S.L. Weiss, arranged for guitar by Michel Cardin
Doberman – Yppan: 127 pages
Here is the third volume in Michel Cardin’s huge work of providing a guitar arrangement of Silvius Leopold Weiss’ Massive Baroque Lute volume, The London Manuscript.
Apart from the extensive introduction in English and French of 19 pages, telling you just about everything you would ever need to know about the originals work, and Cardin’s equally massive work of arrangement, Volume 3 has the complete Sonatas from Nos18 to 26, five of them moved to another key because of the un- guitaristic key of the originals (Cm, F Major and Eb Major, being the culprits, and Dm and E Major being the results of the arrangements.)
Anyone familiar to any extent with Weiss’ Lute works will know what wonde3rful and imaginative and fulfilling works they really are. Indeed recordings of them really do show the baroque lute for the wonderful instrument that it actually is and one complete set is by Cardin himself that does take some beating!
As for putting these works onto the guitar, one has to realise that some amount of arrangement is going to have to be largely concerned with the depth of the original instrument, its 13 strings and its lowest octave of bass strings that are completely beyond the range of the guitar. Cardin explains in great detail how he went about deciding exactly what to do and where in his very detailed introduction.
So what we are left with here are 9 very large Sonatas, in 6, 7, or 8 movements, all quite difficult to play, but believe me, well worth the effort, because this ,music is some of the finest every produced by a Baroque composer, and one indeed I consider second only to Bach. A beautiful volume in every way.