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Weiss: Lute Sonatas, Vol. 9 CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Weiss: Lute Sonatas, Vol. 9
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  • Weiss: Lute Sonatas Vol.10 (Sonatas Nos. 28 & 40)
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  • Weiss: Lute Sonatas Volume 11 (Sonatas Nos. 30, 39 & 96) (Naxos: 8.572680)
Total price: £21.56
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Product details

  • Composer: Silvius Leopold Weiss
  • Audio CD (31 Mar. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0015DM3C4
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,704 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Sonates n°52, n°32 & n°94 / Robert Barto, luth baroque

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By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 8 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Weiss, held to be the foremost lutenist of his time, was an almost exact contemporary of Bach and so his time was the last flowering of Baroque lute music. He left a huge and very distinguished legacy of compositions, which really show the true beauty and versatility of the lute. All of the music is full of melodic invention and Weiss's mastery of his instrument is clear from the richness of the harmonic structures. It is fitting that this very fine composer is now receiving rather more attention. He thoroughly deserves it.

Robert Barto's entire series of recordings of Weiss's lute works has been truly excellent. I also have recordings of Weiss by Jakob Lindberg and Nigel North - two modern giants of the lute - and Barto is at least their equal, in my view. His technique is impeccable, leaving him free to concentrate on and interpret what the music is saying. I have gradually accumulated all ten (so far) of the discs in this series and my enjoyment of them has never diminished. Barto brings out all the wonderful interest and variety in Weiss's music and obviously has a real empathy with it and love for it.

The recording is excellent and the sheer sound of the instrument is a joy. All round, this is a wonderful disc and at this price you can't really go wrong. I warmly recommend both this and every other volume in this outstanding series.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been collecting Barto's Weiss recordings for more than ten years now and must give them my most glowing recommendation. The sound is outstanding and Barto's musicianship is excellent. However, it is the complexity and beauty of the compositions that truly comes across in Weiss's work. The swirling web of tones build an introspective and meditative feeling that simply sparkles. I truly recommend the whole series of recordings issued by Naxos (11 volumes at this point - July 2012) as well as the Hagen recording from the late 90s Hagen: Solo Works for Lute [IMPORT]
Enjoy these almost forgotten baroque gems!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8cb6e420) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cd425ac) out of 5 stars Amazon was Right! 28 July 2009
By Robin Friedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
For months, this CD of lute music by Silvius Leopold Weiss has appeared in the "Recommended for you" section of my Amazon page. I have listened to a substantial amount of baroque music but hadn't heard Weiss before. I decided to check the accuracy of Amazon's computer in referring me to music I didn't know. And, indeed, Amazon was right. I enjoyed this CD and found myself wanting to hear more of Weiss.

Weiss (1687 -- 1750) was a contemporary and acquaintance of both J.S. Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. His music has some of the characteristics of both of these far better-known composers. Scarlatti is remembered today primarily for his 550-odd short sonatas for solo keyboard. Weiss was renowned in his day as the leading performer on the lute. Although we wrote much else, Weiss has become known as perhaps the greatest composer for this difficult instrument. Scarlatti's sonatas moved relatively easily to the piano when the harpsichord became, for a time obsolete. But with the disappearance of the lute, Weiss's music became obscure until the 20th Century revival of interest in early music. Scholars have since poured over and assembled definitive editions of Weiss's prolific work for the instrument, consisting of at least 391 individual movements.

Weiss's music for lute is arranged in the form of multi-movement sonatas, similar to Bach's French or English Suites for keyboard and the celebrated solo music for cello and violin. The works thus usually consist of between five and seven movements using a variety of dance forms.

The bodget-priced Naxos series is in the process of recording Weiss's complete lute music performed by Robert Barto, a contemporary master of the instrument. This particular CD, which kept appearing on my recommended list, is the ninth and most recent of the series. The beautiful, deep and bell-like tone of Barto's playing makes this music immediately appealing. The music is both dance-like and contrapuntal. Weiss uses the full 13 (or earlier 11) stings of the lute to allow contrasting themes in the instrument's different registers. As does Bach in the cello and violin works, Weiss also has the ability to suggest several fugal voices within the resources of a single instrument.

