Introduction The manuscript and its background Physical description Provenance The lute in eighteenth-century Russia The music Ornamentation and Technical signs Inventory and Notes on the pieces
- Part I—Nos. 1—15
- Part II: Nos. 16—32
- Part III: Nos. 33—48
- Lute manuscripts cited
- Printed sources cited
- Links to external sites discussing relevant issues.
The music of the great lutenist Silvius Leopold Weiss (1686-1750), an exact contemporary and friend of J.S. Bach, is at last becoming increasingly well known through recordings. Most of the music that has been available in print and on record, however, comes from one of the two principal sources, a manuscript of c1717-1725 now in the British Library in London (see below). That manuscript has been edited in the ‘Complete Works’ edition of Weiss’s music, and the six manuscript volumes in the Sächsisches Landesbibliothek, Dresden, are forthcoming in the same series. But there are a number of other, less well-known manuscripts of great importance which remain virtually untapped sources of this marvellous music.
The Moscow manuscript, unknown in the West until 1963, was published in 1976 in an eccentric edition which is now out of print (details). Important recent research on the MS shows that it could not have been compiled during Weiss’s lifetime, nor in his home city of Dresden, but at least a decade after his death and in Russia.
My recent edition for Editions Orphée (details) aims to put the music in that context, and to explain some of its unusual features. An attempt has been made to distinguish between music that is definitely by Weiss, and music that might not be. Reaching such conclusions is necessarily a subjective matter, and I acknowledge that there may be those who will remain convinced that every note in the MS was composed by Weiss himself. It is to be hoped that the edition remains as useful to them as to those who accept my arguments. In any case, this is an exceptional collection of excellent lute music, some of the pieces being among Weiss’s finest work. Back to top
The manuscript and its background
The two principal sources of the lute music of Silvius Leopold Weiss, the most important lutenist-composer of the eighteenth century, and one of the greatest of all time, are a manuscript now at the British Library in London (London), and a set of six manuscript volumes in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden (Dresden).(1) Between them, they present a repertory of some 360 pieces in tablature for the lute, spanning, as far as we can tell, the composer’s entire compositional career. They are arranged for the most part into suites, or partitas, although Weiss himself may have preferred the term ‘Suonaten’. The numbering scheme devised by Douglas Alton Smith, the original editor of Weiss’s Complete Works for lute,(2) is derived from the order of sonata/partitas in these sources, beginning with London, and omitting from the sequential numbering those sonatas in Dresden that had already appeared in London. In addition to these central sources, another 300 or so pieces survive scattered among various miscellaneous manuscripts. Some of these are organised into sonata/partitas, while others remain as isolated movements.
Occupying an intermediate position between the London/Dresden principal sources and the scattered miscellaneous sources, the Moscow ‘Weiss’ Manuscript is undoubtedly of great importance as a unique source of many pieces of high quality and interest by Weiss, but, as we shall see, it presents some special problems of its own.
The Moscow manuscript was formerly in the library of the P.I. Tchaikowsky State Conservatory, Moscow.(3) At some time, probably in 1941 (see below), it was transferred, along with other historical materials, to the music library of the M.I. Glinka State Central Museum for Musical Culture in Moscow (hereinafter the Glinka Museum,) where it is now shelved under the callmark MS 282/8.
The comparative inaccessibility of Russian libraries to Western scholars meant that the MS was not known to the pioneering lutenist and Weiss enthusiast, Hans Neeman, who was the first to attempt a systematic survey of the composer’s music and its sources.(4) Nor was it included in a privately-published thematic catalogue based on Neeman’s work, which appeared in 1975.(5)
Fleeting reference to the manuscript had been made in print by Krystyna Wilkowska-Chominska, however, as early as 1963,(6) and in 1976 an edition, consisting of a nearly-complete transcription together with a reduced photographic reproduction of the MS, was published by the Japanese firm, Zen-On. This edition, by R. Manabe, has been out of print for some years, and has certain idiosyncratic features—notably the use of a two-stave keyboard score transposed up an octave throughout—and lacks any detailed commentary or account of the contents in the context of Weiss’s overall output. In both Wilkowska-Chominska’s article and Manabe’s edition, Weiss’s authorship of the entire contents of the MS is not called into doubt.
In 1977, a major landmark in Weiss research was the appearance of Douglas Alton Smith’s PhD thesis, ‘The Late Sonatas of Silvius Leopold Weiss’,(7) which presented a full thematic listing, with concordance-lists, of all the solo lute music by Weiss known to him, in which the entire contents of the MS (except the written-out scales) are included. This has been a most invaluable starting point for subsequent research into Weiss’s music and I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the help and encouragement I have received from Dr Smith over several years of mutual research.
The description of the MS that appeared in Wolfgang Boetticher’s RISM volume in the following year(8) has been very useful but it contains some errors and a few misleading statements, including a suggested dating of ‘around 1730-1740’.
At the first Moscow Early Music Conference in 1989 Olga Arnautova read an important paper about the dating of the MS. (9) This was based on a close physical examination, notably of the paper-types, and the conclusionthat the MS was almost without doubt copied in Russia in the late 1760s demands a significant revision of its nature as a source of the music of Weiss, who had died in Dresden in 1750.
Arnautova’s study is crucial in any further work on this source. In particular, the redating, together with a close stylistic study of the music of the manuscript, allows a radical reappraisal of certain aspects, most notably the blanket attribution of all the music to Weiss himself.
Back to top
Since resources have not permitted the editor a first-hand inspection of the MS, the description that follows relies heavily on those given by Boetticher and Arnautova, moderated by close examination of a microfilm supplied to the editor by the Deutsches Musikgeschichtliches Archiv in 1976 and of the photographs from which this edition was prepared.
The MS, an upright folio volume whose approximate dimensions are 16 x 24 cm, consists of 64 folios, 60 of which (ff. 3-62v) are ruled on both sides with the 6-line staves needed for lute tablature; there is music in tablature on only 23 consecutive folios (ff. 3-25v), the remainder (ff. 26-62v) consist of empty staves only.
A highly unusual, probably unique, feature of the arrangement of the pages is that the staff-ruling has been done from top to bottom of the page, so that the music can run from the ’bottom left’ of a verso leaf to the ‘top right’ of the following recto, the hinge of the binding lying in the same alignment as the staves. So the book can only be read by lying it on a table and opening the pages away from or towards the reader instead of from right to left and vice versa.
