Neue Lauten-Früchte, Berlin 1676

Neue Lauten-Früchte, Berlin 1676

Esaias Reusner (1636-1679) • Baroque lute • French tablature

The Haslemere Manuscript, Pieces and Lute Partitas | Vol. 2/5

The Haslemere Manuscript, Pieces and Lute Partitas | Vol. 2/5

Wolff Jakob Lauffensteiner (1676-1754) • Baroque lute • French tablature

Music Sheet | The Haslemere Manuscript, Pieces and Lute Sonatas | Vol. 1/5

Silvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750) • Baroque lute • French tablature

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• Composer(s): Silvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750)
• Title: The Haslemere Manuscript
• Sub-title: Pieces and Lute Sonatas
• Year of edition: c.1750-1780
• Source: GB-HAdolmetsch Ms II.B.2
• Volume: 1

The Haslemere Manuscript

This manuscript contains tablatures that a lutenist from Dresden or Prague assembled in the second half of the 18th century, most likely to be used for his own playing or teaching. His instrument of reference was a 12-course D-minor-tuned lute. Some pieces require a 13th course, but they are few in number, and the indication of a 13th course may have been added later. This copyist often indicated a composer's name alongside the titles; however, many pieces, whose origin must have been known to him, are anonymous. The tablatures are generally grouped by key, in order to be played consecutively without having to retune the bass courses. Only rarely are these groups of pieces explicitly referred to as Suites or Sonatas.

The original manuscript is now kept at the Carl Dolmetsch Library, in Haslemere, England; its reference is GB-HAdolmetsch ms II.B.2. Its history is unclear; it may have belonged to the Fétis collection, since we know that Fétis sold or traded several of the many works he had purchased1.

In the early 20th century, the manuscript was acquired by Eugène Arnold Dolmetsch (1858-1940). Born French into a family of organ, piano and harmonium makers, Arnold Dolmetsch went to London to study early music and its instruments. He earned a baccalaureate in music in 1889, and settled in London.

After teaching a short while, he began building keyboard instruments, and opened a lutherie workshop in Haslemere in Surrey, where he built copies of almost every sort of instrument played from the 15th to the 18th century.

Silvius Leopold Weiss (1687-1750)

Silvius Leopold Weiss was born in 1687 in the village of Grottkau, near Breslau. His father Johann Jacob, a proficient lutenist, taught his three children how to play, as well as the rules of harmony and the practice of basso continuo. A child prodigy, Silvius Leopold performed before the Emperor Leopold I who, although consumed with his war against Louis XIV, was a great music lover.

From 1707 to 1714 he lived in Italy. In Rome, he met Arcangelo Corelli and befriended the Scarlattis. Subsequently, he is thought to have entered the service of the Governor of Further Austria, who resided in Innsbruck. In 1718, he obtained a well-paid position in the Dresden Court Orchestra.

A first mission took him to Vienna for eight months, where he was immersed in the musical life of Austria, both at the Court and in town. It was there that he discovered the galant style, which would leave its mark on all his future compositions. He subsequently settled in Dresden where, although he often travelled, he spent the rest of his life. He was a brilliant continuo player at the Court, the Church and, above all, the Opera. His playing and improvisations were so highly esteemed that he became the best paid and most demanded instrumentalist in Dresden; even the considerable financial incentives offered by the Court of Vienna could not lure him away.

Silvius Leopold Weiss frequented the best musicians of his era. He was appreciated by princes, often lutenists themselves. Thus, between 1725 and 1730, he made several sojourns in Prague to teach his art to Prince Lobkowitz and his wife, to Johann Antonin Losy von Losimthal (Count d’Logy), Imperial Governor of Bohemia, or to Ludwig Joseph Cajetan, Baron von Hartig, Imperialo Governor of the city of Prague. Silvius Leopold Weiss met and played music with Johann Sebastian Bach when the latter, living in Leipzig, came to visit his young son Wilhelm Friedmann, an organist in Dresden.
Weiss was the main promoter of fundamental modifications to the lute: the addition of a 13th course and the subsequent lengthening of the lowest courses by means of a second pegbox on a neck extension, similar to the theorbo.

Silvius Leopold Weiss was an accomplished musician whose compositions were very solid, placing him on a par with his most distinguished contemporaries: Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Händel or Jan Dismas Zelenka. However, he only composed for his instrument. His daily practice of continuo and improvisation deeply influenced his entire work. His characteristic touch can be found in his unmeasured preludes and in his skillful handling of very elaborate sequences. He always made brilliant use of the possibilities afforded by the lute’s particular tuning.

Silvius Leopold Weiss died on 16 October 1750, leaving his widow Marie–Elizabeth and his seven children in financial straits. His son Johann Adolf Faustinus (1741-1814) was the only one to follow in his father’s footsteps, and became a chamber lutenist at the Court of Dresden. Silvius Leopold Weiss was buried outside the city walls, in the Katholischer Friedhof.

