Edicole Grevi | Weiss a Rome

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Weiss a Rome

by Edicole Grevi

Premiere recording of the Paris manuscript F-PN RES VMA MS.1213, preserved in Bibliotheque Nationale de Paris by S.L. Weiss and "Tomba" by Georg Gebel, performed by baroque lutenist Edicole Grevi.
Genre: Classical: Baroque
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Fantasia in D Minor, WeissSW 82.2 (Sm 539)
3:38 $0.99
2. Fantasia in F Major, WeissSW 75.3 (Sm 540)
3:21 $0.99
3. Adagio in C Major, WeissSW 44 (Sm 541)
3:23 $0.99
4. Capriccio in G Minor, WeissSW 45 (Sm 542)
2:15 $0.99
5. Fantasia in G Major, WeissSW 46 (Sm 543)
4:32 $0.99
6. Fantasia in D Major, WeissSW 47 (Sm 544)
5:42 $0.99
7. Fuga in D Major, WeissSW 48 (Sm 474)
2:04 $0.99
8. Preludio in F Major, WeissSW 75.1 (Sm 545)
2:53 $0.99
9. Tomba: I. Grave
4:42 $0.99
10. Tomba: II. Adagio
5:13 $0.99
11. Tomba: III. Grave
1:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Sylvius Leopold Weiss was a German composer and lutenist. Born in Grottkau near Breslau, the son of Johann Jacob Weiss, also a lutenist, he served at the courts in Breslau, Rome, and Dresden, where he died. He 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, the 4th Prince Lobkowicz, and the prince's second wife Anna Wilhelmina Althan. 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."

It's important to know that Weiss recommended Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in 1738 to Frederick the Great (King of Prussia from 1740 until 1786), and that ].S. Bach entirely copied Weiss’s Sonata SW47 for lute in its entirety, arranging it for harpsichord and violin.

American musicologist Douglas Alton Smith claims that Sylvius Leopold Weiss should be appreciated to the same degree as G.P. Telemann, F. Couperin, and D. Scarlatti, as one of the most important composers of the late baroque era. Not only was Weiss one of the most prolific lute composers of all time; his music was some of the best to come from Germany in that period. Analyzing the many pieces he wrote for baroque lute (more than 500 known to us), we can divide his output into two main parts - the first, early period (until 1725) and the second, mature phase. His London manuscript contains early works, as does the manuscript Weiss a Roma, while the manuscript from Dresden contains the mature works. It is important to emphasize that Rome was a very rich city at the time of Weiss’s stay from 1710 to 1714, home to the Pope, cardinals and music academies (for example, the members of the Sobieski family, Weiss’s patrons, formed part of the Accademia degli Arcadi). Himself a guest in the Zuccari Palace, Weiss met important musicians in Rome such as Scarlatti and possibly Corelli.

Lutes and the music written for them were never able to easily attract large audiences. Some of the most important documents we have today attesting to this situation are contained in Thomas Mace's book, Musick's Monument, published in London in 1676, and E.G. Baron's Historisch-theoretische und practische Untersuchung des Instruments der Lauten from 1727, published in Nürnberg as a reply to Mattheson's critics. In them, we read that the lute was considered to be old-fashioned, a woman's instrument, too difficult to play. For these reasons, lute composers (Weiss among them) were not so interesting to the wider public, and they never enjoyed the reputations that they deserved. In spite of this, Sylvius Leopold Weiss worked assiduously to compose and to become a true virtuoso on the lute, able to transmit both his personality and the beauty of the music through his works.

The Tombeau from this manuscript was composed by Goerg Gebel (1709-1753), a German musician and composer.



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