Clip: Aussel plays Weiss
Sylvius Leopold Weiss (12 October 1687 – 16 October 1750) was a German composer and lutenist.
Born in Grottkau near Breslau, the son of Johann Jacob Weiss, also a lutenist, he served at courts in Breslau, Rome, and Dresden, where he died. Until recently, he was thought to have been born in 1686, but recent evidence suggests that he was in fact born the following year.
Weiss was one of the most important and most prolific composers of lute music in history and one of the best-known and most technically accomplished lutenists of his day. He was a teacher to Philip Hyacinth, 4th Prince Lobkowicz, and the prince’s second wife Anna Wilhelmina Althan.
In later life, Weiss became a friend of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and met J.S. Bach through him. Bach and Weiss were said to have competed in improvisation, as the following account by Johann Friedrich Reichardt describes:
“Anyone who knows how difficult it is to play harmonic modulations and good counterpoint on the lute will be surprised and full of disbelief to hear from eyewitnesses that Weiss, the great lutenist, challenged J. S. Bach, the great harpsichordist and organist, at playing fantasies and fugues.”
The sonata No. 23 in A minor belongs to the London Manuscript pieces fot lute of Silvius Leopold Weiss. The Entrée is the first movement of this beautiful work, and it fulfils the function of overture, though in a dynamic, grandiose fashion, possibly bringing to mind the glory of the previously mentioned King Johann Sobieski*.
Enjoy this masterful interpretation of this piece which Roberto Aussel recorded exclusively for Guitar TV World.