This article is an expanded and enriched version of the Editorial Notes you will find in the published edition, which you can find here.
Producing this edition
Hunting for the source
Preparing this second instalment of my complete Dotzauer republishing project was much harder than I initially thought. The first edition, op. 58, contained twelve duets, and it was already quite an endeavour to make sure every detail looked consistent. This new edition, op. 159, contains double that, or twenty-four duets for two cellos. To start with, this should have given about double the preparation time, but there was a problem: no copy of the original manuscript or of the first edition could be found, so no Urtext this time. On the other hand, I had access to two existing collections, published around 1910, or about 50 years after Dotzauer’s death.
The first edition is a book containing the whole op. 159 and published by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, Germany, and bearing plate no. 1349 (from which I could find the approximate publishing date). This book is part of a bigger collection compiled by Carl Hüllweck (1852–1910) called: “Studienwerke für zwei Violoncelle von J. J. F. Dotzauer. Neue Ausgabe. Mit allen, für Unterricht und praktischen Gebrauch erforderlichen Bezeichnungen versehen von Carl Hüllweck” (Study works for two cellos by J. J. F. Dotzauer. New edition. Provided with all designations necessary for teaching and practical use by Carl Hüllweck”). My copy comes with a pencil marking “(ca. 1910)” under the “V.A.1349” plate number on the cover, and with a stamp from the Musikaltenhandlung und Antiquariat (Musical history and antiquarian bookshop) department from the C. Peters publishing company in Munich, Germany. This book is the fifth and last of the collection curated by Mr. Hüllweck, and the marking “New edition” clearly states that an earlier one have existed at some point. Being Op. 159 one of the latest creations by Dotzauer, we can expect the first edition to have surfaced in the 1850s, and it is more than possible that Breitkopf & Härtel could have been the first publisher. There was actually another edition, published by Augener & Co. and present in the 1855 entry of the Catalogue of the Universal Circulating Musical Library, and cross-referenced in the 1861 Augener Catalogue. A few issues arose then: Augener & Co. no longer exists to the present day, and most of its earliest catalogue looks lost. As a company, it was founded by Georg Augener (1830–1915) in London, in 1855, making this new work by Dotzauer one of the first entries in their catalogue. At their founder’s retirement in 1910 they were acquired by Schott and Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the music publishing group Schott, who then had to relinquish it after World War II, in 1962, selling it to Galaxy Music of New York. A mere ten years later, they were once more sold to Stainer & Bell, who is still, to this day, the owner of Augener’s catalogue. I was able to contact Stainer & Bell about this, but they could not find it among their archives. In short, the only complete surviving edition of op. 159 is the one curated by Mr. Hüllweck, and that has been the basis for the full score version. The copy I used is also enriched by several pencil markings, which I can only assume were added by a cello professor in the Munich area sometime between 1910 and when the copy was acquired by the Munich musical library. I decided to add them as well to my edition, as generally, they are appropriate additions. To differentiate them from Hüllweck’s annotations, I set the pencil ones in italic weight.
The second source for my edition has been the two volumes of the “57 Kleine Duette für 2 Violoncelli”, compiled by Johannes Klingenberg (yes, him again!) (1852–1905) and published firstly by Henry Litolff Verlag, bearing catalogue no. 1963 (once more, around 1910, likely some time before, given Klingenberg’s death). These two volumes are a collection of duets in the first four positions, taken from Opp. 52, 58, 63, 156, and 159, and includes 22 out of the 24 entries from Op. 159 (leaving out two of the three fugues). The collection bears the subtitle “Für das Studium sorgfältig ausgewählt, progressiv geordnet und genau bezeichnet von Johannes Klingenberg.” (Carefully selected for the studying, progressively organised and precisely labelled by Johannes Klingenberg.) I truly wish I had met Mr. Klingenberg in life, as I think we would have been two kindred souls. He is well-known among cellists for his knack at taking the pedagogical works of a composer and putting them in ascending order of complexity (I suggest looking at his ordering of Duport’s 21 Études), resulting in a smooth and effective progression for the student. His redaction of Dotzauer’s Op. 159 is somehow very different from Hüllweck’s one, so much so that I decided to compile a list of all changes occurring between the two editions (you can find it at the end of the present volume). To give you a more pleasing experience, I have prefixed such list with a “most notable changes” section, as there are a few of them which require careful consideration before beginning the practicing routine.
