he forty years that followed the initial discovery of Franz Schubert's posthumous body of work yielded a hefty stack of published editions, the purification and expansion of which has occupied scholars and publishers until the present day. This is Schubert's legacy: one hundred and seventy-four years of conjecture, due in part to his premature death, but also his own stubborn unwillingness to promote his music while he lived. In the case of the Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano (D821), by the time it was published in 1871 the instrument for which it was written had long vanished into obscurity, essentially creating a free-for-all for just about any pitched instrument that could handle the composition's range; today it is played most frequently on the viola, cello, double bass and classical guitar, but performances on the flute and clarinet are not uncommon. The arpeggione, or bowed guitar, is exactly that: a fretted instrument with six strings tuned exactly like a classical guitar [E-A-D-G-B-E] and held vertically between the knees. The similarity to the tuning of the double bass is inescapable, however, due to the use of solo tuning strings, any advantage that this conveys—whether technical or musical—is undone when the piece is played in written G-minor. Our intent with this article is to introduce a new edition that we hope will provide double bassists with an uncluttered presentation of the score (based on the composer's autograph and other Urtext editions), and to put forth another view of the solo part that takes advantage of the similarities between the double bass and the arpeggione. To this end, we will examine the strange phenomenon of the arpeggione itself, the composer and the circumstances under which he composed the sonata, existing editions for the double bass, and finally, the musical and technical implications that our edition presents.


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