The Last Instrument Fit for a Gentleman to Play.

December 9, 2009 at 7:50 pm (By Theo Boehm)

A little music by Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750) to warm your cold, snowy evening, played by the incomparable Robert Barto. This is a Courante in Bb major.

Weiss was an almost exact contemporary of J.S. Bach (1685-1750),  a friend of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, and a sometimes friendly competitor with Johann Sebastian Bach himself.

Weiss’ style is astonishingly like Bach’s.  It’s pretty obvious that Bach’s lute music, like the rest of his output, was the ultimate expression of its genre.  You can hear another take on this style, however, by Weiss. Although Bach has long been given first place among Baroque composers, and perhaps composers generally, in lute music, at least, J.S. Bach seems to have been only first among equals.

Here’s another Weiss piece, a Presto in A major. It’s recorded live in front of an audience, so you hear more room echo and noise. I think it’s a wonderful fantasy to imagine having this gentleman over to play by your fire on a December evening:

(Reposted from A Quiet Evening.)


  1. Icepick said,

    Down here in Florida we don’t have cold snowy evenings, but I appreciate the music just the same.

  2. Randy said,

    Those were beautiful pieces, Theo. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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