition, and can themselves become the “Sixth Source”. This process helps all performers to form a deeper connection to the music. In this session, I will present my method for developing one’s own edition, and show the myriad musical benefits learned from this intimate engagement with Bach’s masterpieces.

This project is necessary because the autograph manuscript of the suites is lost, so there exists no definitive source to which performers can refer. Instead, the closest sources available are four copyists’ manuscripts and the first published edition. The lack of a single definitive source explains the proliferation of published editions: over 100 for cello and over 20 for viola. While many of these editions are valuable, they all represent one person’s individual perspective.

This sheer number of editions can seem daunting to someone approaching the suites for the first time. Instead of evaluating the hundreds of published editions, a more engaging and exciting alternative exists: creating your own edition. I have developed a method which streamlines the process of comparing and evaluating the sources. My method enables violists to look for similarities across sources while also discovering the unique aspects of each. Additionally, this process allows for the incorporation of the performer’s own opinion and preference, based on a thorough and informed consideration of the sources.

This session closely aligns with the IVC’s theme, part 2: “Exploring unusual and different ways of performing canonical repertoire.” Anyone who embarks on this study will gain a unique and individual perspective to these beloved works, in addition to other widespread benefits. First, they will have their own edition of the suites for personal and professional use. Second, by its very nature, the close analysis involved in this project will give violists a deeper understanding of these works than if they had simply learned the notes from a published edition. Finally, they will experience the practical, performance-oriented results of manuscript study, which can serve as an easy and hands-on introduction to this field of musical study.

In this session, I will describe the need for this study, share my method through images and a PowerPoint presentation, discuss its benefits, and share practical troubleshooting advice.

avatar for Andrew Braddock

Andrew Braddock

Western Kentucky University (USA)
Violist Andrew Braddock is currently on the faculty of Western Kentucky University (WKU) and the WKU Pre-College Strings Program. He teaches viola at the university and maintains a full pre-college studio of young violinists and violists, and serves as the Director of the WKU Summer... Read More →

Thursday November 22, 2018 09:30 - 10:00 CET
Hofplein Rotterdam, Main Theatre Benthemstraat 13, 3032 CC Rotterdam, Netherlands

Attendees (7)