Jean-Daniel Forget | Le Luth Doré © 2015

Sonata 99 in A Major

Bourrée 44.4 in A Major

2 pieces from Sonata 16 in A Major
Vivace (Weiß)
Paysanne (Weiß)

Courante 66.3 in A Major
Courante (Ct Logi)

Sonata 44 in A Major
Allemande (Weiß)
Courante (Weiß)
Sarabande (Weiß)
Bourrée (Weiß)
Gigue (Weiß)

Capriccio 26.8 in D Major
Capriccio (Pichler)

2 pieces from Sonata 100 in D Major
Allemande (Weiß)
Courante (Weiß)

Passacaille 18.6 in D Major
Passacaille (Par Weiß)

Fugue 48* in D Major
Fugue (Par Weiß)

Sonata 101 in G Major
Allemande (Weiß)
Courante Amoroso (Par Weiß)
Paysanne (Weiß)
Gigue (Weiß)

Sonata 102 in G Major
Allemande (Par Weiß)
Courante (Weiß)
Presto (Weiß)
Rondeau (Weiß), Tournée et Finale
Bourrée (Weiß)
Gigue (Weiß)

Courante 81* in G Major
Courante (Weiß)

Courante 83* in G Major
Gavotte (Weiss)

Sarabande 84* in E minor
Sarabande (Weiß)

Fugue 83.1 in B-flat Major
Fugue (Weiß)

Courante 81.2/88.3 in C Major
Courante (Weiß)

Courante 37.3 in C Major
Courante (Weiß)

Sonata 104 in C Major
Allemande (Weiß)
Courante (Weiß)
Bourrée (Weiß)
Gigue (Weiß)

• Editor(s): Jean-Daniel Forget & Guy Grangereau
• Music period: Baroque
• Instrument(s): 11c/13c Baroque lute
• Instrumentation: Baroque lute solo
• Notation: French tablature
• Modern edition: Urtext
• Publisher: Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions
• Year of publication: 2015
• Collection: Lute and Theorbo Music Collection

• Pages: pp. 92
• Dimensions: 230x310 mm
• Weight: 0,320g
• Binding: Section sewn glue binding
• ISMN: 377-0-0017-8812-8

Jean-Daniel Forget
Computer Scientist, Lutenist

Passionate about the baroque era, Jean-Daniel Forget is a self-taught lutenist. In order to play the forgotten (lute) works of the 17th and 18th centuries, he has copied (and studied) their manuscripts for almost 20 years.

A long career as a computer scientist, having made him expert in programming, allowed him to utilize the normal logic of writing music, especially that which transcribes tablature for instruments with fretted strings.

In collaboration with Guy Grangereau. he has posted his tablatures on a public internet site that is frequented by many lutenists and guitarists.

Forget was enlisted by Miguel Serdoura to help prepare the musical examples for his fine Method of the Baroque Lute. Further on, he continues to assist Serdoura in the preparation of his (lute) editions.


Guy Grangereau
Guitarist, Lutenist

Guy Grangereau is a professional musician who studied guitar playing in Paris, notably with the Brazilian Turibio Santos. Then, he perfected his musical knowledge at Martenot school in Paris.

Since 1984, he gave guitar and piano lessons and, for twenty years, he taught guitar in music schools.

His favorite instrument is a guitar (Maurice Dupont) initially with 13 strings, to which a 14th string was added; more recently were added two strings and a theorbo neck for the last four strings. This 16 strings instrument can be tuned in thirds (open tuning); he uses it to transcribe solo harpsichord works. He also plays a 14-course theorbed baroque lute (Stephen Murphy).

Since 2010, he is collaborating with Jean-Daniel Forget for the copy of German baroque lute manuscripts of the 17th and 18th centuries, in bringing more particularly his musical expertise to the review of the Silvius Leopold Weiss’ work.

Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions

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About Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions

Our editions are urtext: we strive to provide reliable musical texts that are as true as possible to the existing sources and the composer’s intentions. We are aware, of course, that it is impossible to reconstruct the one and only urtext. Often, several manuscript sources exist for the same piece, and there is little reliable guidance for determining which version best represents the composer's intentions.

Although we cannot entirely dissipate historical uncertainty, we can compare texts and correct obvious errors, which sometimes occur even in autograph manuscripts. Sources have been meticulously examined - note by note, mark by mark.

When facing ambiguity inherent to the sources, wise editorial judgment must take the place of textual certainty.

The most important observations and editorial decisions are elucidated in the prefaces, in the critical commentary, in footnotes, or marked as such in the musical text. It therefore comes as no surprise that an editor has to invest a great deal of patience, knowledge and time when piecing together an urtext that is true to the source and, hopefully, to the composers’ intentions as well. Proven specialists with extensive knowledge and experience edit our Le Luth Doré Urtext Editions in close cooperation with our Editorial Department.

Each verified musical text preserves the original fingerings and notation of ornamentation and, in the absence of original manuscript notations, also sets forth helpful suggestions by modern masters regarding useful fingerings and ornaments faithful to historical style, as a stimulus to further thought and a starting point for the student's approach to performance.

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Le Luth Doré ©2015

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