Arnautova found that the paper was of six distinct types, I-VI:
Types I and II were made by Savva Jakovlev between 1765 and 1782;
Type III was made by Savva Jakovlev in 1765;
Types IV and V were made in 1762 -3 by Afanasii Goncharov;
Type VI was produced in 1768 by Duke Peter Repnin’s mill.
The music is written on all paper-types except II; thus it can have been copied no earlier than 1762. It is more likely to have been entered between 1765 and soon after 1768, since the first pieces (1-18) are on paper-type III, and the last (44-48) are on paper-type VI. A number of pieces (8; 8a; 9; 30; the scales on ff. 18v-19v; 41-46) were probably added after the main copying layer, but not much later (see fn. 14).
Unlike the majority of lute manuscripts, this MS contains a fair amount of non-musical material which, it might be thought, could help us identify its original compiler and/or owner. However, this apparently encouraging material is frustratingly incomplete.
From Arnautova’s study, it emerges that the title-page
of the MS (f. 3) has been altered, for reasons that are obscure. The general title ‘Collection of various pieces and Sonatas for the lute, composed by Mr Weiss at Dresden,’ seems to have been written by the copyist of the tablature (hand A).(10) Erasures, involving the removal of a layer of paper with a knife (a not unusual method in the eighteenth century), have been made later to remove three crucial pieces of information from the extra material written by hand B: the name of the ‘master’ who ‘approved’ the pieces; the name of his pupil; the date of the manuscript.
A third hand has added, how much later we cannot tell, a note in Russian:
(belong[?-ing ?-s ?-ed to?] captain of the Izmailovski household regiment),
and the Latin words: ‘Concordia res parvae’ (see fn 72). The same Russian hand contributed similar notes on f. 63v: in French, ‘Que tu vois’; in Latin: ‘Concordia res parvae crescunt’ (see fn 72); and in Russian, ‘Belonging to Ivan Skariatin’. A fourth hand, D, has written a longer note in Russian on f. 64
which cannot be read clearly from the photograph.(12) Another Russian hand, E (perhaps that of a child?), has contributed various annotations to the title-page and the the meaning or significance of which is not known.
It is just possible, although for the moment it would be better to treat the idea with some caution, that hands A to D are in fact those of the same writer working at different times: the tendency to use an elaborately looped style for a ‘d’ shape in particular seems to be shared by them all. Arnautova plausibly suggests from the appearance of the ink that the music was written over an extended, unfortunately indeterminate, period.
Although the name of the original patron for whom the collection was prepared was erased from the title-page, as was that of his lute teacher, a later owner has identified himself fairly clearly. In the MS, on f. 63v, appears the phrase ‘Belonging to Ivan Skariatin’; and on the title-page, f. 3, reference is made to the owner as being an officer in the Izmailovsky regiment of the Imperial Army. Arnautova identified an Ivan Fedorovich Skariatin who joined the Izmailovsky household regiment, probably as a very young boy soldier, in 1761, was a lieutenant in 1780 and had reached the rank of colonel in 1805 when he was decorated after the battle of Austerlitz.(13) Although Arnautova was unable to ascertain Ivan Skariatin’s dates of birth and death, it is unlikely that he was the original owner, since his ownership notes (if they were added on his acquisition of the MS, and not later) must date from after his promotion to captain, which must have happened between 1780 and 1805, at least a dozen years after the manuscript was begun.(14)
Without considerably more research in Russian archives, it would be useless speculation to propose reasons why the original aristocratic owner’s name has been obliterated from the MS, along with his (her?) teacher’s name and the date. However, the MS seems to have remained with the Skariatin family until the late nineteenth century. In the preface to the 1966 catalogue of the printed music in the Moscow Conservatory library, it is mentioned that an important collection of 90 volumes of music manuscripts copied by the Abbé Santini for the secretary at the Russian Embassy in Rome, A. Ia. Skariatin, and deposited in the Conservatory library with the rest of the Skariatin family’s music collection in 1888, was transferred to the Glinka Museum in 1941.(15)
The lute in eighteenth-century Russia
The tumultuous changes wrought in Russia by Peter the Great (1672-1725) were as significant for cultural life as for the political future of the emerging world power. In order to modernise and ‘Westernise’ his realm, Peter imported foreign soldiers, engineers, physicians, administrators, workmen and, of course, artists of every kind. His new capital, St Petersburg, was founded in 1703 on the Baltic marshes; the government moved there in 1712, although Moscow, the ancient capital of Muscovy, retained much political, religious and social importance, and the Court itself remained there until 1730.
Peter’s reforms were carried on, with associated legal, religious and constitutional changes, by his successors, Catherine I (c.1684 -1727), Peter II (1715 -30), Anna Ivanovna (1693 -1740), Ivan VI (infant, murdered 1741), Elizaveta Petrovna (1709 - 62), Peter III (1728 -1762) and Catherine the Great (1729 - 96), during a century of dynastic rivalries and strife. The Russian throne was allied by marriage to several German noble families and much of the bitterness in the struggles for power in the Romanov family was due to the preference granted by various rulers to foreign influence, notably to the large number of Germans who dominated the administrative system.
It is not surprising, therefore, to discover that the history of music in Russia during the eighteenth century was largely one of ‘Germanisation’. But the characteristic forms and inflections of Russian folk music provided—as they still do—a strong vein of influence on ‘art’ music by native composers, a trait which was to culminate in the ‘nationalistic’ style of Russia’s first truly great composer Mikhail Glinka (1804-57). During the Baroque period local ‘folk’ musicians were employed in large numbers; frequently imported from rural villages to great houses in the cities, they satisfied their employers’ characteristically Russian need for contact with their cultural roots. At the same time, the trend towards Western musical ideals began to be supported actively by various members of the Royal family as patrons and, later, by a significant number of aristocratic and royal dilettante musicians as participants.
Peter the Great’s German son-in-law, Karl Ulrich, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, started the trend, bringing his ‘kleine Kammer-Kapelle’ with him to St Petersburg on his marriage to Peter’s daughter, Anna, in 1720. Consisting of a few violins, as well as a viola d’amore, a viola, a cello and a double bass with pairs of oboes, flutes, horns and trumpets with drums, this ensemble made a huge impact on the St Petersburg musical scene, introducing for the first time the Italian music by Corelli, Tartini and others that formed the basic repertory of the court bands of Europe at the time. Their repertory also included the latest music by Germans such as Telemann, Heinichen and Fux, as well as compositions by members of the group themselves. The Holstein Kapelle won acclaim for its performances with the Ducal choir during the three days of celebrations which followed the treaty with Sweden in 1721.(16) The German band-members trained many young Russian musicians, who attained their own distinction in later years.