Both sources are rich in dynamics, articulations, and expression words. If one didn’t know Dotzauer, they could be swayed to think that, in the late years of his life, he might have converted to a “richer” way of annotating his scores. Nothing could be farther from the truth, though: when he wanted to add markings, he could certainly do it—as you will see in some upcoming editions—but when he thought notes and slurs were more than enough, he did not! We have access to some later compositions from Dotzauer, like the duets Op. 161 and 171, which are as bare as a skinless melon, if you pass me the comparison. Among the differences between Hüllweck and Klingenberg’s versions there are some places where articulations are not added, rather subtracted and, in that case, I think we can still see what the original version might have looked like. Klingenberg loved to add bow-division recommendations and finger-position holding brackets (for when one needs to keep the finger down), and they are a distinctive feature of all his editions. In the separate part dedicated to him, I have carefully reproduced all of them.
I sincerely hope I will one day be able to get my hands on the original, as I am certain it is out there somewhere.
Building it up
Every notational element has been created through the software Sibelius Ultimate published by Avid, first as a score only and then editing two different sets of parts. Once PDFs were exported from within Sibelius, they needed to be cleaned through some Adobe Acrobat scripts. PDF exporting has been plagued with errors and issues for a few years now, making them bloated versions of their former selves.
Now it was time to build everything together using Adobe InDesign, the professional software dedicated to layout publishing I started to learn two years ago for a young student from the USA who needed to complete a massive project for his conservatory (stay tuned for news on this!). As I planned to have several versions of this edition available, I had to create different documents and fiddle with all the separate PDFs and text files, before delving deep into paragraph styling, character style automations, etc. … Here is a basic description of what you can expect from the different versions (all of which can be found here):
- Score only: this version contains only the PDF of the full score, based on Carl Hüllweck’s version.
- Parts only: here you will be able to choose between Hüllweck’s version and Klingenberg’s one. Each version will contain the critical notes, then the cello parts, each introduced by an interactive table of contents which will let you tap on an excerpt and be magically transported to your desired destination.
- Score and parts: this version will contain a single big PDF including the score followed by the two parts, and separated by the interactive tables of contents. It will also include the separate documents for the score only and for the parts, should you want to have them handy. This version includes only Hüllweck’s markings.
- Collector’s Edition: this top and final tier will contain everything in the previous tiers, plus a parts only version where the Hüllweck and Klingenberg face one final time. As an appendix to it, a 15-page list of changes will guide through everything that Klingenberg changed. I assumed Hüllweck came first because it was the only complete collection, whereas the other one is missing two exercises (nos. 8 & 16). This extra file comes in two versions: one is a normal PDF with both parts one after the other, the second is an interactive PDF where, at the press of a button, the page changes to show you the other version. It is a beauty to behold, but unfortunately, for now, it only works on desktop and when using Adobe Acrobat. If this version sells well, I will consider taking the time of making a web version, while a mobile version depends upon too much from each PDF reader provider to be worthy of the time.
If you find that you bought a lower tier version compared to the one you expected, feel free to contact me, and we will arrange the upgrade.
The Twenty-Four Exercises, Op. 159
With this second collection, we conclude our journey into the neck positions of the cello, with a total of thirty-six beautiful duets which will bring your students from ground level to a truly respectable one. If your students practice all of them thoroughly, getting to a point where they can feel comfortable enough to play them by heart, you can be sure their technique will be ready to make the jump to intermediary positions and, then, to the use of the thumb. Once more, though, Dotzauer had a real struggle in writing simple and yet musically interesting pieces, and this collection is no exception. Apart from the very first ones, the difficulty gets out of hand pretty quickly and the teacher may be forced to look elsewhere for some connecting exercises. Some of those will appear in some future editions, but they are not properly classified as duets, so they may not come very soon.