The works on this CD have an introspective, improvisatory character. Even though they were performed in public, these works are highly intimate, as if the performer is playing quietly for himself or for a small audience of close friends. The CD consists of three sonatas which, according to the scholarly liner notes of Tim Crawford, were composed at different times in the composer's life and reflect his evolving style.

The sonata no 52 in C minor is an extended 30-minute work in six movements. It features a massive opening overture with a slow, grave opening section, followed by a fugue, and a vivace concluding section. The third movement is a lovely bell-like and lively bouree. The fourth movement of this piece is a flowing, gently rocking graceful sicilliana rather than the more usual sarabande. The work concludes with a virtuosic, concertante-style presto.

The sonata no. 32 in F major consists of seven movements but is substantially shorter (it runs about 22 minutes) that the C minor sonata. It opens with a slow, dignified allemande followed by a courante in which the melody flows over strumming on the lower strings of the lute. There is a lively bouree and a stately sarabande which is the climax of the work. There are two short contrasting minuets, and the sonata concludes with a short rhythmic gigue in triplets.

The final work, the five-movement sonata no 94 in G minor is about thirteen minutes in length. The manuscript of this piece is found only in a Russian collection, and it was apparently taken to Russia by a student of Weiss. This short work has a wide variety of contrasts in mood, from the sad opening andante to the short, spiky paisane. Interestingly, the fourth movement of this work is a Polonaise, a Polish dance that Bach and Beethoven also used, sparingly, and that Chopin immortalized. The work again concludes with a short sprightly gigue.

This music remains off-the beaten path, but it will appeal to listeners who enjoy Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas and Bach's instrumental music. I look forward to hearing more of Weiss's music as performed by Robert Barto.

Robin Friedman
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cd42600) out of 5 stars Best of the bunch so far 2 July 2008
By Kidneykutter - Published on Amazon.com
This is the 9th in the series of Weiss sonatas (suites) by Bob Barto, the world expert at playing this music on baroque lute. His playing and sound seem to get better with every release. Particularly on this disc, he takes more adventurous chances with ornamentation on the repeats. Buy this disc, then be stunned, then buy the previous 8.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ce25764) out of 5 stars Spectacular Introspective Recordings 15 July 2012
By Moonfish - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been collecting Barto's Weiss recordings for more than ten years now and must give them my most glowing recommendation. The sound is outstanding and Barto's musicianship is excellent. However, it is the complexity and beauty of the compositions that truly comes across in Weiss's work. The swirling web of tones build an introspective and meditative feeling that simply sparkles. I truly recommend the whole series of recordings issued by Naxos (11 volumes at this point - July 2012) as well as the Hagen recording from the late 90s Hagen: Lute Sonatas / Locatelli Variations.
Enjoy these almost forgotten baroque gems!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ce27000) out of 5 stars lost treasure unearthed! 18 Nov. 2009
By noeton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Barto is so very good; the recording first-rate. Rarely does a product of any type whatsoever provide this magnitude of "bang for your buck." Cannot recommend it more highly. I'm just so glad someone has at last dusted off these lovely gems and shone such a radiant light on them.

Buy all the volumes - you won't be disappointed.

For a full and perhaps fun discussion of this material see my review of Volume I.
HASH(0x8cd42ac8) out of 5 stars WEISS PLAYED BY ROBERT BARTO 15 Mar. 2015
By John Morse - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wonderful. I finally decided to get all of his 11 recordings and each one is lovely. A composer who was friends with Bach. Bach wrote for the lute but did not realized its range and key limitations. So it is nice that Weiss wrote all of this splendid music. If you love Baroque music you will enjoy any of these recordings. n morse
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