Bach's Seventh Suite 

J.S. Bach composed the iconic 6 Suites for unaccompanied cello in ca. 1720. However, cellists have been borrowing Bach's solo violin and flute works to expand their baroque repertoire. In 1988, the cellist from the San Francisco Opera, David Kadarauch, transcribed 6 movements from assorted keyboard works by Bach and combined them into a work for solo cello called "The Seventh Suite." The contents are as follows:

Prelude - Partita, BWV 829
Allemande - Partita, BWV 825
Courante - Partita, BWV 828
Sarabande - English Suite, BWV 806
Minuets I and II - Partita, BWV 825 
Gigue - Partita, BWV 828

All but one of these movements have been transposed to G major; only the Prelude is originally in this key. In the preface of the now obscure Agogic edition, Kadarauch states that his "aim has been to follow the form and the spirit of the original six suites as much as possible, and not to exceed their technical demands." Indeed, "The Seventh Suite" does not reach beyond the technical demands of the third suite. The preface also promises an "Eighth Suite" to be published in the summer of 1988, which does not seem to have been realized.

The published suite is an attractive work overall, while the Courante leaves a bit to be desired from the standpoint of conversion to the cello medium. The score was prepared by the Japanese-American bassist Shinji Eshima on the now-obsolete Professional Composer software. The engraving contains all of the peculiarities of that software without attempting to look like a polished, publication-ready product. Slurs and ties look hand-drawn. I believe that this work could have some success with a proper "facelift."

Currently, the only copy I could find in the United States is housed at the Juilliard music library. Strings Magazine featured an article about this work in the late-1990s with a reengraved Minuet movement. Apart from these, hardly anyone is aware of this transcription. I hope that my article brings attention to this work and the name of David Kadarauch.

Mixing Editions Can Be Dangerous 

Spending any time in the music world will make you realize that there is an abundance of editions out there, especially for standard repertoire. Our teachers guide us on which edition to purchase/download. Our orchestra librarians make sure that the correct music is distributed to our folders.

But what about mixing editions? What if you don't want your pianist to borrow your prized copy of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto? You bought an E trumpet for this performance and your music is in E major. You tell your pianist to download it from IMSLP. She has only played it in E-flat and assumes that you will, too. You meet for the first rehearsal and your music is in two different keys! Obviously, there was a miscommunication. If the orchestra parts were in the wrong key, it would have been an even bigger mess. This happens to a greater or lesser degree to all of us

I know of a recording on a major label where the cello soloist plays a composed version of a concerto and the orchestra plays the original version; to someone who knows the piece, it sounds like a mess. When I lived in Detroit, I spent a lot of time at Luck's Music Library. I once asked them why they don't sell Haydn's Concerto No. 5 in C major (this was before I knew that it was a musical hoax by Popper). They told me that people would purchase it by accident instead of the famous C-major concerto. In that case, those 2 concertos had nothing to do with each other besides being in the same key. But this often happens with different editions of the same piece.

Haydn - Cello Concerto in D major

Haydn's D-major Concerto is notorious for mismatched parts. There are 2 main versions for the orchestra parts, the original and the "Gevaert" version (orchestrated from Servais's version). Usually, the 2 versions are marked as such. The number of versions for cello and piano is much greater. There are editions with cuts, interpolations, and pitch alterations. Before your first rehearsal, you will want to make sure that the solo part you plan to play matches the accompaniment. Don't assume the pianist/conductor will acquire the correct version.

Selected Discography
Miklos Perenyi - Original, without any alterations to the solo part
Daniil Shafran - Traditional Gevaert version (double woodwinds) with the cadenza by Gevaert (most likely Servais)
Christine Walevska - Altered Gevaert version (2 oboes/2 horns), currently available from Breitkopf

CPE Bach - Cello Concertos in A minor and A major

If you get the Breitkopf (Grutzmacher) edition of CPE Bach's A-minor concerto, it won't be compatible with the original version's orchestra parts, as you can hear in the (mixed-edition) Tim Hugh (Naxos) recording. The story with the A-major concerto is almost as complicated as that of the Haydn concerto. The editions prepared by Pollein and Cassadó are incompatible with original orchestra parts. Cassadó's version is altogether in a different key of F major.

Boccherini - Cello Concertos in B-flat major and D major (G. 479)

Boccherini's B-flat major concerto is surrounded by confusion. Someone decided to assign the G. 482 catalog number to the Grutzmacher concerto, aka by Boccherini, which is entirely a different piece from Boccherini's G. 482 concerto. Grutzmacher did a paste job with 4 of Boccherini's concertos and a Dotzauer etude. The solo parts and orchestra parts are completely incompatible.

Another famous Boccherini concerto, G. 479, has been arranged and reorchestrated by Aslamazyan, Cassadó, Respighi, and others. The solo parts and orchestra parts are incompatible with the original version. 

Tchaikovsky - Rococo Variations

These days, more cellists are playing the "original" version of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, but there is not one original version. Among orchestra versions, Luck's sells one reconstructed version. Schott sells another reconstructed version which is incompatible with Luck's. There are 2 unreconstructed original versions, a 1970s Soviet edition (not Kubatsky) and my YL Edition. The latter 2 are compatible. But if you purchase the Peters Urtext or Schott editions, they will be incompatible. Maybe then you might realize that there is nothing wrong with continuing to play the "Fitzenhagen" version. Are you confused yet?

Selected Discography
Steven Isserlis - Original, based on the manuscript sources (1970s Soviet edition and YL Edition)
Johannes Moser Reconstructed version by Kubatsky (Kubatsky/Schott)
Miklos Perenyi - Original, based on the manuscript sources (1970s Soviet edition/YL Edition)
Raphael Wallfisch - Reconstructed version by Kubatsky with additional alteration by Stogorky (Luck's/Kalmus)

Kraft - Cello Concerto, Op. 4

In my exploration of lesser played cello repertoire, I've also found the Dominis edition of Antonin Kraft's C-major concerto, Op. 4 to not be compatible with the original version. The Dominis edition has truncated the piece as well as changed the key of the slow movement from E to A major. There are no recordings of the Dominis edition.

Romberg - Cello Concertos

Solo parts from Peters (Grutzmacher), Litolff (Schoeder), Carl Fischer (Malkin), and IMC (Rose) editions of Romberg's cello concertos are not compatible with the original orchestra parts.

Bartok - Viola Concerto (cello version)

If you want to play Bartok's Viola Concerto on the cello like Janos Starker, you will need to get the orchestra parts to the Tibor Serly version. The Peter Bartok version parts are incompatible.


The rule of thumb is to try to play from the same edition as the other members of your group. You will save time asking, "where is letter X?" Number your measures, check the score for inconsistencies in your part and you will be in great shape. If you play in an orchestra and you have a great librarian you can trust that most of the inconsistencies have been smoothed out.

Building a Cello Music Library 

Last year, I put together a comprehensive edition guide to the standard cello repertoire. I would like to offer a smaller guide on where to start with a basic cello music library. If I were to narrow down the options, where would I recommend that you begin? This is a "desert island" list for standard cello repertoire.

While this is a difficult task, I hope to keep the options down to just one edition per piece. The list may look different from other cellists/teachers. Some of my choices may surprise you.