These twenty-four exercises cover, once more, different musical forms:
- Scale-based form (explained below): nos. 1, 3
- Simple ternary form (A-B-A) in one single part: nos. 2, 4-6, 11, 23
- Rounded binary form (A in home key, B in related key—subdominant, dominant, major relative—, A with “Da Capo al Fine” or slightly altered): nos. 7, 9-10, 12-15, 17-19, 21-22
- Fugue: nos. 8, 16, 20
- Fantasy, imitation in 2 voices: no. 24
If Op. 58 is already in your collection you will have noticed how the “Theme with Variations” form, so predominant (1/3) in there is completely absent here, while “Rounded binary” becomes the most used (from 1/4 there to 1/2 here!)
Regarding keys this collection is the first of several by Dotzauer where he implicitly dedicates his work to J. S. Bach, this not being the first time (check the studies for cello solo Op. 35) he tried to write a Well-Tempered Cello collection. The first duet is in C major, the second in A minor, and so on, growing with sharps until No. 13 in F-sharp major. At this point, instead of writing No. 14 in D-sharp minor, Dotzauer veers to E-flat minor, gradually reducing the number of flat to end the collection with No. 24 in D minor.
Looking at time signatures, we find:
- 4/4 (or C): nos. 1, 2, 3, 12, 19, 21, 23
- 3/4: nos. 4, 11, 20, 22, 24
- 2/4: nos. 5, 7, 9, 14, 18
- 6/8: nos. 6, 10, 15
- 2/2 (or cut-C): nos. 8, 16
- 3/8: nos. 13
- 9/8: nos. 17
Let’s now take a quick close look at each of the twenty-four exercises:
No. 1 in C major.
This Allegro non tanto (non troppo in Klingenberg’s version) is the easiest entry of the collection, with the first cello playing almost only whole notes. I baptised this form as “scale-based” as there is a single part, with the first cello playing only intervals of a 2nd and a few 3rds. The last part (bb 21-36) is a single descending C major scale (with a brief modulation to F major using a B-flat). No part of the accompaniment gives any hint of a more structured form, rather it simply harmonises the melody. This is a perfect starting point for a student who has just mastered the 2-octave C major scale.
No. 2 in A minor.
In this Allegro, we can feel Dotzauer’s struggle to keep himself from writing some virtuosic passage and to keep everything in 1st position. This exercise is in simple ternary form (A-B-A) even if its choral nature makes it quite hard to notice the coming back of Part A. Most of it is perfectly homophonic, making it ideal for a performance in a church. Its constant bowing, which I suggest be performed with whole bows, is ideal to practice a full and relaxed sonority. Extended 1st position makes its debut here in several places. While it is written in 4/4 time, I strongly recommend thinking it in 2/2 and to perform it briskly, or it would become far too difficult to keep the listener’s concentration for over seventy bars.
No. 3 in G major.
Roles are reversed in this Allegro, so that the second cello plays a quite elaborate scale-like melody, rich in modulations, while the first cello almost improvises a staccato decoration in quarter notes. Half, upper third, and fourth positions get added to the mix, making this a pretty hard jump from No. 2. Looking at the two most-used ways of learning paths, a student either starts in 1st position, goes up to 4th, then makes its way back to 3rd and 2nd before moving to the intermediary positions, or it goes up step by step. Here, either of the methods would make this exercise accessible when quite more challenging pieces would have already made their appearance in a student’s repertoire. Sure, a few fingerings may be changed, using extended 1st position instead of upper 3rd, but, once more, I stand by my first statement: Dotzauer had a hard time writing easy pieces.
No. 4 in E minor.
In this Allegro non troppo, Dotzauer starts showing his love for contrapuntal music, writing an accompaniment that is, by itself, a wholly independent melody in its right. The simple ternary form is given by the coming back of the main theme in the second cello, lowered by one octave, while the first cello plays the accompaniment, this time raised by one octave. It is an exercise rich in dynamics, asking the student to practice the “messa di voce” (crescendo-diminuendo in a very short span) throughout the piece. Once more, the student has to use one bow per bar, with a few exceptions where one bow needs to encompass two bars. This gives the rise to some early practicing for different bow speeds. The first eight notes begin to appear here, a new homage to the art of diminution in contrapuntal writing.
No. 5 in D major.
This Allegretto begins where No. 4 ended, and follows the same structure, with the first cello starting with a two-octave descending D major scale, and the second cello answering with a syncopated melody. One wonders: who is the leader here? The two parts keep playing hide-and-seek for fifty-six bars, until the second cello catches the first and the roles reverse, in a truly engaging and merry game. The piece ends with a two-octave D major scale in contrary motion played by the two cellos together, and the most classical, almost humorous, cadenza (VI-IV-V-I) as a close.
