A comparison of selected editions of Bach's Suite no. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011

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Green, Curtis A.
Opie, Peter
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Thesis (M.M.)
School of Music
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This project examined historical sources and editions of Bach’s 5th Cello Suite. The versions studied included the two oldest extant manuscripts, those of Anna Magdalena Bach and Johann Peter Kellner, as well as the first printed edition, which was published in 1824 by Janet et Cotelle of Paris. To provide a more recent perspective, the Schirmer edition of 1939, edited by Frits Gaillard, was also included. To resolve disputes between the earlier manuscripts, Bach’s lute transcription was studied. Several specific examples were studied in detail, demonstrating a process of examining the manuscripts to determine the best performance option. In some cases, no single option stood out as being superior. In such cases, the decision is left to the performer. The problem with more recent editions is that they must make many decisions without adequate information from the manuscripts. Again, the performer is called upon to make informed decisions.