Korhonen's guitar edition of Bach's works for Solo Violin is finally in print!

Korhonen's guitar edition of Bach's works for Solo Violin is finally in print!

After six years of work the Bach edition is now completed. The Gendai Guitar publication contains the guitar versions of Bach's Violin works, copy of the manuscript and Korhonen's recording of the works. The publication is available at Gendai Guitar, at Ostinato and web shops around the world.

Arranging music written for one instrument to be performed on another is very much like translating from one language to another. A translator must have complete command of the target language, and an arranger must likewise be thoroughly familiar with the target instrument. He must know the language of the music he is arranging, recognise the symbols used by the composer and understand what those symbols meant at the time of writing. The arranger must then interpret the manuscript within the parameters of his chosen instrument, as determined by the content and style of the music he is arranging.


My aim in creating an edition for guitar of Bach's works for solo violin was to arrange these works as idiomatically as possible and to use modern notation easily legible for guitarists, without going into excessive detail. The key issue was to resolve the balance between the sustained melody of the violin and the sonorous harmonies of the guitar while respecting the integrity of the music. This edition is based on the manuscript copy Sei Solo รก Violino senza Basso accompagnato.


My wish is to help guitar players to discover a natural and practical way of understanding and performing Bach's music on the guitar, accurately and freely. As an aid to this, I have provided a brief summary of the principles of Bach's musical thinking, based on available sources, and I have also outlined the main points of musical execution of these works.


My aim is not to provide a correct or definitive edition or interpretation of these musical works. It is more a question of providing musicians studying and performing these works with information not readily available in traditional musicological analyses or in instructions focusing on ornaments or other details. Performers using this edition are invited, even challenged, to find their own interpretations.


My point is that an understanding of the symbolic and rhetorical functions in Bach's music is vital. There is no such thing as an authentic interpretation or performance practice. What we can do, however, is to seek to identify with the style and find a deep understanding of the music so that we can create emotionally compelling performances of it. Deep knowledge makes you free and opens your hearth. As J.S. Bach's son C.Ph.E. Bach wrote: "One must play music from the soul, not like a trained bird."

Copyright Timo Korhonen 2014. Home page slide photos Heikki Tuuli.