Duport - 21 Studies (Schirmer)
Franchomme - 12 Caprices, Op. 7 (YL Edition)
Lee - 40 Etudes (YL Edition)
Piatti - 12 Caprices, Op. 25 (Simrock/IMSLP)
Popper - High School of Cello Playing, Op. 73 (Paladino)
Servais - 6 Caprices, Op. 11 (YL Edition)
Ševčík - 40 Variations, Op. 3 (Bosworth/IMSLP arr. Feuillard)


Unaccompanied Cello

Bach, J.S. - 6 Suites, BWV 1007-1012 (YL Edition)
Britten - 3 Suites (Faber)
Cassadó - Suite (Universal/IMSLP)
Hindemith - Sonata, Op. 25, No. 3 (Schott/IMSLP)
Kodaly -Sonata, Op. 8 (Universal/IMSLP)



Bach, J.S. - 3 Gamba Sonatas, BWV 1027-1029 (Henle)
Barber - Sonata, Op. 6 (Schirmer)
Beethoven - 5 Sonatas (Henle, preferably ed. Navarra)
Brahms - Sonata No. 1, Op. 38 (Henle)
Brahms - Sonata No. 2, Op. 99 (Wiener Urtext)
Bréval - Sonatas Opp. 12, 28, 40 (Artistic Score Engraving)
Britten - Sonata, Op. 65 (Boosey)
Chopin - Sonata, Op. 65 (Breitkopf/IMSLP)
Debussy - Sonata (Durand/IMSLP)
Fauré - Sonata No. 1, Op. 109 (Durand/IMSLP)
Fauré - Sonata No. 2, Op. 117 (Durand/IMSLP)
Franck - Sonata (Internation Music Company)
Grieg - Sonata, Op. 36 (Peters/IMSLP, plate no. 10482)
Kabalevsky - Sonata, Op. 71 (International Music Company)
Mendelssohn - Sonata No. 1, Op. 45 (Breitkopf/IMSLP, ed. Rietz)
Mendelssohn - Sonata No. 2, Op. 58 (Pohle/IMSLP)
Prokofiev - Sonata, Op. 119 (International Music Company)
Rachmaninov - Sonata, Op. 19 (YL Edition with Gutheil/IMSLP piano part)
Romberg - 3 Sonatas, Op. 43 (YL Edition)
Romberg - 3 Trios (Sonatas) Op. 38 (YL Edition)
Saint-Saëns - Sonata No. 1, Op. 32 (Durand/IMSLP)
Saint-Saëns - Sonata No. 2, Op. 123 (Durand/IMSLP)
Schubert - Sonata "Arpeggione" (YL Edition with Bärenreiter piano part)
Shostakovich - Sonata, Op. 40 (International Music Company with my critical commentary)
Strauss - Sonata, Op. 6 (Aibl/IMSLP)
Vivaldi - 9 Sonatas (Artistic Music Engraving)


Concertos (with piano reduction)

Barber - Concerto, Op. 22 (Schirmer with my critical commentary)
Bloch - Schelomo (YL Edition with Schirmer/IMSLP piano part)
Dvořák - Concerto, Op. 104 (Bärenreiter with my comparative score)
Elgar - Concerto, Op. 85 (Novello/IMSLP)
Goltermann - Concerto No. 4 (Artistic Music Engraving)
Haydn - Concerto in C (unedited - YL Edition, edited - Henle)
Haydn - Concerto in D (unedited - YL Edition, edited - Peters, ed. Storck)
Kabalevsky - Concerto No. 1, Op. 49 (International Music Company)
Klengel - Concertino No. 1 (YL Edition with Breitkopf/IMSLP piano part)
Lalo - Concerto (Peters/IMSLP, ed. Klengel)
Prokofiev - Sinfonia Concertante, Op. 125 (Boosey with my critical commentary)
Saint-Saëns - Concerto No. 1, Op. 33 (Durand/IMSLP)
Saint-Saëns - Concerto No. 2, Op. 33 (YL Edition)
Schumann - Concerto, Op. 129 (YL Edition with Breitkopf/IMSLP piano part)
Shostakovich - Concerto No. 1, Op. 107 (International Music Company)
Shostakovich - Concerto No. 2, Op. 126 (International Music Company)
Tchaikovsky - Rococo Variations, Op. 33 (YL Edition)


Short pieces

Beethoven - Variations (Henle)
Bloch - From Jewish Life (YL Edition)
Bruch - Kol Nidrei (Schirmer/IMSLP)
Cassadó - Toccata, formerly attributed to Frescobaldi (YL Edition)
Davydov - At the Fountain (YL Edition)
Dvořák - Silent Woods and Rondo (Wiener Urtext)
Falla - Suite Populaire Espagnole (Eschig/IMSLP, arr. Maréchal)
Fauré - Elegie, Sicilienne, Papillon, Romance (Peters anthology)
Glazunov - Chant du ménestrel (YL Edition)
Janáček - Pohádka (Supraphon/IMSLP)
Popper - Elfentanz, Op. 39 (YL Edition)
Popper - Hungarian Rhapsody, Op. 68 (YL Edition)
Popper - Im Walde, Op. 50 (YL Edition)
Popper - Tarantella, Op. 33 (YL Edition)
Saint-Saëns - Allegro Appassionato (YL Edition)
Saint-Saëns - The Swan (YL Edition)
Schumann - Fantasiestücke, Op. 73 (Pohle/IMSLP, ed. Davydov)
Schumann - Fünf Stücke im Volkston (International Music Company/Pohle, ed. Davydov)
Stravinsky - Suite Italienne (Boosey with my critical commentary)
Tchaikovsky - Pezzo Capriccioso (YL Edition)

Critical Notes Series: Rossini's William Tell Overture 

Rossini's overtures are arguably some of the audiences' favorite concert openers. But for the orchestra conductor and especially the librarian the task of obtaining the parts is not as straightforward as it might seem. If you look at catalogs, you will quickly find that some of Rossini's overtures exist in Italian and German versions. What is the difference? The difference in the Barber of Seville is not as slight as the number of pick-up notes in the main theme. In the late 1800s, the music publisher Breitkopf & Hartel produced several editions of Rossini's overtures that matched the German taste at the time. If your orchestra library owns one of the original Breitkopf publications, you might have noticed that the composer is "J. Rossini" instead of "G. Rossini."

Many orchestras have gone back to Rossini's original orchestrations in Barber of Seville and Thieving Magpie overtures, but William Tell is still most often being performed from the late-1800s German orchestration. 

The earliest publication of the opera William Tell was published by the French firm E. Troupenas in 1829, being Rossini's only grand opera. This would make Rossini's intentions best reflected in the French version, not the German. While there is an Italian (Ricordi) version of the overture, there are still some differences between that and the French (Troupenas) version.

Because the William Overture is one of the "bread and butter" cello excerpts, I decided to produce an edition of the cello/bass part based on the Troupenas edition. I inserted the rehearsal letters from the Breitkopf edition so it could still be played with other parts from that set.

Some things are immediately noticeable in the French (Urtext) version: in m. 8, the first note of cello 2 is an F#, not a D#. In the same measure, cello 5 plays A-G, not F#-E. These are not mistakes. The same notes are found in the vocal score published by Schott in the same year. The next difference is that the pizzicato is distributed between the tutti cellos and basses, not two solo basses. The cello 1 part does not have all of the editorial articulations and slurs; everything is kept simple. The final note of the cello 1 solo goes back to E5 in m. 48, instead of staying on E6. Overall, the dynamics are used sparingly in the introduction (mm. 1-47).

The second section, the stormy Allegro, is originally in 4/4 time instead of 2/2. The last difference in the cello/bass part I would like to point out is the fortissimo in the bass part in m. 154, instead of the piano in the German version. The fortissimo makes sense as the final crash of thunder.

I am offering the cello/bass part free of charge so orchestras could have the opportunity to try out Rossini's original intentions.

Critical Notes Series: Vivaldi's Cello Sonatas 

Introducing the new edition of Vivaldi's 9 Cello Sonatas, published by Artistic Score Engraving.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741) was a prolific composer, someone many composers, including J.S. Bach, looked up to. Vivaldi composed for practically every instrument available during his lifetime. In this aspect, he passed on the torch to Paul Hindemith. One would be hard-pressed to name many other composers who accomplished this. 

Vivaldi was quite generous with cellists, gifting them no fewer than twenty-five solo concertos[1], ten solo sonatas[2], a concerto for two cellos, three with violin, and many other concertos grosso where the cello plays a concertante role. 


