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The extraordinary efforts done in the last 25 years by musicologists and players to present to a large audience works by unjustly forgotten composers have given their best results in the period which extends from the early baroque till the classic era. The composer of the present edition can be considered one of the most interesting discovering concerning the music for violin solo without bass.

Johann Paul von Westhoff (1656 – buried 17 April 1705) was a German Baroque composer and one of highest ranked violinists of his day. He can be rightly considered as the most important forerunner of the later generation of composers who composed music for violin solo without bass, such as J.S.Bach (who was his colleague in Weimar), G.Ph.Telemann and G.Pisendel.

The piece presented today is the 3rd from Six solo partitas published in Dresden in 1696, which are considered to be the earliest preserved known multi-movement pieces for solo violin. Differently than the music for violin solo by Vilsmayr (published earlier in this shop), the writing of Westhoff is more oriented to the German school, with solid themes and dense, ‘explicit’ polyphony. Therefore, once I found the right tonality and tuning I could quite easily set the work in a convincing way for guitar solo. The ornamented repetitions and the use of the capotasto at the 2nd fret, which will aim to recreate the original tonality (the baroque violin was tuned 1⁄2 tone lower than nowadays), it obviously left to the choice of the single player.

An absolute must for all baroque lover!

Sonata III, J.P. von Westhoff

  • Solo Guitar

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