Bach's Six Suites for Violoncello solo are among the highlights of eighteenth-century solo string literature. From early on, these pieces have also been performed on the viola – a practice that still enjoys unbroken popularity today.
The source situation regarding the cello suites is complex: Bach's autographs are lost and the surviving sources often contradict each other with regard to phrasing, bowing and other musical details. While most existing viola transcriptions rely on the manuscript copy by Anna Magdalena Bach, this edition follows the manuscript prepared by Johann Nikolaus Schober as well as the anonymous manuscript believed to be commissioned by Johann Traeg more closely because they might reflect later thoughts and elaborations on the Suites by the composer. Chung Park based his arrangement on a thorough study of Bärenreiter's Urtext editions of Bach's Cello Suites and recommends violists to refer to these editions and facsimile resources (BA5217 edited by Douglas Woodfull-Harris and Bettina Schwemer; BA5278 edited by Andrew Talle) for further information on the evaluation of the sources and the comparison of differing readings.
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