The Royal court, inspired by Holstein’s example and the rise in demand throughout Europe for opera seria, became formally involved in recruiting foreign musicians in the early 1730s. Czarina Anna Ivanovna, although personally uninterested in music, initiated negotiations at the highest level with the Court of Saxony in order to obtain the services of some members of the Elector’s over-abundant musical, theatrical and operatic establishment. In May 1730, the Russian diplomat assigned to the task wrote to his opposite number in Dresden describing the Czarina’s ‘shopping list’ for a group of performers to form a new ‘Musique de Cabinet’. She wanted it to be:(17)
composed of elite musicians acknowledged as virtuosi—for we don’t lack good musicians here—but she would wish that these few persons from this country or abroad each excel in their speciality, if possible. She would like a good harpsichordist who is at the same time a composer, two singers for Italian and German arias, one of them a castrato if possible and the other a female singer who is not ugly or disagreeable but is above all pretty and who has decent manners. A good lute-player taught by [lit. ‘from the hand of ‘] our friend Mr Weis, to whom I wish you to pay my compliments. A good oboist who also has distinction on the flute. A good bassoonist.
In the event, the Saxon Elector and King of Poland, August the Strong, loaned three excellent singers who arrived in Moscow with a group of five instrumentalists of the highest quality, and a company of Italian commedia dell’arte players in February 1731. On this basis a more permanent Russian court ensemble was eventually formed, and the shrewd appointment of successive Italian maestri di capella ensured that the best Italian singers and instrumentalists were recruited for the Moscow Court, which enjoyed some of the best music in Europe during the second half of the century.
The small but distinguished instrumental ensemble loaned by the Elector of Saxony was drawn from his polnischer Kapelle, a small ensemble which normally accompanied him on his annual trips to Warsaw, and consisted of their Italian harpsichordist, composer and Kapellmeister, Giovanni Alberto Ristori (1692-1753), a violinist, a ‘Violgambiste’, two horn-players and a bassoonist.(18) The group of Italian comedy-players was under the direction of Ristori’s 73-year-old father, Tomaso.(19) The party, numbering 34 persons in all, was escorted on the arduous and dangerous journey from Warsaw to Moscow by a guard of Russian soldiers. The comedy-players (and probably the instrumentalists, too) were paid one thaler per day, while Ristori and the singers received a silver rouble per day. Because there was no Court theatre in the Kremlin, they took a portable stage with them, and performed for a delegation of Chinese diplomats in pantomime (without singing) since the Czarina could not understand Italian.(20) Ristori’s oratorio, La Deposizione della Croce, was performed at Dresden in Holy Week, 1732, so it seems probable that he, at least, had returned some time before then.
The group of musicians from Saxony did not, contrary to the Czarina’s expressed wish, include a lute player, presumably because none of Weiss’s pupils at that time was available. However, a lutenist, Timofei Bielogradski, was appointed in 1739.(21) We have little detailed information about Bielogradski’s life.(22) It is clear, however, that he must have been a remarkable musician. There are enough references to his virtuosity to suggest that he was a worthy member of the illustrious group of professional lute players who carried on the tradition of Weiss’s manner of playing into the early pre-classical period. The two most distinguished Weiss pupils of this generation were Adam Falckenhagen (1697-c1761) and Johann Kropffgans (1703-after 1769). Another important lutenist of the later eighteenth century was Weiss’s own son Johann Adolf Faustinus (1741-1814).(23) Unfortunately, Bielogradsky has left no evidence of activity as a composer, unlike his German fellows; we must presume that he depended on his powers of improvisation and his skill as an interpreter of the music of others.
The earliest, and probably most reliable source of information about Bielogradsky is a historical account of music and theatre in Russia by the German chronicler, Jakob von Stählin, published in 1770. Referring to events following the peformance of the opera Semiramide (music by the Russian Imperial Kapellmeister Francesco Araja) in Moscow in January 1738, Stählin mentions Bielogradsky’s appointment:(24)
At just about this time the court acquired a splendid lutenist, Mr Beligradski, born a Ukrainian, whom the Imperial Russian Privy Counsellor and Ambassador, Count Kayserling, formerly (1733) took with him as Pandorist to Dresden, and apprenticed him to the famous Weiss for several years. He plays, fully in the style of his great teacher, the weightiest solos and hardest concertos, and accompanies himself in opera- and other arias, which he sings with as much strength as grace, after the best manner of Annabili from Dresden, Faustina, and other great artists, with whom he had been acquainted at Dresden for many years, in a pleasant ‘Sopralto’ voice.
Although the actual date of Bielogradsky’s birth is unknown, we can surmise that he was probably born around 1710 or perhaps a little later since he was apprenticed to Weiss in 1733. Stählin refers to him as ‘einem gebornen Ukrainer,’ but there is some confusion about his place of birth. Somewhat later secondary sources refer to him as born in Circassia, a mountainous province in the Caucasus to the east of the Black Sea.(25) It seems altogether more likely that this is in fact a phonetic confusion with the Ukrainian city of Cerkassy, which lies some 95 miles south-east of the capital, Kiev.(26) According to Stählin, before he took up the lute Bielogradsky was a Pandurist, or player of the Ukrainian Pandor. Since this is must be etymologically related to the modern Ukrainian bandura, a multi-stringed instrument which combines elements of the psaltery and the lute, it is perhaps important to take careful account of what Stählin actually says about the instrument. Earlier in his narrative of Russian musical history he gives a lengthy account of Russian folk instruments in current use including the Kuhhorn (Cow’s horn), the Gudok (rebec), the Balalajka, the Dutka or Schwerãn (double-tubed reed pipe), the Rileh and the Walynka (bagpipes). Following an account of a crude form of iron cymbals he heard played by two young apprentice blacksmiths, he gives a fairly detailed description of the Pandor and its players:(27)
To the incomparably better class of music, actually Russian as well, and certainly also not disagreeable to sensitive ears, belong the Pandor and the Gusli (psaltery), which are no more to be found among the common people, but only in the towns and in the houses of aristocrats.
The Pandor, which is also not unknown in Germany, gets pretty close to a lute in its whole construction as well as in its sound; only excepting that the neck is usually somewhat shorter, and it is strung with fewer strings. One could therefore with justification call it the half lute. It actually originated in Poland or in the Ukraine, from where the most and best Pandurists in Russia also come. On the whole this province compares to the other provinces of the Russian empire as by reputation Provence does to the other regions of France. The southerly situation of the country, an abundance of all vegetables and fruits, and the naturally-inspired voluptuous life of the lively inhabitants, are among its chief distinguishing features. Everyone sings, everyone dances and plays in this country.