The Sonatas 

In the twentieth century, six of Vivaldi’s cello sonatas gained popularity as pedagogical works. Several twentieth-century composers orchestrated these sonatas to be performed as concertos. Ironically, cellists who played the orchestrated sonatas did not play the original concertos. The famous orchestrators include Vincent D’Indy (complete), Luigi Dallapiccola (complete), Gaspar Cassadó (RV 40), Paul Bazelaire (RV 40), and others. 

A typical, twentieth-century keyboard realization had the style of Romantic-era piano writing, which was thick and rich almost the entire time. This kind of keyboard realization continued into the 1970s with the Ariston edition of the three sonatas (RV 44, 39, 42). However, when the Ricordi edition published the complete edition of Vivaldi’s works, Gian Francesco Malipiero and Fritz Zobeley were much lighter on the realization. 

All nine of Vivaldi’s surviving cello sonatas are in the sonata da camera (chamber sonata) genre, meaning that the sonatas consist of dance movements, although, for the most part, unmarked. While Vivaldi does not use dance titles in most of the cello sonatas, we can surmise which dances he had in mind, comparing the style in this set to his Manchester Sonatas and other sonatas for violin. 

Allemanda: 41, II; 43, II; 40, II; 46, II; 44, II; 39, II; 42, II 
Corrente: 47, II; 41, IV; 45 IV; 46, IV 
Sarabanda: 47, III, 43, III; 44, III; 39, III; 42, III 
Giga: 40, IV; 42, IV 
Gavotta: 47, IV; 43, IV; 45, II; 44, IV, 39, IV 
Siciliana: 40, III 

As with the Manchester Sonatas, each cello sonata could open with a “Preludio” movement. Vivaldi uses an imitative, sonata-da-chiesa (church sonata) style for the third movement of RV 46. The third movements of RV 41 and 45 are not stylized after dances. 

It is noteworthy that three of the nine cello sonatas are in the key of B-flat major (RV 45-47), a key that Vivaldi used for only one cello concerto (RV423), not the most common key for cello music. Two of the sonatas are in A minor (RV 43 and 44), the key he used five times in his cello concertos. The other sonatas are in E-flat major, E minor, F major, and G minor. 

Some of the cello sonatas share thematic material with other works by Vivaldi and Carlo Marino: 

RV 47, II – Violin Sonata in E minor, RV. 17a, Corrente 
RV 41, IV – Violin Sonata in F major, RV 20 (Op. 2, No. 4), Corrente 
RV 41, III – Violin Sonata in C minor, RV 5, I 
RV 45 II – Cello Concerto in A minor, RV 421, II 
RV 40, I – Cello Concerto in C minor, RV 401, I; Violin Concerto in C major, RV 189, II; likely ultimately borrowed from Carlo Marino’s Violin Sonata in A major, Op. 8, No. 6 
RV 40, II – Violin Sonata in C minor, RV 5a, Allemanda 
RV 46, IV – Violin Sonata in D minor, RV 15, Corrente 
RV 44, IV – Concerto for Strings in C minor, RV 120, I 
RV 42, IV – Violin Sonata in E-flat major, RV 756, IV 


Pedagogical value

As stated before, Vivaldi’s cello sonatas have been enjoying a spot in the young cellists’ repertoire for over a hundred years. These works contain similar features to Bach’s Cello Suites: simple forms, attractive melodies, the stylistic variety between the sonatas, challenging string crossings, and range limited to the first four positions with few exceptions.  

Vivaldi mainly used the tenor range of the cello. The cello part in all the sources uses a mix of bass and tenor clef. Vivaldi tended to use tenor clef in passages where the music went above F4. Our edition gives preference to the bass clef in several passages where the tenor clef was originally used. The use of the C string is not as prevalent as in Bach’s Suites. Most of the occurrences of C-string usage are found around cadences. 

I would like to suggest the following order in which to learn Vivaldi’s sonatas. While the opinion of the progression may differ, my recommendation is to view each sonata as a whole work. 

RV 40: II, III, I, IV
RV 41: I, III, IV, III 
RV 43: I, III, II, IV 
RV 42: IV, III, I, II 
RV 47: I, IV, III, II 
RV 45: I, IV, III, II 
RV 44: I, III, II, IV 
RV 46: I, II, III, IV 
RV 39: I, III, IV, II 


The Sources 

Nine solo cello sonatas are currently available in five manuscripts and one printed source. According to Peter Ryom, the eminent cataloger of Vivaldi’s music in the Ryom Verzeichnis (RV), one manuscript source is partly in Vivaldi’s hand. This source includes sonatas RV 47, 44, and 39, and is currently housed at the Biblioteca del Conservatorio S. Pietro a Maiella in Naples under shelf marks 11188 – 11190. The second source is located in Paris at the Bibliothèque Nationale. This source contains a copy of the six sonatas in the order most cellists know them (RV 47, 41, 43, 45, 40, 46) cataloged under Vm7 6310. The third source is housed in Wiesentheid at the Graf von Schönborn’sche Musikbibliothek, containing sonatas RV 46 and 42, catalogued under 782 and 783. The Graf von Schönborn’sche Musikbibliothek also contains sonata RV 44 under the number 532. While it is difficult to identify the year of composition for these works, the Vivaldi scholar Bettina Hoffmann places the composition around the 1720s.[3] 

Ca. 1740, the French firm Le Clerc published Vivaldi’s six sonatas (RV 47, 41, 43, 45, 40, 46), likely without Vivaldi’s blessing. This publication included new figured bass[4], slurs, articulations, and several recomposed passages. Le Clerc may be viewed as a performance edition for the French audience. As recently as 1988, the Grancino Edition used Le Clerc as the main source for their critical edition. Ricordi (ed. Malipiero) used Le Clerc as the main source. Bärenreiter and Wiener Urtext use the manuscript sources rather than Le Clerc, however, they borrow certain aspects of the ca. 1740 printing. 

Our edition does not use Le Clerc as a source, because we do not believe that it includes Vivaldi’s wishes. The order of the sonatas in our edition will follow the common order: RV 47, 41, 43, 45, 40, 46, 44, 39, 42. 


1) Unmarked Critical Edition - The main, unmarked text is based solely on the following sources: Naples for RV 47, 44, 39, Paris for RV 41, 43, 45, 40, 46, and Wiesentheid for RV42. Changes to the text have been footnoted. The repeat signs at the end of the non-binary movements have been removed.

2) Marked Critical edition with Keyboard - Fingerings, bowings, and the keyboard realization of the basso continuo have been prepared by the editor. 

3) Unmarked Secondary Source Edition (RV 47, 46, 44 only) - scores based solely on secondary sources: Paris for RV 47 and Wiesentheid for RV 46 and 44.

4) Bundled Marked and Unmarked editions - 1) and 2) together



[1] RV 398 – 424. Many of these concertos have only basso continuo accompaniments in the slow movements. RV 404 and 415 are considered spurious by today’s scholars. RV 787 and 788 are incomplete. The slow movement of the RV 538 concerto for two horns has a cello solo with basso continuo accompaniment in the second movement. 

[2] RV 38 – 47. RV 38, in D minor, is now lost. 

[3] Antonio Vivaldi, Complete Sonatas for Violoncello and Basso Continuo, ed. Bettina Hoffmann, Bärenreiter (Kassel, 2003), VIII–XI. 

[4] Vivaldi does not use figured bass, but three times in RV 45, when the solo cello plays below the bass.

Critical Notes Series: Vivaldi's Cello Concertos 

As we survey the standard cello repertoire in the baroque period we find that the concerto genre is often overlooked. Violinists have Bach's 2 solo concertos and a double concerto as well as Vivaldi's Four Seasons, and a handful of other concertos. The standard cello concerto repertoire seems to start with Haydn's C-major concerto, maybe C.P.E. Bach's A-major concerto.

Vivaldi composed at least 25 solo concertos, a double cello concerto, and several other concerto-grosso-style concertos that involve the cello as a soloist. These works span from the simple, first-position concerto to the complex, advanced-level concertos in the vein of Haydn, Boccherini, and C.P.E. Bach.

