Complete London Manuscript
Almost an exact contemporary of Bach, Silvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750) was renowned in his day as one of the most proficient lutenists in Europe. Born in Grottkau, now part of Poland, he soon established himself in the service of Prince Elector of Saxony August the Strong, based in Dresden, where he eventually became the highest paid musician of the court. Over his lifetime he composed over 200 sonatas, and, remarkably, many of them remain conserved - and unplayed - to this day. The manuscripts can be found in various libraries scattered across Europe, and the London Manuscript, held in the British Library since 1877, contains a staggering 26 solo sonatas as well as other individual and ensemble works with flute. The sonatas are not like the typical Classical sonatas that would appear in Mozart's time; they are structured more like a Baroque suite, normally comprising six individual movements, lively gigues and courantes as well as allemandes and slow sarabandes. Although Weiss's lute music has been compared to that of J.S. Bach, there is a wealth of originality here that is not always found in Bach's works, due to Weiss's deep understanding of the instrument. Weiss utilised unusually sophisticated harmonies, particularly in the later works, where he frequently employed diminished seventh chords and bold enharmonic changes. His ensemble works for flute and lute add a striking new voice, leading to lively interplay between the two instruments. Michel Cardin has devoted his career to painstakingly reconstructing the London Manuscript, bringing the various fragments to a playable standard and carefully analyzing which segments belong where. Over the past decade he has released each CD individually with various works from the manuscript; now, the listener has an opportunity to own the complete collection, encapsulating 12 CDs worth of Weiss's remarkable Baroque lute music. This slow, academic approach, based on years of research and careful analysis, has brought a highly authentic recording of these works to fruition. However, Cardin describes himself as a performer first and a musicologist second; these works can most certainly be enjoyed by anyone, whether already acquainted with Weiss or not. Baroque flautist Christiane Laflamme, who joins Cardin on the last two CDs, was also an integral part of the reconstruction process. Cardin's venture has been reviewed in the British magazine Early Music, where it was described as "the most remarkable Weiss project of all". Now in a 12 CD budget box: The complete London Manuscript by Silvius Leopold Weiss!Weiss (a near exact contemporary of Bach: 1687-1750) was a famous lute player and composer in his, time, a highly regarded court musician at the Dresden court. He wrote extensively for his instrument. This 12 CD set contains the complete works found in the London Manuscript: 26 Sonatas for lute solo. The sonatas are not written in the classical sense of the genre, but they are more like suites, with several dance movements. Weiss's musical language is highly expressive, full of daring chromatic harmonies and intricate counterpoint, only a master lutenist could write such music!Lutenist Michel Cardin reconstructed the London Manuscript with painstaking care in a period of over 10 years, and he recorded it on separately issued CD's. Brilliant Classics is proud to issue the complete set in one box, a monument of great music and great playing!The booklet contains extensive liner notes by the artist.Other information:Recorded in Canada between 1992 and 2004.Unique opportunity to own the complete London Manuscript in full, described by Early Music magazine as "one of the greatest solo music sources in early music history".Extensive liner notes written by Michel Cardin included in clamshell with more available online.Biographies of the artists.