The most frequently-encountered instrument is the Pandor, on which the expert Ukrainians play the finest Polish and Ukrainian dances, and know how to accompany themselves in their many and truly tender songs. As nowadays very many young people in the Ukraine dedicate themselves to this instrument with special diligence, there has always been an abundance of Pandurists. Of these many formerly took themselves from time to time to Moscow and Petersburg, where they were taken on in the houses of great Russian gentlemen as house-musicians or Pandorists, who sing and play during meals, but also are obliged to teach this instrument to any of the household serfs who shows a liking and aptitude for music. These Ukrainian Pandorists are mostly merry and nimble birds, who in their songs very vividly express passion with facial expressions and gestures, and otherwise are pretty accustomed to fooling about. I have known some of the best, who while singing and playing dance around the room to their melodies in very fine Ukrainian style, and without the least pause in their playing, can bring a full glass of wine placed on the Pandor to their mouth and drink from it. They are always distinguished in their dress from the other servants in the aristocratic houses, not going about in French or German attire, like the others, but in long and light Ukrainian clothes, with slashed and dangling sleeves to their overcoats, like those of the Poles, the front panels of which they always gather up and tuck into their sashes when they are playing and dancing.
I notice, that over at least the last twenty years in the houses of the prominent nobility in Russia these Pandorists and merrymakers are ever more in decline, just as finer taste on the Clavier, the violin, the flute and the horn, and fondness for Italian music in general take hold, as I shall describe further below.
Stählin then goes on to describe the Gusli, a folk psaltery (liegende Harfe) before resuming his account of the development of music in Russia in the eighteenth century. The most striking point about this passage in the present context is that Stählin describes a lute-like instrument apparently similar to the German mandora,(28) rather than the earlier form of the surviving Ukrainian bandura, which is well documented from the early nineteenth century as an instrument broadly resembling the lute, but with a large, almost circular body carrying many diatonically-tuned strings somewhat in the manner of the psaltery.(29)
Further confusion is thrown on the matter by the existence of other Ukrainian lute-related instruments such as the kobza and the torbán. The latter instrument is normally assumed today to have been a kind of variant bandura, but it may have had a more independent existence in the eighteenth century:(30)
The theorbo, an instrument which was similar to the lute and which was popularly called the ’aristocrat’s bandura,’ was widespread among the Ukrainian nobility and Kozak officers.
Perhaps the instrument played by Bielogradsky and others in the grand town-villas of the music-loving Russian aristocracy was indeed this ‘aristocrat’s bandura’.(31) However, the matter cannot be pursued in any further detail here. Stählin’s identification of the ‘Pandor’ as the ‘half lute’ at least suggests that it was a fingerboard-stopped instrument like the lute proper, whereas the multi-strung bandura, even in the old diatonic form as played by the famous blind wandering minstrel of the next century, Ostap Veresai (1803-90), would have demanded a very different technique, all the strings being played without stopping with the left hand.
(There are some 19th-century [?] paintings of Cossacks playing lute-like instruments, identified today as ‘Kobzas’, presumably by analogy with the extant Romanian lute of that name. How similar these are to Stëlin’s ‘half lute’ may be judged from the samples here.)
Stählin tells us that Count Kayserling took Bielogradsky with him to Dresden from Russia. Hermann Karl, Baron Keyserling (or Keyserlingk) (1696-1764) was President of the recently-founded Imperial Academy of Sciences at St Petersburg, and was an active music-lover and supporter of the arts. In December 1733 he took up his post in Dresden as Russian Imperial Ambassador to the Polish and Saxon courts and was eventually created Count by the Polish King and Elector of Saxony in 1741. Keyserling is best known to music history as a patron of J.S. Bach. He acted as intermediary in Bach’s appointment as Hof-Komponist to the Dresden court in 1736. Bach’s ‘Goldberg’ Variations BWV988 were composed in 1741 for performance by Keyserling’s harpsichordist, J.G. Goldberg.
A later biographical reference places Bielogradsky in Berlin in 1737.(32) We do not know if Bielogradsky was still in Keyserling’s service at this time, but his reputation was clearly spreading. In Berlin, he seems to have begun his activities as a lute teacher. In 1735 the East Prussian Count Truchsess-Walburg, on one of his frequent trips from Königsberg, brought to Berlin a young musical servant. Johann Reichardt (1720-80), who became a lutenist of distinction, was himself the father of the famous composer and writer on music, Johann Friedrich Reichardt. Under the patronage of Count Truchsess the elder Reichardt began his formal musical training with violin lessons from a pupil of Franz Benda, and lute lessons, as his son’s memoirs tell us, from ‘eine Russe Pelegrazki’.(33) Through Reichardt’s later activities as a lutenist and teacher there grew up a significant Königsberg school of lute playing. Bielogradsky was held in much the same esteem in the East Prussian capital as was his own teacher, S.L. Weiss, and his son Johann Adolf Faustinus Weiss, who spent at least seven years in Königsberg in the 1750s.(34) Bielogradsky’s name lived on until the 1840s in German musical dictionaries; in 1841 he was referred to as ‘one of the esteemed lutenists of the instrument’s last period’.(35)
Bielogradsky’s 1739 appointment at the Russian Court, where he may have been already well known, even employed, as a bandurist, was at first short-lived, since Czarina Anna Ivanovna died in the following year. During the long period of mourning and political instability that followed (the heir apparent, the infant Ivan VI, was murdered in 1741) several court musicians, including Bielogradsky, were employed at Dresden by Count Brühl, the corrupt Prime Minister to the Polish King and Saxon Elector, Friedrich August II.(36) Count Heinrich von Brühl (1700-63) is infamous in German history for draining the financial resources of Saxony at a critical point in its history in order to enrich himself and tighten his personal control over the Elector. It was said that his own personal household was far more magnificent than that of the Elector himself, and that he employed over 200 servants. Whether Bielogradsky remained in Dresden for longer than the year of official mourning is unknown, but undoubtedly he resumed contact with Weiss, and it was probably at this time that he worked professionally with the singers Annabili and Faustina.
