Westhoff, Johann Paul von | Six partitas for solo violin (1696)

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Instrumentation: solo violin

Edition: Facsimile (2014, 2017) | Dresden, 1696

1 volume, 35 pages | B&W

Notation | Clefs: G1 and C2 mixed in double staff notation

Johann Paul von Westhoff (1656-1705) was a German Baroque composer and violinist. One of the most important exponents of the Dresden violin school, he was among the highest ranked violinists of his day, and composed some of the earliest known music for solo violin. He worked as musician and composer as a member of Dresden's Hofkapelle from 1674 to 1697) and at the Weimar court (1699–1705), and was also active as a teacher of contemporary languages.

Westhoff's surviving music comprises seven works for violin and basso continuo and seven for solo violin, all published during his lifetime. More works, particularly a 1682 collection of solo violin music, are currently considered lost. His work, together with that of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber and Johann Jakob Walther, greatly influenced the subsequent generation of German violinists, and the six partitas for solo violin inspired Johann Sebastian Bach's famous violin sonatas and partitas.

Westhoff's violin writing is highly advanced, featuring double stopping up to the fourth position. Westhoff's solo violin music is distinctly German, with dense polyphony and robust themes, but the continuo sonatas show a pronounced Italian influence.

TABLE

  • Partita I, in a [allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue]
  • Partita II, in A   [allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue]
  • Partita III, in B flat  [allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue]
  • Partita IV, in C  [allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue]
  • Partita V, in d [allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue]
  • Partita VI, in D  [allemande, courante, sarabande, gigue]

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