I would like to present Vivaldi's 25 solo concertos, as well as the "Double" Concerto in a graded fashion, with the hope that my readers would include these beautiful works in their repertoires and teaching curricula. The links are to my new Urtext editions of these works; the first link is to the unmarked score/solo/orchestra part set to be used in performance, and the second is to the piano reduction/Urtext solo/marked solo set to be used in teaching. 

Each entry will include the RV number, key, grade level (based on ASTA), clefs used, the link to the editions, and a brief introduction to the work.


RV 399
C major
Grade: 1
Highest position used: 1
Clef(s): bass
Other features: simple string crossings; short solo sections
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 399 cello concerto is perfect for a student who is finishing up Suzuki Book 1. The entire concerto may be played in the first position (second position is optional). The outer movements are filled with excitement. The slow movement is accompanied only by basso continuo, making it sound like a sonata.


RV 412  
F major    
Grade: 2   
Highest position used: 2; 3 (sparingly)  
Clef(s): bass  
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano  
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 412 is a joyful and simple work, reminiscent of Autumn of the Four Seasons. The similar melody to the finale ritornello is also used in "Tecum principium" from Dixit Dominus, RV 807.


RV 398 
C major  
Grade: 2 
Highest position used: 3 
Clef(s): bass 
Other features: syncopations 
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano  
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 398 cello concerto is perfect for a student who is finishing up Suzuki Book 2. The first movement is based on an interesting rhythm, which is introduced by the imitation between the violins in the ritornello. The second movement is accompanied only by the basso continuo, making it sound like a sonata. The finale is a graceful minuet. 


RV 406
D minor 
Grade: 2
Highest position used: 3 (first movement, with brief 4 in mm. 61-63); 2 (second and third movements)
Clef(s): bass
Other features: string crossings; in the first movement, the soloist is required to play the ritornello obbligato parts in mm. 4-8 and 75-79.
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano       
About the work: The first movement of Vivaldi's RV 406 concerto was also used in his bassoon concerto RV 481. The slow movement is accompanied by unison strings and the finale is a minuet with 3 variations.


RV 403
D major
Grade: 2
Highest position used: 3
Clef(s): bass
Other features: dotted rhythms (hooked bowing)
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 403 cello concerto is a quintessential D-major work, emanating exuberance. The opening is regal with dotted rhythms. The slow movement is accompanied only by the basso continuo, making it sound like a sonata.


RV 411
F major
Grade: 3
Highest position used: 4 (A harmonic)
Clef(s): bass and tenor 
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 411 cello concerto is the shortest in the composer's cello concerto output. 


RV 416
G minor
Grade: 3
Highest position used: 4
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: syncopations in the first movement
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 416 cello concerto begins with an off-kilter dotted rhythm that pervades the entire first movement. The second movement is in binary form, accompanied only by the basso continuo. The finale is an exciting courante with imitation in the violins during the ritornellos. 


RV 407
D minor  
Grade: 3
Highest position used: 4; 5 in m. 15 (approached stepwise)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: string crossings 
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 407 concerto begins with an energetic canon between the violins. The soloist is required to play the obbligato part for the first 7 bars. The notation of these bars is shorthand and may be interpreted as printed or with alternating 16th notes between the D and A strings. The slow movement is a sarabande over a unison ground bass. The finale is an exciting gigue in binary form.


RV 410
F major
Grade: 3 
Highest position used: 4 (A harmonic)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: the finale has challenging sixteenth-note-triplet passage work.
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 410 opens with a syncopated interplay between the violins. The slow movement is marked "a piacimento" (to one's pleasure) for the soloist and is accompanied only by the basso continuo. The finale also has syncopations in the ritornellos. 


RV 422
A minor  
Grade: 3
Highest position used: 4 (A harmonic)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 422 concerto is arguably the most well-known solo cello concerto by the composer. This work appears in many collections of concertos for students around the world. The solo part is not as varied with regards to technique as other Vivaldi concertos of this difficulty level. The first movement ritornellos have an interesting interplay between the violins. The second movement is accompanied only by the basso continuo, making it sound like a sonata. Much of the finale has unison strings, so the energy comes mostly from rhythm and tempo. A part of the finale is also used in the RV 333 violin concerto and RV 491 bassoon concerto finales.


RV 421
A minor 
Grade: 3 
Highest position used: 4 (A harmonic)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: the soloist imitates lute/guitar tremolo in mm. 40-50 of the finale.
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 421 cello concerto begins with a slower first movement with imitative violins. Vivaldi inserts a half measure in order to realign the phrase in the first movement m. 33. The slow movement is accompanied only by the basso continuo, where the melodic line is similar to the third movement of cello sonata RV 45. The finale brings excitement with syncopations.


RV 419
A minor
Grade: 3
Highest position used: 4 (A harmonic); 6 (first movement, m. 29 is approached linearly)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 419 is one of five cello concertos he composed in A minor. The first-movement ritornellos are driven by the motivic motor in the bass. The tranquil slow movement is accompanied by an off-beat basso continuo. The finale is an exciting ground-bass-variation minuet. The special feature in the finale is the tremolo in the solo and violin II parts.


RV 420
A minor 
Grade: 3
Highest position used: 4 (A harmonic)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: large string crossings
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 420 cello concerto is one of five A-minor work he composed in the genre. The concerto begins with an Andante movement and a cello solo, not the typical orchestra ritornello. It is one of the most unified and thematically developed movements in Vivaldi's output. Each solo section is punctuated with a short ritornello over a basso lamento. The second movement is a solemn Adagio where the soloist plays an obbligato part with large string crossings during the ritornellos. The finale is an exciting courante that shares some cello techniques with Bach's C-major Suite. 


RV 402 
C minor     
Grade: 3 
Highest position used: 4; 5 in mm. 77-78 of the first movement. 
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: the ritornellos in the finale feature the soloist 
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 402 shares much of the pathos of its C-minor sibling, RV 401. The first movement ritornellos rely on imitation at the unison between the violins for its energy. The slow movement is a tranquil sarabande and the finale a sturdy minuet. Both the slow movement and finale are in binary form with repeats. 


RV 409 
E minor 
Grade: 3  
Highest position used: 4; 5 (sparingly in outer movements)   
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 409 is a unique work in the composer's cello concerto oeuvre; the continuo part is prescribed to the bassoon, in the first movement explicitly and in the others implicitly. In the first movement, the solo portions are Adagio, punctuated by short, Allegro ritornellos. The second movement is the opposite, with the solo passages having an Allegro marking, while the short ritornellos Adagio. The finale is a standard Allegro ritornello form.


RV 408
E-flat major   
Grade: 3   
Highest position used: 4; 5 (sparingly) 
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: fast passagework in the finale
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 408 is the only one of his cello concertos in E-flat major. The outer movements of this work are full of joy. The syncopated bass line of the first movement makes it even more exciting. A very similar ritornello is used in the opening movement of the RV 259 violin concerto. The solemn slow movement is accompanied only by the basso continuo, making it sound like a sonata. This movement is in C minor but briefly moves to B-flat minor in its more chromatic passage. The melody of this movement is also used in the opening movement of the RV 12 violin sonata. The finale is a springy minuet with a few challenging shifts in mm. 26-34. The key signature has only 2 flats, one of the ways of notating the E-flat-major key signature in the baroque period.


RV 417
G minor 
Grade: 3
Highest position used: 4; A harmonic
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 417 is among the more frequently played of the composer's cello concertos. The first movement solo sections are on the shorter side. The slow movement only has the basso continuo for the accompaniment, resembling Vivaldi's sonatas, even sharing the key of B-flat major with three of the sonatas. The finale is a fiery Courante, with almost a Spanish flair; a part of this movement's ritornello is also used in "Se il cor guerriero" from Tito Manlio, RV 738.


RV 405 
D minor 
Grade: 3 
Highest position used: 5; 6 and 7 are used sparingly in the first 2 movements 
Clef(s): bass and tenor 
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 405 concerto has two fast movements in triple time. The soloist foreshadows the tutti of the finale in mm. 26-31 of the first movement. The tuttis have exciting rhythms.