Bielogradsky was back in the service of Czarina Elizaveta Petrovna at her accession in 1741, or at least soon afterwards. It seems that he remained in constant royal favour for three decades from his appointment in 1739. In 1767 he retired, and Catherine the Great altogether exceptionally granted him a pension of 1000 roubles, and heating expenses of 500 roubles, as well as free use of a coach belonging to the Court.(37) As Stählin refers to Bielogradsky in the present tense in his 1770 account of his playing,(38) we can suppose that his comfortable retirement lasted into the new decade.
Apart from Bielogradsky another lutenist had been employed by the Russian Court in the late 1740s. Ivan Stepanovich is recorded as entering royal service in October 1746, having recently returned from Saxony.(39) Mooser speculates, reasonably, that Stepanovich, like Bielogradsky before him, was a pupil of Weiss in Dresden, although there is no further documentary evidence of this. It is interesting to note that in 1748 not only were the two lutenists, Bielogradsky and Stepanovich, employed at the Russian Court, on a salary of 500 roubles each, but there were in addition three more modestly-paid bandurists, who between them earned only 340 roubles.(40) The German 13-course lute may have been regarded as a kind of ‘bridge’ between the bandura, the folk instrument beloved of Polish, Ukrainian and Russian aristocrats, and the more ‘courtly’ Western music that was increasingly ousting it in popularity. Perhaps it is even possible that the lute had some influence on the later development of the construction of the Ukrainian bandura? But such interesting questions are far beyond the scope of this study.
Much work remains to be done on the history of the lute and other plucked-string instruments in Russia and Eastern Europe in general. Undoubtedly there were many other players in the later eighteenth century, both professional and amateur. With the limited resources available I have only uncovered one further reference to the lute. Stählin describes the court performance of Domenico Dalloglio’s setting of La Russia aflitta e rinconsolata, Stählin’s prologue to Hasse’s La Clemenza di Tito, which was given during the celebrations following Elizaveta Petrovna’s coronation in Moscow in 1742. The expression of the musical passions in Dalloglio’s setting was so effective, according to the proud librettist, that(41)
at the performance of the same, particularly in Ruthenia’s aria, ah! miei figli, &c., accompanied by a loud lute played by Secretary Spitz and a gentle flute, the sensitive Czarina herself could not hold back her tears.
Bielogradsky’s career has been explored here in some detail. He was an artist of international repute and was known as a lute teacher, but it must be stressed that although it was a reasonable guess that the Moscow MS was written by him,(42) or under his direction, there were several others, including Ivan Stepanovich and, perhaps, Secretary Spitz, who could have compiled such a collection. The music could have been partially or wholly copied from a source in Bielogradsky’s or another player’s possession, or, less likely given its general level of accuracy, copied out from memory by a visiting player. It was certainly not begun before Bielogradsky’s last working years: the paper suggests a terminus post quem of 1768, the year after his retirement. Bielogradsky could, of course, be the composer of the pieces in the MS that seem to be in the style of a follower or pupil of Weiss, rather than by the great Dresden lutenist himself. Unfortunately we have no documentary evidence that gives us any information about Bielogradsky’s activities as a composer, or even whether he attempted composition. Undoubtedly he was an accomplished improviser, as was his great teacher, but Stählin suggests that he made his reputation as an interpreter of Weiss’s music.
An alternative scenario, pure speculation owing to the defacement of the original title-page, is that the ‘maitre’ referred to there was a visiting member of the Königsberg school of lute players founded by Bielogradsky’s pupil, Reichardt, and to which Weiss’s son Johann Adolf Faustinus belonged in the 1750s.(43) Stretching a semantic point perhaps beyond its limits, it could possibly be argued that since the Christian name of ‘Mr Weiss in Dresden’ is not given, it could also refer to J.A.F. Weiss as well as to his father; Johann Adolf Faustinus returned to Dresden around 1760 and was formally appointed as Hof-Lautenist in his father’s place in 1763.(44) Unfortunately, the bulk of his own lute music was lost in the destruction of Königsberg during World War II, so there is little basis for a stylistic comparison that might confirm this speculation as a serious possibility.(45)
The tablature of the Moscow Weiss MS is for the 13-course baroque lute, as used by Silvius Leopold Weiss after about 1720. The six basic stopped courses (pairs of strings) of the instrument are tuned to a D-minor chord: f´ d´ a f d A. Courses 1 and 2 consist of single strings; courses 3 to 5 are unison pairs and course 6 has one string tuned at the higher octave. Courses 7 to 13 are a series of octave-paired courses tuned in a diatonic octave descending to AA.
The diatonic octave of basses is the outstanding characteristic feature of the lute at this period, and it requires adjustment for playing in different keys. Normally the diatonic tuning is that of the key of the piece. In a few pieces in this MS (9, in D major; 30, in F minor; 47, in D minor) the tuning of the basses is that of a different mode from the key (D minor, F major and D major, respectively); in each case, however, the tuning is that of the preceding piece, following the normal practice of baroque lute manuscripts.
In most respects, the tablature of the Moscow Weiss manuscript is relatively unproblematic. It is clearly written, without major alterations and errors. Fingering indications for the left hand are present in 30 out of the 48 pieces. This suggests a didactic purpose for the manuscript, which was probably written out by a lute teacher for his aristocratic pupil. Arnautova’s article on the MS quotes the opinion of Alexander Suetin of the music:(46)
Upon analyzing the music of the manuscript, A[lexander] Suetin believed that, without doubt, all the pieces are by Weiss, and most of them are in the Dresden Weiss manuscript. The sequence of the pieces in suites, however, was not according to Weiss’ order, but according to the taste of the author of this manuscript. The individuality of the author-copyist manifests itself in the chosen sequence of the dances, [and] their arrangement in micro-cycles by tonality, character and musical manner. All the chosen pieces are rather difficult technically ; and often even virtuosic, bright, and effective in their musical material and certainly could have been performed during court musical entertainments. Besides the pieces, the manuscript includes scales and technical exercises, which are also quite difficult and clearly intended not for a beginner, but for a high-level professional.
This description of the music is somewhat misleading: only five out of 48 pieces are also found in Dresden, and none appear in the same suite, so no definitive statement about change of order can be made. However, as I have pointed out in the note to No. 45, Weiss’s normal position for a Menuet is immediately preceding the final Presto of a sonata, rather than after it, as here. On the other hand, in many if not most of the sonatas in Dresden the menuets are indeed placed in the same position as number 46 in this MS, often with a note to indicate the correct order of performance. Large-scale planning of keys or tunings is not an obvious feature of this MS, as it is of Dresden, which was carefully assembled into a collection of volumes (originally bound otherwise) each of which requires a single tuning of the basses.
