On Sun, 8 Oct 2006 18:43:00 -0700, Davitt Moroney wrote:
>...If Bach indeed
> wrote the cello suites for a "viola pomposa" (or "violoncello piccolo
> da spalla"),
I don't think there is any conclusive evidence of this. I am familar
with Badiarov and the present argumentation which is anythin but new
and was also discussed and dismissed by Rubhardt as early as 1965. For
my part, I cannot accept this, either. In particular, because Bach
actually did write specifically for the Pomposa (violoncello piccolo)
as a solo instrument and there the voice is part of the first violin
Cantata No. 115, "Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit"
Cantata No. 16, "Herr Qott dich loben wir"
there are others as well
kein Anspruch auf Vollstaendigkeit...
This does mate up with Kuiken's, Smits' and Badiarov's assumptions
about the Pomposa.
But they are not for the cello or to be played by the cellist.
There is no autograph of the sonatas, but the three copies are from
Anne Magdelena Bach, Johann Peter Kellner and an anon copy from the
late 18th.c. Both the AMB and JPK copies can be seen as authenticated.
The sonatas 1-5 do not go beyond the 4th position and cannot possibly
be proof of any argument, either for the Pomposa or against the
playability during B's lifetime. The 6th does go beyond as seen by a
modern cellist without ANY knowledge of the historic cello for the
simple reason that it is for a 5-string cello (or Pomposa? = same
tuning). With a 5-string, the position playing is no more difficult
than the other 5 sonatas. THe sonata as a whole is ahelluva lot more
BTW, what to do with Boccherini, born 9 years befor JSB died. Did he
drop from a different star?
Or Abel (born 1723, friend and partner of JCB); his Gamba sonatas
routinely use thumb position, another reason why he stopped using frets.
Just for the records, so-caled thumb position, the use of the thumb to
stop a string beyond the nut(capo daster), was and is used even in the
The playability arumentation is a rotten apple. What to do with
Shubert's Arpeggione Sonata?
It is not playable on the cello without extensive rewriting, and that
is not just editing as in the Bach 5th and 6th. The guitar tuning
allows double stops that are not possible on the cello at all. One
reason why it is often played with the viola; the stops are better
possible due to the smaller size, an argument also used for the
Pomposa. Why not just break down and play it on the Arpeggione?
> (The proof of the pudding is in the playing.)
check out the recording I mentioned.
So much for what'shername's "proof"
> We have an original "viola pomposa" at Berkeley, built by Bach's
> friend Christian Hoffmann of Leipzig and dated 1731
Heinemann's Pomposas followed a Hoffmann restored.