RV 401
C minor   
Grade: 3  
Highest position used: 5; 6 and 7 are used only in mm. 61-63 in the finale
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: advanced string crossings; fast passage work
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 401 includes some of the most beautiful harmonies the composer wrote. The tempos are generally slower in comparison to other concertos by Vivaldi. This work requires a high skill level to play the fast passages and string crossing. The first movement is also used as a slow movement (Larghetto) to the RV 189 violin concerto and has melodic similarity to the RV 40 cello sonata opening movement. The viola and violin 2 parts double each other throughout. 


RV 423
B-flat major  
Grade: 3   
Highest position used: 4; 5 and 6 (approached stepwise) briefly used (mm. 82-85) along with the thumb (m. 84) in the first movement
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 423 cello concerto is a joyful work where the ritornellos punctuate the solo sections, as well as play their normal role of the "tutti" sections. The slow movement is a lamenting sarabande. The finale is a corrente in binary form. A part of the finale is used in the Corrente movement of the RV 20 (Op. 2, No. 4) violin sonata.


RV 531 (for 2 cellos)
G minor 
Grade: 4
Highest position used: 6 (cello 1); 4 (cello 2)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: string crossings; extensions (first movement); rhythm (third movement)
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 531 concerto for 2 cellos, also known as Vivaldi's Double Concerto has become very popular, in part because it is included in the Suzuki Method. The first movement is full of imitation and storm-like passages. The slow movement is solemn, written in the trio-sonata style. The finale is a lively courante. Although both soloists have the opportunity to play melodic material, the cello I part is markedly more difficult in the first movement, going up to the sixth position once and often having the higher part than cello II.


RV 414
G major  
Grade: 4
Highest position used: 4 (movements 1 and 2); thumb position (third movement, D5)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 414 cello concerto likely started its life as his flute concerto RV 438. Some clues in the solo part could lead one to believe that this work was conceived for a 5-stringed cello, especially some of the more awkward passages in the first movement, in addition to the range in the finale. The first two movements have more of a Handelian sound, and the finale has a sound one commonly associates with Vivaldi.


RV 413
G major  
Grade: 4
Highest position used: thumb position (first movement D5); 4 with A harmonic (second and third movements)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 413 cello concerto is one of the composer's most forward-looking cello working, foreshadowing Boccherini's style. The concerto begins with an exciting, sixteenth-note bass line, pervasive in all of the first-movement ritornellos, however, most of the solo sections are accompanied by the upper strings a style Boccherini adopted. The second movement is an aria, introduced by unison strings. The finale also featured continuously moving sixteenth notes. The bass accompanies more of this movement. 

There are some clues in the solo part that could lead one to believe that this work was conceived for a 5-stringed cello. However, even with the D5 being the highest note, the high position work lies very well in the left hand, like a Boccherini concerto of average difficulty. 

Another unique feature of this piece in Vivaldi's cello repertoire is the pervasive use of the echo of small melodic fragments in the ritornellos, F-P-PP in the outer movements and F-P in the middle movement. These present the listener with imagery of being in the hills.


RV 400
C major  
Grade: 4 
Highest position used: thumb position (first movement, D5); 5 (second and third movements)
Clef(s): bass and tenor
Other features: advanced string crossings
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 400 cello concerto is a joyful work that requires ample technique and finesse. The first movement opens with an interplay between the violins, also used as the ritornello of the finale of the RV 286 violin concerto. The slow movement is a tranquil sarabande, accompanied only by the basso continuo, making it sound like a sonata. This movement is also found crossed out in the autograph of the RV 181 violin concerto (Giordano 29, f.93 verso). Interestingly, the solo part of this movement is in tenor clef in the violin-concerto manuscript. The cello-concerto finale is a sturdy minuet. Many of the techniques used in this concerto are also found in Bach's C-major cello suite.


RV 418
A minor  
Grade: 4 
Highest position used: Thumb position
Clef(s): bass, tenor and treble
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 418 is one of his more technically involved cello concertos. Some passages suggest that this work may have been written for a five-stringed cello, although it is not explicitly stated in the source. The highest note is an F5 in the finale. All high passages are approached stepwise, making the solo part comfortable to play. The opening movement is a lively courante. The slow movement is one of Vivaldi's most haunting, almost reminiscent of Stravinsky's Apollon Musagète in its modernity. The finale has a very similar melodic contour to Vivaldi's E-minor cello sonata, the second movement.


RV 424
B minor  
Grade: 4 
Highest position used: thumb position (first movement); 6 (second movement); 7 (third movement)
Clef(s): bass, tenor and treble
Edition links: Orchestra; Piano
About the work: Vivaldi's RV 424 is one of his more technically involved cello concertos. The soloist is required to play an F#5. All of the high positions are always approached stepwise, making the solo part very comfortable to play. The ritornellos on the outer movements include voice crossings in the violins and violas, making for an interesting texture. The slow movement is accompanied only by the basso continuo, with a sound of a sonata. This slow movement is one of the more rhythmically complex pieces by Vivaldi.

Urtext Edition Comparison: Dvořák's Cello Concerto 

I recently completed a project where I typeset the five sources of Dvořák's Cello Concerto in score form, so those desiring to learn the Concerto could see exactly what the sources contain simultaneously. In the article about the project, I mentioned five Urtext editions that currently exist, technically, six if we count my new comparative edition.

There are four Urtext editions that have the orchestral performance material available in addition to the solo part and the piano reduction. These four editions are Supraphon (ed. Bartoš, 1955), Peters (ed. Pommer, 1976), Breitkopf (ed. Döge, 2001), Bärenreiter (ed. Del Mar, 2011). The Henle edition (ed. Oppermann, 2021) only has the solo part and piano reduction.

In this article, I will be reviewing Suprephon, Breitkopf, Bärenreiter, and Henle. I would like to thank Henle for providing me with a review copy of their new edition.



This edition came out as a part of the complete Dvořák edition. The score is based on the autograph and the Simrock orchestra score, while the separately-published solo part mixes in many of the first edition solo part readings. The solo part and piano reduction set edited by Ladislav Zelenka is still available for purchase from Bärenreiter, who acquired Supraphon. However, the solo part may also be downloaded from IMSLP free of charge because it is now in the public domain.

The Supraphon solo part includes some of the alternative readings in the footnotes. It also includes Zelenka's fingerings and bowings, which sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish between the original reading and the edited one. As far as being a critical edition made for performance, the Supraphon edition is solid. The typesetting is allowed to breathe on the page for the most part; one exception is page 12, where the music is a bit crammed to make the last section of the slow movement fit on one page. It's definitely better than Simrock and IMC with regard to page layout, but not as good as Schirmer (Willeke and Starker). This edition also has the most cue notes I've seen in any edition, which is great if you don't want to count rests. One thing that pops out at me every time I look at this edition is the absence of slurs on the infamous sextuplets in the first movement (those need to be added back in).



This edition came out in the early 2000s. I bought my copy at Frank's in New York for $42.75 when it first came out. Soon after it came out, the price halved, and now the price is in the mid-upper $20s. The solo part text is mainly based on the solo line of the Simrock orchestra score. So in the first movement, you will not see a chord on note 4 of m. 94, but you will see a G# on note 10 of m. 314 and octaves in mm. 323-324, along with other readings from the score. In the piano score in the first movement, m. 229, the lowest note in the left hand needs to be an E-natural, not an E#.

The page layout is great and the solo part has plenty of cue notes. One of the drawbacks is the use of letters instead of numbers for rehearsal numbers. You will have to convert A to 1, B to 2, and so on if you want to use a different piano part or use the Simrock/Kalmus orchestra parts. Breitkopf did publish their own orchestra part set. It's definitely a solid set if you are looking to buy new parts. But still, the use of letters is not great.