Many of the pieces are definitely virtuosic in character, but this does not necessarily suggest they are intended for professional performance, rather the reverse, as is surely the case with the scales and ‘technical studies’ that are not identified by Arnautova. (Although I have been unable to find any literature on the topic, scales do not seem to have been used as a technical velocity exercise until well into the nineteenth century; more likely, these scales, passing through the entire circle of fifths as they do, are intended to demonstrate that the lute could indeed play in any key, as was well-established for keyboard instruments by the late 1760s.)
In one respect the manuscript is organised by key: there are 3 large-scale ‘Partittas’ ascribed to Weiss: Nos. 14-18, unique to this MS but probably incomplete, since there is no sarabande or minuet; 21-26, marked ‘Finis’ at the end (f. 11); 41-46, numbered 1-6 in the MS, probably because of the interpolation of two pieces in another key (here moved before the sonata and numbered 39 and 40 to avoid interrupting the sequence). Another partita (34-38), which is not attributed to Weiss in the MS, has the word ‘finis’ after the last movement. As well as complete sonatas or partitas there are also a number of pieces that are assembled together into key/tuning-groups but clearly do not make up complete sonatas: 1-8; 12-13, 19-20, 28-30 (although 30 is in F minor, it uses the normal F major tuning). It is particularly unfortunate that the complete sonatas originally containing the magnificent D major Courente, No. 20, and the formidable B flat Presto, No. 33, are apparently lost.
The fact that the partita, Nos. 34-38, is not ascribed to Weiss in the MS, whereas the other three are clearly so labelled, should alert us to the possibility that it might be by another composer. There is a definite stylistic difference between these pieces and the mature music of Weiss. Among other movements of doubtful authorship, the Menuett in D major (9) stands out as being in a style completely foreign to that of Weiss, and is clearly the work of a member of a later generation.
In fact, on closer examination, it is necessary to devise a ‘ranking’ scheme for the attribution of the works in this manuscript. While the fine distinctions between doubtful categories are very subjective, I hope that this scheme, used in the edition, will be helpful:
Styles of ascription in the Inventory, in order of descending confidence
- works certainly by Weiss that are verifiable by concordance with unquestionably authentic versions: ‘Silvius Leopold Weiss’;
- works probably by Weiss that also exist in versions whose ascription can reasonably be relied upon: ‘S.L. Weiss’;
- works undoubtedly in Weiss’s style but without the confirmation of concordant sources: ‘Weiss’
- works that are possibly by Weiss but exhibit puzzling or inconsistent stylistic features: ‘Weiss?’
- works whose style is not sufficiently characterised to make any judgement or possibly by another composer imitating Weiss’s style: [no designation]
- works that are incompatible with Weiss’s style: ‘Not by Weiss?’
There is one idiosyncratic feature of the readings in this manuscript which is puzzling. In 13 of the pieces (1, 4, 7, 11, 27, 28, 31, 33, 39, 40, 43, 47 and 48) occurs the highly unusual interval of the augmented 2nd, always used in a downward-moving melodic context in the minor mode. While the characteristic use of this interval in ‘gypsy’ music seems to date from about the period of this MS, it is probably more relevant to note that the interval is said to be a feature of Ukrainian folk music.(47) While it is not unknown elsewhere in Weiss’s music, the pieces containing it in this MS that also survive elsewhere consistently use a ‘normal’ second in the other sources (see notes to 1, 28, 29, 47 and 48). This suggests that the music was in fact altered by the scribe,(48) who may indeed have been a Ukrainian musician. (To preserve the ‘flavour’ of the source, however, in the edition these ‘Ukrainian’ augmented 2nds have all been retained as they appear in the MS.)
Ornamentation and Technical signs
As stated above, the tablature of the MS is unproblematic. The only unusual habit of the scribe is the use of a tiny line vertically placed between the members of a chord to be played ensemble, so tiny that it often looks more like a dot. This should not be confused with the normal dot indicating the use of the first finger of the right hand; in fact right-hand fingering dots are not present, only the thumb being marked with the usual short vertical stroke. Whether this reflects a change in playing techniques in this late period, or was merely felt to be unecessary, is unclear. Note also that there is no use of the oblique slash to indicate ‘separée’ playing of a chord.
Otherwise, the scribe used the following conventional signs for ornamentation:
[ a) ] Abzug (backfall) or Trillo, depending on context;
[ (c ] Einfall (forefall).
The sign for an Abzug (backfall) is used conventionally here in contexts where a trill might be thought more appropriate: this was not unusual in eighteenth-century MSS which in general make the distinction less clear than we might expect. What does appear more often than usual is the repetition of the Abzug sign to indicate an extended trill: again this tends to appear mostly in sources of the late Baroque period.
1 Back These sources are discussed in some detail in Crawford forthcoming.
2 BackWeis SWL.
3 BackThe library’s stamp and its former number, 297, appear on the title page (f. 3).
4 BackSee Neeman 1939.
5 BackSee Klima 1975.
6 BackSee Wilkowska-Chominska 1963.
7 BackSmith 1977.
8 BackBoetticher 1978, loc. cit.
9 BackArnautova 1989.
10 Back Compare the characteristic capital Ps, in particular.
11 Back Arnautova reads this text as ‘prinadlezhashchaia’ (belonging to.)
12 Back Since Arnautova did not provide any transliterations of these inscriptions, it is probable that they are not readable from the manuscript either.
13 Back Arnautova 1989, p. 534.
14 Back Arnautova mentions research by Klepikov which indicates that in late-eighteenth-century Russia, 70% of paper was used within two years of its manufacture. (Arnautova 1989, pp. 536-7. fn. 3).
15 Back Moscow Conservatory 1966, p. 5.
16 Back Stählin 1770, p. 81.
17 Back Mooser 1948, p. 365:
composée d’Elite des musiciens qui eussent l’aprobation de Virtuosi—car pour des bons musiciens nous n’en manquons pas icy—mais l’on voudroit que le peu de personnes que l’on veut tirer de Chez nouz où d’autres pays, excellassent chacun dans son genre, s’il est possible. L’on souhaiteroit d’en avoir un bon Jouer de Clavessin qui en meme temps fut Compositeur, 2 voix pour les airs Italiens et Allemand, un Chatré s’il se peut et une Chanteuse qui ne soit ne laide ni desagreable mais plûtôt jolie s’il se peut et qui aye des grases. Un bon Jouer de Lut s’il se peut de la main de nôtre amy Weis à qui je vous prie de faire bien mes complimts. Un bon haut bois, qui se distingue aussi dans la flûte traversière. Un bon Basson.