No. 6 in B minor.
An Andante con moto in 6/8 (first occurrence of a compound time) completes this trio of exercises in simple ternary form, in which counterpoint and harmony dialogue together in a mesmerising dance. Something that should be noted is that in none of the twenty-four exercises, the second cello part is visibly more difficult than the first cello’s one. This makes for a double amount of learning material for your classroom! When practicing this exercise with one of my students, we both noticed how the ensemble was quite challenging, as both voices reach such a degree of independence that they constantly walk on the edge while striving to keep a balance.
No. 7 in A major.
This Allegretto opens the series of rounded binary forms. Part A is a rather simple theme with accompaniment, where roles are clear and defined. Part B, in D major, instead, sees one part running after the other trying to catch it, in a funny, yet challenging, imitative game. The microform of the second part is (B: a-b-b), after which, a “Da Capo al Fine” returns us to Part A. No. 7 is also the first exercise to feature sixteenth notes.
No. 8 in F-sharp minor.
Marked Alla breve, this is the first fugue of the collection, of which we had only one in Op. 58. The mastery of this complex contrapuntal form by Dotzauer is simply impressive, with this fugue sporting an 8-bar long subject, and a grand total of 139 bars! This is the first exercise to be excluded from Klingenberg’s collection, possibly because of its length. Cello students of the present day do not have the habit of practicing contrapuntal works, and I feel that is detrimental to their growth as musicians and players. No wonders that when a student gets to the Prelude of Bach’s V Suite, they usually struggle grasping its form and the different entrances of the fugue’s elements.
No. 9 in E major.
Put one next to the other, No. 7 and this Andantino look like siblings. Their time signature is the same, their melodic contour very similar, their form basically identical (with only part B containing an extra repeat for small section B: a). Once more, the first part is clearly defined with a main voice and an accompaniment one, even if, here, the second cello is vastly more interesting. The second part is an imitation between the two voices, same as it happened in No. 7. Part B is, here, in A major.
No. 10 in C-sharp minor.
With this Allegretto, Dotzauer noticeably rises the difficulty bar and, for once, I can say that the second cello part is much more complicated to play than the first one. The form is almost a mirror image: part A has inner parts (A: a-b-b), while part B, in A major, has inner parts (B: c-c-d). Part A: a is a cantabile marked as “espressivo” and “dolce”, while Part A: b engages in an imitation struggle with the second cello. Part B: a is quite challenging as while the first cello takes control of the 16th-note runs, the second cello performs continuous hemiolas, adding several double-sharps to the mix. The resulting effect is simply stunning, and I would love if these exercises could be judged blindly without looking at who wrote them.
No. 11 in B major.
This Allegro non tanto (“non troppo” in Klingenberg’s version) mixes a heavily melodic run of eight notes in the first cello with a singing accompaniment line in the second cello. In this case, as well, identifying which part is the melody and which one is the accompaniment is not straightforward. Every bar of the first cello could be condensed in a chord, whose analysis will prove an effective exercise for your students. Bow management is extremely regular, thus complicated enough to provide a challenge for the player’s discipline. The listener should never hear bow changes, and this regularity makes the piece an excellent learning step.
No. 12 in G-sharp minor.
The first part of this Andante con moto is a dialogue between the two cellos, each one answering to the previous and proposing a continuation at the same time. Take good care in managing bow speeds in bb. 13-14, and always suggest to your students to utilise as much bow as possible and appropriate for any given situation. The second part, in E major, is a glorious, almost epic chance to develop vibrato, deep and full sonority, and weight distribution. It is divided into two sub-parts, the second one with a repetition. A “Da Capo al Fine” returns us to the G-sharp minor opening, giving a somber and tragic ending to this piece.
No. 13 in F-sharp major.
