Weiss: Sonatas

Weiss: Sonatas
Composer Silvius Leopold Weiss
Artist Wolfgang Rübsam lute-harpsichord
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 95509
EAN code 5028421955094
Release April 2021

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About this release

Silvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750) was a German composer and arguably the master lutenist of the 18th century. In addition to being one of the greatest players of all time, he was one of the most important and most prolific composers of lute music in history. He wrote around 600 pieces for lute, most of them grouped into ‘sonatas’ (not to be confused with the later classical sonata, based on sonata form) or suites, consisting mostly of Baroque dance movements.

This recital features some of Weiss’s sonatas (he called them ‘Suonate’) for solo lute. They have come down to us in a variety of tablature manuscripts, and many are missing their preludes, which were usually improvised. Weiss’s music is characterised by a unique understanding of the capabilities of his instrument, its strengths and its weaknesses. Like J.S. Bach’s, his music represents the culmination of a high Baroque style a little at odds with the more progressive aspirations of his younger contemporaries.

The cantabile style of playing heard in these marvellous performances is directly inspired by the instrument, a lute-harpsichord built for Mr. Rübsam in 2015 by the acclaimed American instrument-maker Keith Hill. It consists of one manual with one set of gut strings at eight-foot pitch, and two sets of jacks which pluck the strings in two different places. One, positioned farther from the nut, produces a flutey sound, and the other, closer to the nut, produces a more nasal timbre. A second set of strings, made of brass at four-foot pitch, produces a halo-effect by resonating with the eight-foot register played by the performer. It gives the rather dry sound of the gut strings a much more singing quality of tone.

Wolfgang Rübsam is internationally known through over a hundred highly acclaimed recordings of organ repertoire from the Baroque and Romantic periods and his recent recordings of Bach on the lute-harpsichord.

- Recorded in June of 2019 in Indiana, USA
- The booklet contains liner notes on the composer and his music, as well as information about the instrument used
- Weiss was one of the most important and most prolific composers of lute music in history. He wrote around 600 pieces for lute, most of them grouped into “sonatas" (not to be confused with the later classical sonata, based on sonata form) or suites, which consist mostly of Baroque dance pieces. Weiss also wrote an extensive repertory of chamber music, lute duets, and concertos, but only the solo parts have survived; in every case the parts that accompany the solo lute are lost.
- The present recording is played on a lute-harpsichord built for Mr. Rübsam in 2015 by the acclaimed American instrument-maker Keith Hill. It consists of one manual with one set of eight-foot gut-strings, and two sets of jacks which pluck the strings in two different places. One, positioned farther from the nut, produces a fluty sound, and the other, closer to the nut, produces a more nasal timbre. A second set of brass four foot strings gives a halo-effect by resonating with the registers that are played by the performer. It causes the rather dry sound of the gut strings to have a much more singing quality of tone.
- Wolfgang Rübsam has an immense discography to his name. His more than 100 recordings include organ and harpsichord works from the Baroque and the Romantic era. He gives frequent recitals and masterclasses in the United States and Europe and has served on the juries of the most prestigious international competitions.

Listening

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 61 in D Minor: I. Ouverture
  2. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 61 in D Minor: II. Bourée
  3. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 61 in D Minor: III. Menuet
  4. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 61 in D Minor: IV. Gigue
  5. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 61 in D Minor: V. Menuet
  6. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 61 in D Minor: VI. Gigue
  7. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 61 in D Minor: VII. Sarabande
  8. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 97 in F Major: I. Andante
  9. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 97 in F Major: II. Courante
  10. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 97 in F Major: III. Bourée
  11. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 97 in F Major: IV. Polonoise
  12. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 97 in F Major: V. Gigue
  13. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: I. Allemande
  14. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: II. Gavotte
  15. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: III. Bourée
  16. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: IV. Menuet
  17. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: V. Gigue
  18. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: VI. Rigaudon
  19. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 95 in G Minor: I. Allemande
  20. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: II. Courante
  21. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: III. Gigue
  22. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: IV. Paysanne
  23. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 93 in D Minor: V. Polonoise
  24. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 96 in G Major: I. Prelude
  25. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 96 in G Major: II. Andante
  26. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 96 in G Major: III. Courante
  27. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 96 in G Major: IV. Bourée
  28. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 96 in G Major: V. Sarabande
  29. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 96 in G Major: VI. Menuet
  30. Silvius Leopold Weiss: Sonata, WeissSW. 96 in G Major: VII Presto