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Lute works by Sylvius Leopold Weiss

Eduardo Egüez: baroque lute

"L`infidele" has been awarded the prestigious French "Diapason d`Or" prize this January 2010!

Suite L?Infidèle (London manuscript, Add. 30387)

Suite in F major (Dresden manuscript, Mus.2841-V-I)

Tombeau sur la Mort de Mr Comte de Logy arrivée 1721 (London manuscript, Add. 30387)

Suite in D minor (Dresden manuscript, Mus.2841-V-I)

13 course lute by Robert Lundberg (Oregon, 1992)

total CD time: 67.56

Listen to track #11:
"Sarabande", from Suite in F major

An MA One point digital recording, June, 2005

Chiesa di San Bernardino da Siena, Piano Audi, Comune di Corio, Piemonte, Italia

Microphones: MA Recordings original DC powered, line level with Bruel and Kjaer mm0042 capsules, designed by Junichi Yonetani

Mike cables: Crystal Cable Ultra 2 meter pair

AD converter: DCS 904/Digital cable: Crystal Cable 12 meter AES EBU

Data recorder: Fostex FR-2

Monitored on Stax Lambda Signature Pro Earspeakers with balanced drive unit

All location photography in Laveno Mombello, Italia by Shoji Onuma

Package design: Todd Garfinkle, assisted by Masashi Shimamura of Make Color

Package printed and assembled by Japan Sleeve

DDP Mastering by Atsuo Fujita

About Sylvius Leopold Weiss (From the liner notes by Ed Martin)

Born in Grottkau, near Breslau in Silesia, he was perhaps the greatest lutenist ever to have lived, as evidenced by his fame, contemporary reports of other musicians, sheer output of music, and his high salary. He was raised in the area that had already fostered lutenists such as the father and son Esias Reusner, LeSage de Richee, Meusel, Baron, Kroppfgans, and Straube. Herr Weiss was raised in a very musical family, having been taught by his father, Johann Jakob Weiss. He also had a brother and sister who also were reported to be lutenists (Johann Sigismund and Juliana Margaretha), but it had been evident from a young age that Sylvius was by far the finest of them all.

The first accounts of Weiss? musical activities have been traced back to 1706, when at about age 19, he was employed at the court of Count Karl Philipp of Palatinat-Neuburg in Breslau, where he was taken in company with Friedrich of Hessen-Kassel, the heir prince, to Kassel. During this time, Weiss? father and brother were also employed at Dusseldorf. After 1710, Sylvius was in the service of Alexander Sobieski, Prince of Poland. It was when he accompanied Sobieski to Rome while in exile, that he had the opportunity to meet Domenico and Allesandro Scarlatti, Archangelo Corelli, Heinichen, and Georg Friederich Handel. Being in close contact and collaboration with such immense talent had a lasting effect on Weiss, in both his playing ability and his compositional style. It was Sylvius who introduced the Italian style to German baroque lute music, which previously still was mostly in the style of the French subtle, harmonious, and short phrases; he began hinting elements of longer melodic phrases, with a more established bass pattern, and long sequences and new elements of musical ideas. Weiss then left Italy after 1714, when his patron Alexander Sobieski died.

After his return to Breslau, Weiss resumed a position with his former employer, Count Karl Philipp. During this time he also traveled to places such as Vienna and Prague, where he met the lutenist Count Johann Anton Losy von Losimthal.

Around the year 1718, Weiss changed patrons, securing a court position in Dresden with the Prince Elector of Saxony, known as August the Strong, King of Poland, lasting until the composer?s death in 1750. In service of the Elector Weiss would perform for him, his family, dignitaries, and in the court. As if this were not sufficient, Weiss also performed in the Dresden Orchestra, where he was principal accompanist. It was during the later years in his life when Weiss became the highest paid musician in all of Germany.

While in Dresden, he worked with the musicians of the highest caliber, including Quantz, Pisendel, Buffardin, and Hasse. Rejecting offers for even more lucrative appointments, he remained in Dresden, because he believed it the most highly refined musical establishment of the age. His fame was so widespread, in that it made him one of the most important musicians during baroque Germany. He had students from afar, seeking his guidance and knowledge. As was only just, he received the highest salary of all the Dresden musicians.

During visits to Prague in 1717 and 1718-19, Weiss met luthier Thomas Edlinger. During this period, there was a ?new? configuration for the baroque lute, in which a rider was added to the basses to make the instrument now with 13 courses, making for a complete octave for the diapasons. This ?splendid instrument? as Weiss himself described it became the new standard of lute construction, and henceforth, with only a few exceptions, all new music for the lute was for the 13-course lute. Not only did this change in construction affect the sound and depth of the lute, but also it dramatically changed the manner in which composers wrote for it. With all certainty, this opened up greater possibilities for Weiss? composing, and it is evident that it changed the style of lute writing in general. This recording by Eduardo Egüez was performed on such an instrument.