This Andante con moto in 3/8 time writes out its form in full, thus not utilising the “Da Capo al Fine”. It begins with a dance-like part (A: aa-bb), where the second cello politely accompanies the first one, with a discrete run of eight notes in the lower register. Writing easy duets for two cellos is very rewarding when done right, but also quite complex, because of the risk of crossing and overlapping registers. The second part, in D major, gives the first cello an accompaniment structure in 16th notes where high notes sing alongside the melody in the second cello. A short modulating bridge brings us back to Part A, once more in F-sharp major, where the two sub-parts (A: a & A: b) are played through without repetition, followed by a final coda. As stated before, we cannot know whether Dotzauer marked the ending “forte” after a “dim. poco a poco” and a “morendo”, but it for sure is dramatic and effective.
No. 14 in E-flat minor.
Possibly my favorite exercise of the collection, this Allegretto focuses the whole first part to the half position of the left hand. Continuously alternating flat fingers for fifth intervals and quick articulations makes it a good challenge even for more advanced students. The second part shifts to G-flat major and is a calmer and more melodic interlude before the return of the first part with the “Da Capo al Fine”. The structure of this exercise is quite complex due to the several alternate endings and with the second part starting with an upbeat. Part A contains two repeated parts, thus giving us an A: aa-bb structure, while Part B starts with a quarter note upbeat in the second ending of part A: b. I have carefully labelled bar numbers to avoid any confusion.
No. 15 in D-flat major.
This Moderato is split into two main parts. Part A: aa-bb, a dance-like barcarola where the second cello fills the void left by the quarter note of the first cello’s figuration. Part B, in the farthest possible key from D-flat major, is set in A major, and it’s a marvel of rhythmic engineering. While the second cello continues in 6/8, the first cello plays in 12/16. That is not written out clearly, but from the slurring and articulations added, it is clear how the binary vs. ternary struggle is intentional. Ensemble playing is particularly difficult here, so be ready to allocate enough rehearsal time before performance. The most wonderful harmonic artifice is employed at the end of Part B, where we need to go back to D-flat major. After Part A, an eight-note rest was enough to justify the jump of an augmented fourth to the new key, but here, something else had to be achieved. An A major chord (b 45) is followed by a diminished 7th chord over F-double sharp (key of G-sharp minor), then by a C-sharp major chord, and, finally, by a dominant 7th chord over G-sharp, which enharmonically transforms into A-flat, the dominant of D-flat! Just genius: from A major’s tonic, reading already enharmonically, we get a diminished seventh of D-flat’s dominant (thus a VII of the V), then directly the tonic and the dominant of the goal key.
No. 16 in B-flat minor.
Curiously enough, this second fugue of the collection, marked once more Alla breve, is marked with a cut-C time signature instead of 2/2. They are basically the same thing, it is just interesting to see these two choices, whereas 4/4 is always written as C. Please also notice how these two fugues are written in two very complex keys: F-sharp and B-flat minor. The subject of this fugue is half as long as the previous one, clocking in at four bars, and the answer is at a perfect fourth above, instead of the perhaps canonical perfect fifth. These rules are obviously not set in stone, but it is intriguing to be aware of it. This fugue is shorter than the previous one, but in no way less beautiful or challenging. As it often occurs in contrapuntal works, this minor fugue ends with a major tonic chord, following what J. S. Bach said regarding contrapuntal compositions, I paraphrase: “being these works dedicated to God, they cannot end in a minor key”.
No. 17 in A-flat major.
This Andante sostenuto, the first and only representative of the ternary compound metre 9/8, resumes the rounded binary form which had been interrupted by the previous fugue. The dialogue between the two instruments is simply exquisite, with the two registers crossing and parting ways like two dancing fishes in a clear mountain rivulet. Trusting that our students will have learnt the basic lesson of Part A: Tonic, Part B: Subdominant or Dominant, Dotzauer proposes once more a Romantic modulation to the third degree, starting Part B in C major. Its first period sees the first cello singing a proud melody, accompanied by a drum-like carpet of eight notes. Dialogue resumes in sub-part B: b, before allowing sub-part B: a to come back. Thus, the second part has a B: a-b-a structure, a ternary within a ternary! We carefully described the modulating procedure in No. 15, yet here Dotzauer simply lets the first cello linger on a lonely C, which is both the last note of Part B and the first note of Part A. This gives a honey-like melding effect that masterfully connects the two parts together.
No. 18 in F minor.
