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6 Harpsichord Suites

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6 Harpsichord Suites

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PDF, 1.08 Mb ID: SM-000388767 Upload date: 25 Apr 2020
Instrumentation
Double bass
Scored for
Solo
Type of score
For a single performer
Movement(s)
1 to 6 from 6
Arranger
Michał Bylina
Publisher
Michał Bylina
Difficulty
Advanced
This book contains pieces that were written originally for harpsichord
and transcribed for double bass solo. These are 5 French Suites
(BWV 812 - BWV 817, except Suite in E flat major BWV 815), one English Suite (BWV 808) and a single Prelude in d minor from Das Wohltemperierte Klavier (BWV 875).
I decided to transcribe the given pieces in order to enrich the baroque solo repertoire for the double bass. This instrument, however, (rather its ancestor: violone) belonged to the continuo group and the quantity of solo pieces written for it is very little. Hence the most popular among us bassists are the famous Bach's 6 Suites for the violoncello. I have already seen quite a lot of their transcriptions and, despite the advantages and disadvantages of some
of them, they couldn't avoid melodic lines, chords and figures that are natural for the violoncello and quite often are odd or even impossible to play on the bass. Therefore, I wanted to create a book of suites written by Bach that would be adjusted to the double bass so that it could show its
possibilities. Alas, in order to achieve it I had to change the keys of half of the suites (BWV 813 is a major second up, BWV 814 is a major second down, BWV 817 is a major third up). Despite of my sincere desire to leave as much of Bach's notes as possible I was forced to change it in a few places.
I believe, however, that these spots will remain unseen and unheard even for experienced musicians.
The notes mostly lack the dynamics and articulation signs thus allowing the performer to make his own interpretation.
As the Suites were originally written for harpsichord, my transcriptions may seem somewhat subjective. The most difficult part of my work was to extract the essence of most frequently four-voice polyphony. Having in mind the differences between the harpsichord and the double bass, some movements don't appear here, as their transcriptions would have required too many changes against Bach or would have been unplayable. I encourage the performer to make ornaments such as trills, grace notes, etc. wherever (being aware of baroque performance practice) they find it suitable.
The choice of the compositions that finally formed the 6 Suites wasn't made randomly. I decided to transcribe them for double bass thanks to a few people who unconsciously inspired me to do it. Therefore, I am very grateful to them. I hope that this book will diffuse the contained great music by J.S. Bach and will allow it to form part of a modern bassist's solo repertoire.
I would also like to say big thank you to Jacek Stecewicz, who was an endless well of motivation during my work.
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