By all accounts, Sylvius was absolutely brilliant as a performer, and could improvise and embellish musical ideas in an astonishing fashion. He was a friend and colleague of Johann Sebastian Bach. There is some documentation that Weiss (on lute) and Bach (on harpsichord) had a competition of performing and improvising fantasies and fugues. Johann Elias Bach recorded one such meeting, where Weiss and Kroppfgans went to Leipzig in 1739, where they met at J.S. Bach?s residence. It was described as an occasion with exceptional music making. A recent discovery reveals another instance of musical collaboration between the two including the work by Bach, BWV 1025, a sonata for violin and harpsichord obbligato in A major. Close examination of the harpsichord part reveals an entire late sonata by Weiss, which suggests that Bach ?borrowed? this sonata from Weiss. Bach as well composed some of the finest music for the lute, and this was previously discussed in Eduardo Egüez? previous MA Recordings (The Lute Music of Johann Sebastian Bach, volume 1 and 2, MO53A and MO54A).

In 1727, Ernst Gottlieb Baron published his Historisch-Theoretisch und Practische Untersuchung des Instruments der Lauten (Study of the Lute). In describing Sylvius Leopold Weiss, he writes:

?He has been the first to show that more could be done on the lute that was hitherto thought possible. And in regard to his skill, I can sincerely testify that it makes no difference whether one hears an ingenious organist performing his fantasias and fugues on a harpsichord or hears Monsieur Weiss playing. In arpeggios he has an extraordinary full-voiced texture, in expression emotions he is incomparable, he has stupendous technique and an unheard-of delicacy and cantabile charm. He is a great improviser, who can play extemporaneously the most beautiful themes or even play on his lute violin concerti directly from their notation, and he plays Thorough-Bass extraordinarily well on either lute or theorbo?.

Weiss also had an association with Luise Gottsched, recognized as an important figure in German literature and poetry. In addition to her writing, she also performed on harpsichord and lute. Living near Leipzig, close to Dresden, she was a lute student of Weiss, and she gathered a collection of Weiss? music. Musicologist Tim Crawford published his translation of a posthumous letter composed by Gottsched after Weiss died in 1750:

?Weiss (Sylvio Leopold), a great lutenist... His own father, who brought his splendid natural talent so far, first taught him that by his seventh year he had already played before Emperor Leopold I. His compositions stand out above all that are known today. To be sure, some say they are difficult, but only those who are too careless or too old, or otherwise prefer another instrument. But they are very hard to find, since he was very reluctant to let them out of his hands. Therefore whoever has a good collection must regard it as a treasure and cherish it. His touch was very gentle; one could hear it, but did not know where the notes were coming from. In improvising he was incomparable; the piano and forte were completely in his grasp. In short, he was master of his instrument and could do whatever he wanted with it. His surviving works consist of solos, trios, concertos, tombeaux, among which the one for Count Losy is incomparable, and a few Galenterie pieces. When he died, in 1750 the world lost the greatest lutenist that Europe has ever heard and admired?.

Weiss has left us many pieces, and new discoveries of works continue to reveal even more; in the latest count, there are more than 850 pieces that are extant. For reasons which are unclear, none of his works were printed in his lifetime, with very few exceptions; the works that we have today were found scattered in various manuscripts in Europe and Russia. Most of his works are in the Suite or Partita format, although Weiss himself referred to them as sonatas. They consist of groupings of dance movements, often with a preceding Prelude or Overture, and these sonatas contain various movements typical of the partita format. The largest collections are found in the British Library (London Manuscript, Add. 30387), and Germany (Dresden Manuscript, Sachsisches Landesbibliothek Mus.2841-V-I). For additional information on the life, works, various manuscript sources or literature concerning Sylvius Leopold Weiss, please see a comprehensive web page devoted exclusively to him available in English, French, or German at

Eduardo Egüez Biography


1959, Buenos Aires.


-Miguel Angel Girollet (guitar).

-Eduardo Fernandez (guitar).

-School of Arts and musical Sciences of the Catholic University of Argentina (composition).

-Hopkinson Smith, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (lute diploma,1995).

Snr. Egüez is currently one of the principal representatives of the new generation of lute players.

Has given numerous concerts as a soloist in Austria, Argentina, Chile, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Uruguay, etc with excellent reviews from knowledgable critics and a warm reception by the public.

Snr. Egüez has been awarded several prizes in important international contests such as "Promociones Musicales" (Buenos Aires, 1984), "Circulo Guitarristico Argentino" (Buenos Aires, 1984), "28° Concours International de Guitare" (Radio France, Paris, 1986), "V Concurso Internacional de Guitarra" (Madrid, 1989).

As a teacher, Eduardo Egüez has conducted important seminars such as:

? "Camping Musical Bariloche", Argentina.
? Catholic University of Argentina.
? Catholic University of Chile.
? "Instituto para las Artes", Uruguay.
? "Instituto para las Artes", Uruguay.
? "Musikhochschule Wuppertal", Germany.
? "Conservatoire Populaire de Musique", Genève.
? "Fundacion La Caixa", Murcia, Spain
? "Conservatorio di Musica V. Bellini", Palermo, Italy.
? "Fondation Royaumont" , France
? "Académie Baroque Européenne d?Ambronay", France

Snr. Egüez teaches lute and continuo at the Zürich Conservatory.