18 Back Mooser 1948, p. 365.
19 Back Mooser 1948, p. 43, fn. 4.
20 Back Fürstenau 1862, pp. 169-70.
21 Back Mooser 1948 , p. 210.
22 Back His name, (‘Timofei Bielogradski’), is transmitted in various ways in non-Russian sources, resulting from differing transliterations from the Cyrillic alphabet: his surname can be found in German sources with an initial ‘B’ or a ‘P’ in versions such as ‘Bellagradski’ or ‘Pelegrazki’. A modern Ukrainian encyclopedia gives his name in English as ‘Timophy Bilohradsky’.
23 Back J.A.F. Weiss was born too late to have received more than the most basic training from his father given his birthdate April 15, 1741. His names are derived from those of Johann Adolf Hasse and his wife, the singer Faustina Bordoni, who acted as his baptismal sponsors, professional colleagues of S.L. Weiss from 1731, the year in which their arrival and success in Hasse’s Cleofide took Dresden’s musical establishment by storm. Dr Wolfgang Reich (Sächsisches Landesbibliothek, Dresden) has discovered the baptismal records of Johann Adolf Faustinus and a further ten children of Silvius Weiss. (Private communication from Douglas Alton Smith.) Hitherto, all such records were believed lost. (Neeman 1939.)
24 Back Stählin 1770, pp. 91-2:
Um eben dieselbe Zeit bekam der Hof auch einen vortrefflichen Lautenisten an Mr. Beligradskij, einem gebornen Ukrainer, den der Russisch-Kaiserl. Geheimrath und Ambassadeur, Graf Kayserling, ehemals (A. 1733.) als Panduriste mit sich nach Dresden genommen, und dem berümten Weise etliche Jare lang in die Lehre gegeben hatte. Er spielt, völlig im Geschmack seines grossen Meisters, die stärksten Soli und schwersten Concerte, und accompagniret sich selbst zu Opern- und andern Arien, die er mit so viel Stärke als Anmuth, nach der besten Manier eines Dresdenchen Annabili, einer Faustina, und andrer grossen Virtuosen, mit denen er viele Jare im Umgange zu Dresden gestanden hat, in einer angenemen Sopralto-Stimme singt.
25 Back Gerber 1790, art. ‘Beligradsky’ and art. ‘Pelagrazki oder Pelgratzky’: ‘geb. in Circassien’; Schilling 1840: ’Er war aus Circassien gebürtig’; Allgemeine Encyklopaedie 1841: ‘geb. in Circassien’.
26 Back The initial letter of both ‘Circassia’ and ‘Cerkassy’ is best represented by the standard German transliteration ‘Tsch’.
27 Back Stählin 1770, pp. 71-4:
Zur unvergleichlich bessern, eigentlich auch Russischen, und gewiss auch den feinsten Ohren nicht unangenemen Musik, gehört die Pandor und die Gusli (liegende Harfe), die schon nicht mer unter dem gemeinen Volke, sondern nur in Städten, und in den Häusern der Vornemen angetroffen werden. Die Pandor, die auch in Deutschland nicht ganz unbekannt ist, kommt in ihrem ganzen Bau sowol als im Klang, einer Laute ziemlich ähnlich; nur dass der Hals etwas kürzer, und mit weniger Saiten bezogen zu werden pflegt. Man könnte sie daher mit Rechte auch die halbe Laute nennen. Sie stammt eigentlich aus Polen oder aus der Ukraine her, woher auch die meisten und bestem Panduristen in Russland kommen. Ueberhaupt ist diese Provinz im Vergleich mit den übrigen Provinzen des Russischen Reichs, was Provenz in Ansehung der andern Provinzen in Frankreich ist. Die südliche Lage des Landes, ein Ueberfluss an allen Feld- und Garten-Früchten, und ein dahur natürlich stammendes wollüstiges Leben munterer Einwohner, macht eines ihrer Hauptkennzeichen aus. Alles singt, tanzt und spielet in diesem Lande. Das gangbarste Instrument ist die Pandor, auf dem die geübten Ukrainer die schönsten Polnische und Ukrainische Tänze spielen, und zu ihren vielen und recht zärtlichen Liedern sich zu accompagniren wissen. Da sich nun gar viele junge Leute in der Ukraine auf dieses Instrument mit besonderm Fleiss legen; so ist auch schon von Alters her daselbst immer ein Ueberfluss an Panduristen vorhanden gewesen. Davon begaben sich ehemals viele von Zeit zu Zeit nach Moskau und Petersburg, allwo sie in den Häusern vornemer Russischen Herren als Haus-Musikanten oder Pandoristen angenommen wurden, die bei der Tafel singen und spielen, darneben aber auch einen oder den andern von leibeigenen Bedienten, der Lust und Geschicke zur Musik bezeugte, auf diesem Instrument unterrichten mussten. Diese Ukrainische Pandoristen sind meistens lustige und flinke Vögel, die bei ihren Liedern die Leidenschaften mit Minen und Geberden sehr lebhaft auszudrücken, und sonst sattsam zu narrenzen pflegen. Ich habe verschiedene der vortrefflichsten gekannt, die im Singen und Spielen zugleich nach ihren Melodien im Zimmer herum sehr schön Ukrainisch tanzten, und ohne den geringsten Absatz im Spielen, ein auf der Pandor gesetztes volles Glas Wein an den Mund zu bringen und auszutrinken verstunden. Sie sind von den andern Bedienten in vornemen Haüsern allezeit in der Kleidung unterschieden, gehen nicht in Französischer oder Deutscher Tracht, wie jene, sondern in langen und leichten Ukrainischen Kleidern, mit aufgeschnittenen und abhängenden Ermeln des Oberrocks, wie die Polnischen, davon sie die beiden Vorderschösse allezeit bei ihrem Spielen und Tanzen aufzuheben, und in die Scherpe zu stecken pflegen. Man nimmt wahr, dass seit etlichen und 20 Jaren diese Pandoristen und Lustigmacher je mer und mer in den Häusern vornemer Herrschaften in Russland abnemen, je stärker sich seithero in denselben der feinere Geschmack am Clavier, auf der Violin, Travers-flöte und Waldhornen, und die Liebnhaberei der Italienischen Musik überhaupt, in Besitz gesetzet hat, wie ich weiter unten anzeigen werde.