I am sure Dotzauer didn’t lack a sense of humour, and this Allegro agitato is no exception. Starting upbeat, the first cello plays the whole Part A in a syncopated rhythm, also known as compound syncope. The second cello duly accompanies this pattern with regular rhythmical steps, providing a saving anchor, at least for the listener. Part B is a fugue-like chase in F major, where the first cello proposes and the second cello answers. Hüllweck marks the second part Tranquillo, possibly in contrast with the agitato of the beginning, yet Klingenberg doesn’t, making us doubt whether this has been really added by the composer or not.
No. 19 in E-flat major.
The form of this Allegro is almost the same as the one found in the previous exercise. The first cello accompanies the second in arpeggio-like structures, for which I suggest the students take their time analysing each chord. The second part, in A-flat major, once more marked Tranquillo (by Hüllweck only), proposes another fugue-like chase in a highly chromatic style, this time with the first cello as the leader. Part A comes back without a proper introduction, almost with a plagal cadence from the end in A-flat to the beginning in E-flat.
No. 20 in C minor.
The third and last fugue of this collection is, quite surprisingly, in simple ternary time and is marked Allegro non tanto. The four-bar subject in the first cello is answered at the fifth above, with a countersubject that immediately tries to bring the battle on the rhythmic field. The contrapuntal struggle lasts until, in the last line, the two voices find each other in unison, almost in a heroic, unexpected statement, before crossing swords once more in a heavily chromatic scale, and two bell-like C minor chords sounding the end. I suggest, if possible, to perform this exercise in a hall with a proper resonance, such as a church, or a building made of stone. You will understand me when you do.
No. 21 in B-flat major.
We are approaching the end of the collection, and this Allegro giusto put the students on their mettle when it comes to bow distribution and speed management. The regularity of the rhythm in the first cello is opposed by the continuous change of length of the slurs. Bow divisions must be carefully planned and, here, the Klingenberg’s version comes to the rescue. The second part simply shifts from B-flat major to G minor, and is incredibly funny to play and practice. Learning how to perform a rest while not completely stopping the bow is a technique that will prove useful, if not vital, in all orchestral repertoire. The second cello here has a simple task: keep the rhythm steady, don’t budge!
No. 22 in G minor.
The rounded binary form comes back in this Andante con moto, with an A: a-b-a first part with a fugue-like character. In part B, in G major, we encounter a rhythmic figure that has strangely been almost absent in this whole collection: the triplet. This part has the first cello play triplets throughout, with the second cello alternating chords and scale fragments. The connection between the end of this part and the repetition of the first one is quite rough, with a G major chord simply giving way to the beginning melody.
No. 23 in F major.
This Andante grazioso represents the last exercise in major key of the collection. Its “Lombard” rhythm (the opposite of the “French” rhythm) is so challenging when played in long slurs, as in this case, that I suggest students to practice scales and arpeggios with this sequence before even starting this exercise. Alternatively, they can start practicing it as if they were even eight notes, switching to the written rhythm only when the left hand is perfectly sure of what it is doing. The first two periods of Part A are a fugue-like chase between first and second cello before, and between second and first cello after. The second part almost sounds like a chorale, with the runs of eight notes melting one in the other. The risoluto section (bb 35-41) is perfect to practice an elevated and steady position of the left harm, as the continuous shifts between different positions makes it very inefficient to do otherwise. The recapitulation of the first part brings few but subtle variations, enough to make it interesting enough to be written out in full. The finale profits from the miracle that contrary motion is, before a long appoggiatura signals the end of the exercise.
No. 24 in D minor.
This last Allegro looks like a fugue, with the second cello line coming back four bars later in the first cello, and yet it is the first cello the one starting up. It is, in any case, a contrapuntal composition, which I have labelled before as a “fantasy”, that is an imitative work in at least two voices. All these forms are extremely fluid, and while this exercise has all the characteristics of a fugue (the exposition, the development, the stretti, …), one cannot state that for sure. The final line, with its repeated drum-like chords, sounds the closing of this masterful collection of duets.
This concludes this not-so-brief analysis of the 24 Exercises for two cellos, Op. 159. I leave now the deserved spotlight to the music, sure that you will be able to take the most nourishment from its pages. Each one of these pieces is a little gem that deserves to be played and recorded, and shared to all cello classes in the world. I deeply hope they will bring you joy, and that all the care I have put in assembling this edition will make your experience comfortable and serene.
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