The solo part contains fingerings and bowings by Heinrich Schiff, which is great, however, Schiff does not play many of the "original" readings from this edition, if you are trying to compare this edition to his performances. If you are looking for a good critical performance edition, this edition is great. But if you want a nice, clean copy, many times it is difficult to see where Dvořák's pen ends and Schiff's begins. The staff size in the solo part is also a bit smaller than what is desirable. This staff size is 6.5mm. 6.8-7.0mm is preferred.

The piano part is clean and easy to read, but the pages do not lay flat because of the perfect binding. Saddle stitch would have been much preferred. So the pianist will need to break the binding or take it to an office store to get spiral bound. The cello cue line in the piano score is a touch bigger and does not have fingerings printed on it, which gives the score a cleaner look than the editions below.



I purchased the Bärenreiter edition a few years ago as I was reevaluating my music library. Currently, the price of the solo part and piano reduction set is in the mid $20s. The primary source for the solo part is the first edition separate solo part. This Bärenreiter edition is great in many respects. The page layout and size, the staff size (6.8mm), music readability, and the staple-bound piano part make this edition ideal for the pianist and for a cellist who has previously learned this work (more on this below).

It is obvious that much scholarship went into creating this edition. The critical commentary, available for purchase separately, is very thorough. Some of the narrative in the commentary comes off as condescending and arrogant, but the data is solid for the most part. I recommend treading carefully in the commentary narrative.

Like the Supraphon above, some of the alternative readings appear in the footnotes, although not as many as above. One unique feature in the solo part is the inclusion of the trill accidentals in the finale mm. 334-346. These accidentals exist in the anonymous manuscript source while being absent from other sources. It is ironic that this edition did not use (or even mention) the anonymous source but silently adds them in. In the piano score, the finale, m. 39, beat 2, left hand should have a B below the F#, as is it in every source.

The solo part does not contain any fingerings, which will make it more labor intensive for a student to learn the work for the first time. The student will need to copy fingerings from somewhere else, a far from ideal situation. Fingerings, presumably Wihan's, are printed in the piano score cello line.



This edition brings top-notch scholarship and weds it with an excellent performance edition. The current price of this edition is in the mid $20s. The primary source for the solo part is the first edition separate solo part. Like with most other editions that require a single, separate string part, Henle prints an unfingered/unbowed part and a fingered/bowed part. This gives the seasoned musician the opportunity to play from the unmarked part, while the student can get ideas from a famous cellist, in this case, Steven Isserlis.

While the staff size is great (6.8mm), the unmarked part is a bit too densely packed for my taste. The marked part breathes much better on the page. I'm not sure why the layout is different between the parts since usually, the layout is identical in other editions. In the case of this edition, the marked part is 4 pages longer than the unmarked part.

As in Bärenreiter, the fingerings/bowings from the first edition are printed in the piano score cello line, which sometimes looks too cluttered with the already tight spacing. As with the Breitkopf piano part, one would need to break the binding in order to make the score lie flat; I much prefer the saddle stitch. In the first movement, m. 229, the lowest note in the left hand needs to be an E-natural, not an E#. Henle said that they will fix this for the next printing.

Unlike Bärenreiter, Henle prints a detailed preface and critical commentary in the edition, without necessitating a separate purchase. The critical commentary includes just enough information without going into dissertation-style minutiae, which will satisfy most cellists, including this one. Henle also offers the preface and commentary free of charge on their product page!



All of the editions I reviewed bring something unique to the table.

Supraphon: if you are looking for a free public domain edition, get the Supraphon on IMSLP, just remember to do the slurs on the sextuplets.

Bärenreiter: if you know this piece inside and out but want a fresh look and treat your pianist to a well-formatted piano score, get Bärenreiter, just remember to have the pianist play the B in the finale, m. 39, beat 2, left hand.

Henle: if you want an all-around great edition for the student and for a fresh look at the solo part, get Henle, just remember to have the pianist play an E-natural in the first movement, m. 229, the lowest note in the left hand.

Breitkopf: if you want to see the Simrock orchestra score text in the solo part. This edition is also good for students because of Schiff's fingerings. Remember to have the pianist play an E-natural in the first movement, m. 229, the lowest note in the left hand.

YL Edition: if you want to look at each source individually typeset or as a score

Critical Notes Series: Dvořák's Cello Concerto 

Historically, Dvořák's B-minor Cello Concerto, arguably, has only been rivaled by Haydn's D-major Concerto with its endurance in cello history. Although, the work has gained more competitors later in the 20th Century in concertos by Schumann, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and others. Dvořák's Concerto has grown in popularity as a research topic, from technique to composition style, to its role in the cello repertoire. We have come a long way from the reader-digest style program notes that talk about the Concerto's relation to the Op. 82 song "Leave me alone" in dedication to his sister-in-law, and the thematic similarities to the New World Symphony.

To date, there have been no fewer than five scholarly editions of the Concerto published, including Supraphon (ed. Bartoš, 1955), Peters (ed. Pommer, 1976), Breitkopf (ed. Döge, 2001), Bärenreiter (ed. Del Mar, 2011), and Henle (ed. Oppermann, 2021). There is also a compendium to the Concerto by Jan Smaczny in the Cambridge Music Handbook series. The forewords, commentaries, and appendices of the abovementioned editions are all quite interesting and informative, especially those put together by Otakar Šourek for the Supraphon Complete Dvořák Edition, which contains the printed alternative versions from the autograph.

Since 2017, or perhaps 2012 to be more accurate, I've been working on my edition of Dvořák's Concerto, more specifically, the cello part with all of its variants. The question I ask myself often is "what can I offer the cello community?" With over 70 urtext editions in my catalog, I did not want to make just another Dvořák cello part to rival the big publishers. I wanted to provide a resource for my colleagues and students to use as a guide alongside their favorite edition.

My new edition, currently available free of charge at my website music store, is an engraving of all 5 currently available sources in score format: first edition orchestra score (March 1896), first edition solo part (March 1896), first edition piano reduction (March 1896), orchestra autograph, and the anonymous manuscript of the solo part, presumably prepared for the United States premiere of the work.

I am also offering a version for purchase, a set of engraved and formatted-for-performance sources. This version will allow you to experience playing from each source

Because this Concerto enjoys great popularity, it has been surrounded by mysteries and myths. I am not on a journey to solve any mysteries and am skeptical of those who claim that they have solved/almost solved the mystery of the source transmission, or have identified all/most of the errors in the sources. What we know for a fact is that Simrock published the orchestra score, orchestra parts, piano reduction, and the solo part in March 1896. There is no question about this happening. All of the printed sources were printed with Dvořák's approval. However, there are differences between the solo line in the orchestra and piano scores, as well as the separate cello part.

Myth #1: the solo staves in the piano score and orchestra score are the same. They are not remotely the same. When we analyze the sources we must take into account the pitches, rhythms, articulations, tempo, expressive and dynamic texts (and their placement), hairpins, slurs/ties, and even the beaming, to name just a few things. The cello line in the piano score can be seen as a middle ground between the orchestra score and the solo part, but it is a source all on its own with unique features. The autograph piano reduction does not have a cello line above it, hence we must accept that the piano reduction engraver had a unique source to work from. A reputable engraver does not make unapproved changes.

Myth #2: the orchestra score is fraught with errors. What we may conclusively claim as erroneous is what Dvořák called an error; the rest of the "errors" are either circumstantial or are in fact variants. Some examples of errors that I spot are the following: the 3 bars of rest in the first movement m. 268 of the solo part; the staccato dot on the half note in the second movement m. 9 of the solo part; missing trill accidentals in the third movement mm. 338-346 of the printed sources and autograph orchestra score. Many of the other readings are simply variants. Some of the common variants are the F# vs G in m. 90 of the first movement, the pianissimo vs mezzo forte in m. 223 of the first movement, beats 3 and 4 of m. 298 of the first movement, G-natural vs G# in m. 314 of the first movement, 8th vs 16th note in mm. 75 and 496 of the third movement, quarter note vs two 8th notes in m. 175 of the third movement, etc.

