The London Manuscript
© Michel Cardin

(These informations are part of the detailed remarks "London unveiled" by Michel Cardin.


Acquired in 1877 by the British Museum (now British Library) in London, the manuscript contains 237 pieces in lute tabulatur by Weiss, that are to be divided as follows:

26 complete Solo suites
4 Preludes
2 Fugues
2 Fantasias
2 Tombeaux
1 Capriccio
1 Ouvertüre
1 Plainte
Several Minuets, Gavottes ...
3 great Duos for lute und traverse (only the lute part has come unto us)
2 mistery Suites, that are probably Duos for lute und another instrument. (only lute part)

This works are from the years between 1706 and 1730. The first suites until 1718/1719 are written for an instrument with 11 courses, showing, that S.L.Weiss began to write for 13 course lute not before this time.
The 11 course baroque lute has been developed from the Renaissance lute, that had between 6 and 11 courses. The baroquelute with d minor tuning had been used from the mid of the 17th century and had been changed to 13 courses at about 1718. Probably Weiss had played an important role in that development.

Although this collection, that mostly is called "The London Manuscript", is one of the most important Weiss manuscript, it contains less than half of Weiss' works. Of greatest interest are the remarks and corrections of Weiss himself and the notes on date and place of composition of some of the works.

If you want to know more about it, you can read the detailed remarks of the lutenist Michel Cardin on the manuscript.


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