Weiss - Sonatas
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Label: Brilliant Classics
Cat No: 95509
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 9th April 2021
WorksLute Sonata no.61 in D minor
Lute Sonata no.93 in D minor
Lute Sonata no.95 in G minor
Lute Sonata no.96 in G major
Lute Sonata no.97 in F major
ArtistsWolfgang Rubsam (lute-harpsichord)
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.
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