Myth #3: the simplified version of mm. 257-260 in the first movement originates with Emanuel Feuermann. This pattern of notes appeared in the second printing of the solo part within Dvořák's lifetime. The first and second printings of the solo part are identical in every respect except for those 4 bars. It is true that the original descending pattern is quite challenging. This is why the alternative was provided in subsequent printings, which can be found in the music archives of most cellists who played the Concerto in the early 20th Century. The famous, double-stop "Casals" version of this passage is simply the second-printing version filled out.

Myth #4: the anonymous manuscript is not relevant to the published solo part. While this source contains the original, shorter coda of the finale, many peculiarities found in the published solo part are also found in this manuscript, such as the G in the first movement m. 90, the 3-bar-rest error in m. 268 of the same movement, most of the beaming, bowings, and cues. There is no doubt that this manuscript is part of the transmission history of the solo part. One peculiar vestige from this manuscript is found in the "molto espressivo" marking in m. 347 of the third movement. The melody that was there originally would have worked well to be "very expressive," but the 6 bars of trills do not make sense. Three other sources leave "molto espressivo" in m. 347, while the published solo part moves it to a better place of m. 355. Another interesting thing to note is that the manuscript solo part contained many of the revisions done in red ink in the autograph score, yet had empty bar gaps in places where Dvořák was not settled on the reading. Some of the readings in the manuscript solo part ended up being published ossias. This is an important document in the solo part transmission. I would like to thank Jeff Solow for introducing me to this source.

Herman Whitfield III: A Tribute 

Herman Whitfield III (October 29, 1982 — April 25, 2022)

Herman and I entered the Cleveland Institute of Music for our graduate studies at the same time. We became friends almost immediately because we shared a love for composition as well as performance. Near the end of our first year of grad school, he invited me to play a song cycle he composed for voice, guitar, and string sextet based on the poem "Donal Og" by Lady Augusta Gregory. If my memory serves me well, we premiered the work on degree recital by the singer Caroline Kuehn. You may hear the entire work below.


Herman was an amazing pianist, so full of feeling and grandeur, but what an amazing pianissimo he could produce. Although we were the same height, his hands were probably 50% larger than mine. He was a big guy, but even in his most passionate conversation, he was kind, respectful, and relatively soft-spoken. 

His favorite composer was Gabriel Fauré. I thought it was an odd choice at the time. When Herman first told me about his favorite composer, I said something like "I guess I enjoy his earlier works." Herman responded, "I love his late works, the later the better." I thought to myself "how can you tolerate that harmonic language?" As a cellist, my main exposure to Fauré was through the Elegie and Sicilienne. I hated to admit that Fauré also had two cello sonatas from his late period.

Herman's second master's recital had two works on it: Schubert's G-major piano sonata and his own second violin sonata. The violin sonata was in the unusual key of C# minor. I remember Herman sitting in the CIM computer lab composing the work. Sometimes that small computer lab was stuffed with 25-30 people. I think it had 15 workstations. I asked Herman how he could stand composing in such a loud environment. He told me that he was used to it from home.

He premiered the sonata with the violinist Ariel Clayton (Karas). From the first note, I was captivated. The first movement is so warm and dark, going between C# minor and D-flat major. The second movement is a graceful minuet with a scherzo middle section. The last movement is a perpetual motion with sparkling motives and repeated notes. The middle section is a peaceful chant, which is later combined with the perpetual motion at the end. The entire sonata lasts about 40 minutes.

After the concert, I told Herman that I want to play the sonata on cello. He sent me the music and we started looking for a venue to play. The concert was going to also include one of my works and Fauré's second cello sonata. I had warmed up a little to the late Fauré sound by then. This concert never materialized, but I kept Herman's work in mind. 

The following year, I had a venue and the opportunity to play Herman's sonata. I worked quite a bit with the pianist Liz De Mio so I asked her if she wanted to learn the sonata. After she kindly declined, because of the incredible difficulty of the piano part, I asked her if she would mind if I invite Herman to play half of the recital. Liz agreed to share the piano and Herman agreed to come from Indianapolis to play his sonata with me. The recital also included Chopin's Polonaise Brillante, Suk's Serenade, and Khachaturian's Concerto Rhapsody. The performance took place at Judson Manor at University Circle in August 2009. Here is the recording of the sonata from that performance.

I. Adagio melancolio, solo e distante
II. Allegro grazioso
III. Allegro ma non troppo

He said that the cello captured the essence of what he imagined better than the violin, especially in the finale. When Herman returned to Indianapolis, he told me that he began composing a cello sonata for us to play. I don't know if he ever finished the work. When I visited Indianapolis in 2013 for an audition, Herman and I got to catch up a bit. He told me that he had gotten a job in Florida and was moving there soon. We kept in touch sporadically since then. I've thought about offering Herman to make an edition of the sonata so other people could enjoy playing it.

I am very saddened to hear about Herman's death at such a young age. I hope that his memory will live on through his music. Please enjoy his other works on his YouTube channel.

Cellist bio: Mikhail Bukinik 

(This biography was excerpted from Lev Ginsburg's Volume 3 of "The Art of the Violoncello" pp. 310-314, translated by Yuriy Leonovich).

Born in 1872 to a poor Kharkiv family [in Dubno], Mikhail Evseevich Bukinik received his initial education at the city public school [in Kharkiv]. Early musical talent and love for the cello led him in 1885 to the Musical College of the Kharkiv branch of the Russian Musical Society (RMS), where he became a student of A. E. Glehn (Alfred von Glehn). When, two years later, Karl Davydov gave concerts in Kharkiv, he auditioned the young cellist and encouraged him to continue his work.

In 1890, when moving to the Moscow Conservatory, A. E. Glehn took with him Bukinik (as well as Isaac Ilyich Dubinsky). In the second half of the year, Bukinik was accepted for probation into his class. In 1892, already at the soiree, he played the first movement of Davydov's Concerto No. 2, and then publicly performed the first part of Schumann's concerto. In the following period, he repeatedly performed at student and open soirees, mainly playing works by Davydov and Tchaikovsky. The seriousness of Mikhail Bukinik's musical tastes is evidenced by his interest in chamber music, which manifested itself already in his student years. In addition to participating in cello ensembles (at the soirees in memory of N. G. Rubinstein, he participated in the performance of Fantasia for five cellos and double bass by K. Schubert and with I. Dubinsky played Popper's Suite for two cellos), he repeatedly performed in ensembles with piano, as well as in quartet (with K. Saradzhev, R. Gliere, and A. Medtner). In 1894, together with V. Maurina and G. Dulov, he performed the Mendelssohn trio (d-moll). In the same concert, Bukinik played pieces by Davydov, Tchaikovsky, Popper, and his classmate F. Bubek.

In the last year of his stay at the conservatory (1895), Bukinik performed Davydov’s “Fantasy on Russian Songs” with an orchestra conducted by V. I. Safonov, and at the annual concert, he performed with Davydov’s Allegro de concert. The young cellist's preference for the works of Davydov showed Bukinik and his teacher's respect for the "patriarch of the Russian cello school", their desire to instill and continue his direction. 

Mikhail Bukinik graduated from the conservatory with a diploma of a free artist and a silver medal; in addition, he was presented with a cello and given a subsidy for a trip abroad; he took advantage of this subsidy in 1898.

Prior to that, he gave concerts in Moscow; known, for example, his performance with A. B. Goldenweiser of Rubinstein's Sonata in 1897. Having gone to Berlin for improvement (where he, apparently, consulted with Hugo Becker), he also performed in concerts here. 

After returning to Moscow in 1899, Bukinik received an offer to teach at the Musical College of the Saratov branch of the RMS. M. E. Bukinik worked in Saratov for five years, by no means limiting himself to teaching. He did a lot for the musical and in general for the cultural life of the city; arranged concerts and literary and musical evenings, gave lectures and collaborated in the press, contributed to the organization of an art exhibition, etc. 

