WEISS: Suites: L’Infidele; in F; in D-minor; Tombeau sur la Mort de Mr Comte de Logy arrive — Eduardo Eguez (lute) — M•A Recordings

by | Oct 14, 2009 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

WEISS: Suites: L’Infidele; in F; in D-minor; Tombeau sur la Mort de Mr Comte de Logy arrive — Eduardo Eguez (lute) — M•A Recordings 078, 67:56 ***** [Distr. by Allegro]:

Sylvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750), the most famous lutenist ever and easily the greatest established his reputation early in his lifetime, maybe by age 19.  Born in Grottkau (near Breslau) the son of a lutenist, he served to great acclimation at the courts of Breslau, Rome, and Dresden, the place of his death. He was a friend of Bach and many others of his day, a famous master of improvisation. Though he composed over 600 works in various forms, his bread-and-butter was the Suite or Sonata.

Tombeau sur la Mort de Mr Comte de Logy arrive is dedicated to Count Johann Anton Losy von Losimthal, a man versed in music and high ideals. This is a shadowy and disquieting piece in B-flat minor that is replete with dissonances and a gyrating bass line. Mr. Egüez’s 13-course lute (a course being a single or pair of strings) enables him to produce ringing and weighty bass notes with great emotion.
 
Of the suites, the second here in D-minor is the most famous and probably most popular of Weiss’s compositions. There are many things to recommend it, especially its lightness, wit, and extremely melodic nature, though I personally do not think it his best. The F-major piece is without a prelude, supplied here by Mr. Egüez, as an example of the type of improvisational activity that might have been expected of a performer. The lutenist does a fine job of filling in that which is lacking, an impressive beginning to this equally impressive—and rather long—work.
 
L’Infidèle could refer to the defeat of the Turks outside of Vienna in 1683–Turks were called “infidels”–and the closing Paysanne (simple or having to do with the country) instead of the usual gigue makes for an interesting turn. Eduardo Egüez, who plays with a sweet joy and verve along with superb musicianship, is an outstanding player in every aspect of the art, and these are some of the most ingratiating lute performances I have ever heard.

Todd Garfinkle’s engineering is truly a feat in and of itself, giving us wonderful sound in absolutely immaculate acoustics, almost Super Audio quality. This is my first exposure to Mr. Eguez, and it won’t be the last. Enthusiastically recommended!

— Steven Ritter

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