After graduating in Switzerland he moved to Italy, expanding his expertise into the field of early music. His current performances are oriented towards characteristic repertoires of major instruments such as the baroque lute, the theorbo, the vihuela and the baroque guitar.

Activities include performances as a soloist and as a continuo player of many ensembles and singers. Among them are "ELYMA" (Gabriel Garrido), "LABYRINTO" (Paolo Pandolfo), "HESPERION XXI", "LA CAPELLA REIAL DE CATALUNYA" (Jordi Savall), "THE RARE FRUITS COUNCIL" (Manfred Krämer), "ENSEMBLE BAROQUE DE LIMOGES" (Cristophe Coin), "ARMONICO TRIBUTO AUSTRIA" (Lorenz Dufschmidt), "LA GRANDE ECURIE ET LA CHAMBRE DU ROI" (Jean Claude Malgoire), "SACRO E PROFANO" (Marco Mencoboni), "AURORA" (Enrico Gatti), Emma Kirkby, Maria Cristina Kiehr, Victor Torres, Rolf Lislevand, Eugène Ferrè, etc.

He can be heard on numerous recordings for the following labels:

"Astrée Auvidis", "Arcana", "Glossa", "K617", "Symphonia", "E Lucevan le Stelle", "Stradivarius", "MA Recordings".


As a Soloist:

? "Tombeau" Works of Sylvius Leopold WEISS (Baroque lute) (1999)
? "Musica a Palazzo Ducale" (Theorbo, Intavolatura of "Le ombre crudeli e sorde") (1997)

? "Works of J.S. Bach" Vol 1. (Baroque lutes) (2000)
? "Works of J.S. Bach" Vol 2. (Baroque lutes) (2002)
? "The Kings Teacher" Works by Robert de Visee Vol 1. (Baroque lutes, theorbo, baroque guitar) (2004)

As a Continuo player:


"Libro Quarto D'Intavolatura di Chitarrone" (Roma 1640) Johannes Hieronymus KAPSBERGER (Lislevand, Egüez, Feehan, Morini, Duftschmid, Estevan) (1993)

? "The Complete Works for Lute" Antonio VIVALDI (Lislevand, Egüez, Kraemer, Valetti, Taubl, Posvanecz, Johnson, Duftschmid, Maté, Pornon, Feehan,Morini) (1996)
? "Encuentro" SANZ & SANTA CRUZ (Lislevand, Egüez, Pornon, Gonzalez Campa) (1997)
? "Saldivar Codex IV" Santiago de MURCIA (Lislevand, Pornon, Estevan, Claude, Morini, Egüez) (2000)


"Viento es la Dicha de Amor" Jose DE NEBRA (Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, Cristophe Coin) (1996)

K617 (France) "Les Chemins du Baroque"

"Zipoli à Chiquitos" (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1993)

? "Zipoli l'Européen" (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1993)
? "L'Or & l'Argent du Haut-Pérou" Juan de ARAUJO (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1994)
? "La Dafne" Marco DA GAGLIANO (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1995)
? "Musique Baroque à la Royale Audience de Charcas" ARAUJO, CERUTI, TARDIO Y GUZMAN, DURAN DE LA MOTA, etc, (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1996)
? "San Ignacio, L'Opéra perdu des Missions Jésuites de l'Amazonie" ZIPOLI, SCHMID (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1996)
? "L'Orfeo" Claudio MONTEVERDI (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1996)
? "La Gerusalemme Liberata" MONTEVERDI, VINCI, D'INDIA, etc. (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1997)
? "Le Ballet Comique de la Royne" Baltazar de Beaujoyeulx (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1997)
? "Visperas", A.Ceruti (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1998)
? "Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria", C. Monteverdi (EnsembleELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1998)
? "Villancicos de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz" ARAUJO, MESA, GUZMAN, DE LA MOTA, etc (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1999)
? "Vespro della Beata Vergine" Claudio MONTEVERDI (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1999)
? "La Púrpura de la Rosa" Torrejón y Velazco (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (1999)
? "L?Incoronazione di Poppea" Claudio MONTEVERDI (Ensemble ELYMA, Gabriel Garrido) (2000)

GLOSSA (Spain)
? "Pieces de Viole avec la Basse Continue" Antoine FORQUERAY (Pandolfo, Egüez, Balestracci, Lislevand, Morini) (1995)
? The Spirit of Gambo" Tobias HUME (Kirkby, Pandolfo, Egüez, Balestracci, Quintana, Fresno) (1996)

ARCANA (France)
? "TELEMANN, Viola da Gamba" (ARMONICO TRIBUTO AUSTRIA, Lorenz Duftschmid) (1997)

? "Musica a Palazzo Ducale" (SACRO E PROFANO, Marco Mencoboni) (1997)
? "Bartolomeo BARBARINO" (SACRO E PROFANO, Marco Mencoboni) (1998)

? "Le Lacrime di David sparse nel Miserere" Biaggio MARINI (Gli Erranti, Casari) (1998)

? "Opere di Arcangello Corelli per Viola da Gamba" (Balestracci) (1998)

Todd Garfinkle: Producer / Engineer

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