Different notations - Bach - Cello

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Den
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Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by Den »

I did a brief analysis of several versions of the engraving and the exact notation.
This is J.S.Bach: Cello Suite No2 in Dm
Here are 3 completely different views. We will see completely three different notations, 3 in the geometric sense and in the musical one.
This is not about the "font" itself, or perhaps the complete layout of the note system, but about the positions of the notes and the overlap of the note flags with other different note visual print.
In my opinion, they are not good and not precise enough or they were done as the publisher "saw" it at that moment.
All three publishers are well known to everyone and I will not list them as they are older notations. About the newer ones I've seen .... I don't even want to talk, the total absence of the primary connection between composer-musician and note-vision. Although this is a classical and easier notation ... "then" there must have been a need for deeper analysis and preparation of a musical edition in which many musicians may have played some phrases incorrectly and not as the composer imagined (I have written about this situations before). .)
From generation to generation, completely different versions are made that carry with them "copies-copies" with constant changing of the original ....

Publisher 1.
screenshot_Bach1.png
screenshot_Bach1.png (494.39 KiB) Viewed 1156 times
Publisher 2.
screenshot_Bach2.png
screenshot_Bach2.png (301.33 KiB) Viewed 1156 times
Publisher 3.
screenshot_Bach3.png
screenshot_Bach3.png (380.8 KiB) Viewed 1156 times
What do you think is the most correct version of these three?

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David Ward
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by David Ward »

2 is the one familiar to me.

I played the cello in adolescence (until the trombone took precedence) and as far as I remember the only editions that were available in the UK in the 1950s looked like No 2. It seems identical to the Bach-Gesellschaft edition I have on my shelves here now, but because it's what I'm used to doesn't necessarily make it correct.
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OCTO
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by OCTO »

Den, I don't know if you are a string player, but these are different performance-editions, which have been popular during 1900-.
Some editions (Peters, Sonaten und Partiten für Violine Solo, edited by Carl Flesch, cat Nr 4308) have double staff: the top one is "how-to-play" edition, and the bottom one is "bach-original". That is far more honest approach, than when you have only "edited" version and you have to believe blindly to the editor. Well, another edition is perhaps different!

The first one is so called a typical performance edition: broken chords are written as "broken" so that musicians know where to break the chord: either toward the top note, bottom note or some in the middle.
The second one is, as I see, the original -- how Bach notated.
The third edition is similar to the second one, but all separated voices have been "stemmed" onto single voice, at the places where it is possible to do so.

As you can see with other posts by John Ruggero, he compares not only "editions" but also the first editions which were possibly presented to the composer, and even manuscripts. This is the only way to know what composers intended to do, and it should be respected.

However, I think that having the original is the best approach. Many musicians got tired of these editions which are heavily edited (and even wrongly fingered) such as crescendo, rit., Allegro Moderato, sul G... in Bach[!] -- and prefer "urtext".
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John Ruggero
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by John Ruggero »

Just to add a little more to OCTO's excellent explanation. There was a period during the last half of the 20th century when many musicians (like me) were horrified by these old "over-edited" editions, and perhaps justly so. However, now that everyone has access to the original manuscripts and first editions, no one has to be at the mercy of old performance editions.

And now they can take on a new and very valuable life. Each of these performance editions is a picture of the way in which a particular performer, many of whom were excellent musicians, viewed and played the music. Each one can be a "coaching" in which you are enlightened or receive confirmation about some things, but might also disagree strongly with others.
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Den
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by Den »

Excellent explanations. I checked manuscripts originating from his wife Anna Magdalene and other engravers in that period and also others Suites, but also all have different markings and or dynamic signs. I read that even the Bach experts who analyzed these “original” transcripts many times could not make an identical version as Bach’s. Very difficult and sometimes confusing ..

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Den
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by Den »

I can't found original manuscript for this example, but I found something similar...


Well, this is examples from original J.S.Bach manuscripts and some publisher X.
But I was wondering ... what if I try to do something similar to the original? Not the same but similar, ...

Bach original:
Bach original curvedbeaming.png
Bach original curvedbeaming.png (99.78 KiB) Viewed 1005 times
Bach publisherX example:
Bach-normal-publisherX-Example.png
Bach-normal-publisherX-Example.png (81.6 KiB) Viewed 1005 times
Bach my attempt:
Bach-my attempt curved beaming.png
Bach-my attempt curved beaming.png (40.98 KiB) Viewed 1004 times

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OCTO
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by OCTO »

Den wrote:
21 Aug 2020, 00:29
But I was wondering ... what if I try to do something similar to the original? Not the same but similar, ...
Hm, I am not sure that copying a handwritten score is the way to engrave music. It still looks computer-processed, but not lively as you would do it by hand. Otherwise, you can print out the old score, no need to do it on the computer.

I think that it is important to keep all intentions of a composer intact, and to do it in a such way that is harmonic and balanced visually on paper, and with all engraving rules inclusive. That is hard.
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Den
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by Den »

OCTO wrote:
22 Aug 2020, 06:56
Den wrote:
21 Aug 2020, 00:29
But I was wondering ... what if I try to do something similar to the original? Not the same but similar, ...
Hm, I am not sure that copying a handwritten score is the way to engrave music. It still looks computer-processed, but not lively as you would do it by hand. Otherwise, you can print out the old score, no need to do it on the computer.

I think that it is important to keep all intentions of a composer intact, and to do it in a such way that is harmonic and balanced visually on paper, and with all engraving rules inclusive. That is hard.
I know OCTO, that's right... of course it can be further processed in the DTP software program and get an old-fashioned style, but that was not my goal, but just curiosity whether it can be done similarly to the original. Now I see it can, but it takes a lot of time. I did this purely for my little experiment ...

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OCTO
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by OCTO »

Den wrote:
22 Aug 2020, 12:27
I know OCTO, that's right... of course it can be further processed in the DTP software program and get an old-fashioned style, but that was not my goal, but just curiosity whether it can be done similarly to the original. Now I see it can, but it takes a lot of time. I did this purely for my little experiment ...
Capito. You perhaps know the famous Wess's "old" score done in Finale?
It is a kind of exercise that is time consuming, but fun to do.
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OCTO
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Re: Different notations - Bach - Cello

Post by OCTO »

OCTO wrote:
23 Aug 2020, 19:22
You perhaps know the famous Wess's "old" score done in Finale?
It is a kind of exercise that is time consuming, but fun to do.
With Wess courtesy:
Attachments
Vintage Partitur - Haydn Sonata copy.jpg
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