In the chamber concerts organized by him, the best classical and modern works were played. For example, in 1902 Saratov music lovers heard Beethoven's trio (Avierino, Medzhevitenko, Bukinik), Rubinstein's Sonata (Goldenweiser, Bukinik), and Schumann's sonata (Goldenweiser). In 1904, Mikhail Bukinik organized an "Evening of New Art" in Saratov, in which he himself performed Rachmaninov's sonata (with A. B. Goldenveizeram) and Rebikov's works. 

From time to time, he came to Moscow. So in 1900, in the symphony concert of the RMS in memory of N. G. Rubinstein, Bukinik played with the orchestra under the direction of V. I. Safonov, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, still rarely performed at that time. The review of this performance said: "Mr. Bukinik performed With Tchaikovsky's forgotten Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra. This work was written in 1878 and then performed by Fitzenhagen (to whom it is dedicated), but since then it has been completely undeservedly forgotten, and only now, thanks to Mr. Bukinik, they have again gained access to concert programs. The beautiful variations of Tchaikovsky were conveyed by the young artist very gracefully, with technical completeness. In his playing, with a somewhat weak tone, there is a lot of melodiousness. He phrases with musicality. At the end of the number, the audience rewarded the artist with applause and forced him to play an encore." 

In 1904, Bukinik left Saratov and soon went abroad, where he stayed until 1906. We learn about his life during this period in Germany, France, and Switzerland from his surviving letters to V. V. Maslovskaya in Saratov. After a two-month stay in Berlin, Bukinik accepted in 1905 an invitation to take the place of soloist in the symphony orchestra in Görlitz; weekly he played solo with an orchestra and also participated in a quartet. He writes about the exceptional public interest in Russian music (especially Tchaikovsky) and Russian musicians. “Of course, I play only Russian authors," Bukinik writes on February 3, 1905. "I really like Arensky. Rachmaninov's Sonata, it seems, was not to their taste; they did not understand it. But [Paul ] Juon was a great success." 

One of the attached newspaper clippings says: “The new soloist, cellist of our city orchestra, Bukinik from Moscow, showed himself to be an outstanding artist, playing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, which had not yet been performed here. Mr. Bukinik played this graceful piece with great musicality, confidence, wide and melodious bowing, and lightness in passages and strokes. His fine instrument sounded great in the Great Hall of the Philharmonic. Thunderous applause was the response to this artistic performance."

Despite the success, Mikhail Bukinik yearned for his homeland and in 1906 he returned to Moscow. Here he developed a broad musical and social activity: he took an active part in the work of the National Conservatory (at the Society of National Universities), in organizing the Society of Orchestral Musicians, the Society for the Promotion of Chamber Music, etc. 

Occasionally Bukinik appeared on the concert stage. Not possessing particularly bright artistic abilities, he performed mainly in chamber concerts. The name of Mikhail Bukinik is repeatedly found in the chamber programs of the RMS, the Guild of Russian Music Lovers, the Society for the Promotion of Chamber Music, etc. A. B. Goldenweiser names Bukinik among the musicians who performed before L. N. Tolstoy.

In the concert in memory of A. S. Arensky (1906), he played Arensky cello pieces and participated in the performance of a trio (with A. N. Koreshchenko and N. K. Avierino). More than once he played with A. B. Goldenweiser and B. O. Sibor the trios of Tchaikovsky, Arensky, Taneyev. The Taneyev Trio Bukinik also played with the author in concerts dedicated to his work, in 1909 with the violinist A. Ya. Mogilevsky and in 1915 with B. O. Sibor; in the last concert, Bukinik also participated in the performance of the Quintet (author, B. O. Sibor, K. G. Mostras, V. R. Bakaleinikav, M. E. Bukinik) and Taneyev's Canzona (N. G. Raisky, S. I. Taneev, B. O. Sibor, M. E. Bukinik). 

Bukinik also took part in the performance of the trio Kornilov, Gedike, and Pomerantsev together with the composers of these works (the violin parts were performed by K. S. Saradzhev, A. G. Mets, A. Ya. Mogilevsky). 

In 1909, B. O. Sibor and M. E. Bukinik performed as partners of the harpsichordist Wanda Landovskaya, who came on tour to Moscow; this ensemble performed the Beethoven Trio and Rameau's Trio Concerts. Together with B. O. Sibor, M. E. Bukinik organized public chamber soirees. In 1908, for example, at one of the soirees, they performed trios of Beethoven and Rachmaninov with A. B. Goldenweiser, and a Haydn quartet with K. G. Mostras and A. K. Medtner; on the other, Beethoven's Septet, Schumann's quartet, and Brahms' Cello Sonata in E minor were performed (K. N. Igumnov performed the piano part). 

Speaking about the chamber activity of Mikhail Bukinik, we should note his performances of sonatas by Rubinstein, Rachmaninov, Chopin, Brahms, and other composers. Especially often he played sonatas with A. B. Goldenweiser. 

The cellist's repertoire included many pieces by Russian composers - Tchaikovsky, Arensky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, as well as his own, which he played in various concerts. 

Occasionally, Bukinik also gave independent concerts. For example, in October 1910, in the Small Hall of the Conservatory, he played Chopin's Sonata (with A. B. Goldenweiser), Boellman's Symphonic Variations, Andante cantabile for cello and organ by Bubek (with A. F. Morozov), Intermezzo Op. 43 by Tchaikovsky in his own arrangement, Gliere's "Moment Musical," his own Fantasie for cello and double bass (with V. N. Praskurnin) and others of own pieces: Preludes, Concert Etude (no. 4) for cello solo, and 6 small pieces. The reviewer spoke with restraint about Bukinik's pieces, praised the performance of Chopin's Sonata and Gliere's piece, and wrote that "Mr. Bukinik's playing is thoughtful, expressive, but does not capture the listener." 

Apparently, Bukinik's playing was devoid of virtuosity, showiness, and artistic scope, but it showed a great culture and understanding of the style of the music performed. This can also be judged on the basis of the responses to his participation in the cello competition held in Moscow in 1911 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the RMS. Grigory Prokofiev, for example, wrote that Bukinik "managed to give his performance of the Bach suite real artistic significance." Bukinik's program included Suite No. 5 by Bach, Concerto No. 2 by Davydov, Tchaikovsky/Bukinik Intermezzo, and his own Concert Etude No. 4.

In 1915, M.E. Bukinik was mobilized and returned to music only after the revolution. In 1919, this musician took a professorship at the Kharkiv Conservatory and at the same time worked in the Commissariat for People's Education, being a member of the "troika" that was in charge of musical education in Ukraine. (Among the Kharkiv students of Bukinik in the early 1920s was A. V. Broun, now a professor at the Kharkiv Conservatory.) 

In 1922, by permission of the Ukrainian government, Bukinik left for America with his son, who was heading there to continue his education. Yearning for the homeland, he subsequently strenuously worried about returning. Together with his memories of P. I. Tchaikovsky, Mikhail Bukinik sent a short autobiography from New York to Moscow in the 1930s, in which he wrote: “In America, of course, I live in the interests of my homeland and I vividly experience everything that our great, glorious people are experiencing. 

Among the pedagogical works of Bukinik: "Fingering for scales in 1, 2 and 3 octaves", "Basic exercises in shifting", "Virtuoso exercises in arpeggios", "6 Easy Pieces", "6 Easy Duets." his Four Concert Etudes are of considerable interest in terms of masterfully used virtuoso technique, dedicated by Bukinik to “dear teacher and friend A. E. Glehn," the last of which (F minor) was performed by all participants of the II International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1962. His "Ten Preludes for Cello Solo" are not without musical significance, in which various techniques of cello virtuosity are no less interestingly used. 

Bukinik also wrote a piece titled "Story" for cello solo

A number of Bukinik's transcriptions for cello and piano have been published, including Lensky's aria from "Eugene Onegin", Lullaby from "Mazepa", chorus from "Maid of Orleans” and Intermezzo from the Suite Op. 43 by Tchaikovsky, Rubinstein's Barcarolle, Kalinnikov's Chanson triste, Romance from Napravnik's "Dubravsky," and others.