28 Back For what it is worth, a modern Ukrainian/English dictionary gives the following definition: f. Mus. bandura (an instrument); mandora; species of potato; clumsy (inert) man’. (Andrusyshen and Krett 1955)
29 Back In the later nineteenth century, and in its current form, the bandura is chromatically tuned. A photograph of the modern bandura can be seen in NGDMI 1984, I, p. 148: ‘Bandura’.
30 Back Kubijovyc 1971, II, p.595; article in English by W. Wytwycky
31 Back Wytwycky uses the word ‘theorbo’ to translate ‘torban’ elsewhere in his article, loc. cit.
32 Back Eitner QL, i, pp. 421, citing the anonymous Biographen einiger Tonkünstler (Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1790), p. 17.
33 Back J. F. Reichardt, ‘Autobiographie’, in Berlin Musicalische Zeitung, 55 (1805), p. 214; see also H. Güttler, ’Johann Reichardt, ein Preussischer Lautenist’, in Congress Report of the Société Internationale de Musique (Liège, 1930), p. 119.
34 Back See Neeman 1939, pp. 173-7. Müller-Blattau 1931 cites a long poem entitled ‘Die Laute’, by J.F. Lauson (Zweeten Versuch in Gedichten, 1754, pp. 137V.), in which reference is made to a circle of professional and dilettante Königsberg lutenists as well as to ‘Bellegratsky’. J.G. Hamann, well-known as the founder of the Sturm und Drang movement that led to Romanticism, was a lute pupil of Reichardt and became an expert player.
35 Back Allgemeine Encyklopaedie 1841: ‘[Bielogradsky] gehört ... zu den geschätzten Lautenisten der letzten Zeit fur dieses Instrument’; see also Schilling 1840.
36 Back Stählin 1770, p. 92:
’Nach dem Ableben der Kaiserin Anna (im Octob. 1740.) geriet die Musik am Hofe, das ganze Trauer Jar über, wie vieles andre, in einen Stillstand. Verschiedene von den obgenannten Italienern und Italienerinnen, und darunter auch der grosse Violinist Piantonida und seine Frau Pasterla, wie auch der obgerümte Lautenist Beligradskij, giengen ab, und begaben sich wieder nach Dresden, in Dienste des Premier-Ministers Grafen Brühl.’
(After the decease of Czarina Anna (in October 1740) music at Court like much else sank into silence for the whole year of mourning. Several of the best-known male and female Italians, among them the great violinist Piantonida and his wife Pasterla, as also the celebrated lutenist Beligradsky, left and went back to Dresden, in the service of the Prime Minister, Count Brühl.)
37 Back Mooser 1948, p. 210 and Mooser 1951, p. 67.
38 Back Stählin’s preface is dated Spring 1769. (Stählin 1770, p. 43.)
39 Back Mooser 1948, p. 210, fn. 6, citing a document from Russian Imperial archives, the Journal du fourrier de la chambre (1748).
40 Back Mooser 1948, loc. cit.
41 Back Stählin 1770, pp. 93-4:
bey der Aufführung dasselben, zumal bei der mit einer starcken Laute von dem Secretär Spitz, und einer sanften Travers-Flöte accompagnirten Aria der Ruthenia, ah! miei figli, &c. die zärtliche Kaiserin selbst sich der Thränen niemals enthalten konnte.
42 Back As suggested by Boetticher 1978, p. 215 and cautiously accepted by Arnautova, p. 532. It has been suggested to me that Bielogradsky was likely, as a bandurist, to have been illiterate. (Personal communication from Tatiana Baranova, 1990.)
43 Back See Neeman 1939, pp. 173-7.
44 Back Neeman 1939, loc. cit. This might better explain the stylistic incongruity in the MS between the 31 pieces on the one hand undoubtedly by Silvius Weiss himself, either in partitas explicitly so attributed by the scribe or verifiable by concordance or unmistakeably in his style (Nos 1, 2, 10, 14-26, 27-29, 31, 33, 41-48), and, on the other, the 18 pieces that either cannot be by him (Nos 9 and 32) or seem to be by a follower or ‘imitator’ (Nos 3-8, 11-13, 34-40).
45 Back Pieces in a not dissimilar ‘Weiss-imitation’ style, at first glance very like Silvius Leopold’s own, can be found in Strasbourg, a manuscript long associated with the Baltic city of Riga, in Latvia. There are known connections between Riga and the Königsberg lute school. J.G. Hamann, for example, took one of Reichardt the elder’s lutes with him when he travelled from Königsberg to Riga in 1752. (See Müller-Blattau 1931, p. 8.)
46 Back Arnautova, p. 532. (translation by Matanya Ophee).
47 Back A fact pointed out to me by Tatiana Baranova in 1990; see Waldmann 1963, col. 1132 and ex. 7, facing cols 1135-6.
48 Back Note that one instance actually remained unaltered; see Note to No. 48.
58 Back Boetticher 1978, pp. 213-4 erroneously reads this as ‘siuitov’ (suites.)
59 Back This is, obviously, a misspelling by the Glinka Museum librarian who catalogued this item.
60 Back Boetticher 1978, pp. 213-4 reports a library stamp on the flyleaf.
61 Back As reported by Arnautova, p. 531.
62 Back Arnautova reads this as ‘prinadlezhashchaia’ (belonging to).
63 Back See Crawford forthcoming.
64 Back See Waldmann 1963, col. 1132 and ex. 7, facing cols 1135-6.
65 Back See Crawford forthcoming
66 Back See Schroeder forthcoming.
67 Back Smith 341: Dresden 25 (Reich 1979, p. 214); Warsaw 2004, f. 24v; published in Telemann’s Der getrueue Musikmeister (1728), Zwölfte Lection, p. 45.
68 Back Smith 273: Dresden 11 (Reich 1979, p. 88); Göttweig, f. 7v, Praesto W., published as by Weichenberger, although quite foreign to the Austrian composer’s style, in Koczirz 1942, pp. 16-17.
69 Back J.C. Beyer’s Herrn Professor Gellerts Oden, Liederund Fabeln (Leipzig: Breitkopf, 1761) clearly assigns absolute pitches to the lute’s strings, and gives a table for all the common tunings used at the time. These range from Eb/c minor to E major/ c# minor. The use of extreme keys in lute music of the eighteenth century is discussed in Ecklund 1991, pp. 39 -44.
70 Back Wolff 1973, p. 221.
71 Back A Scherzo for keyboard in a style not dissimilar to 47 was published in two variant versions in the Bach Gesellschaft edition (vol xlii, pp. 220 and 281, respectively) as a work by J.S. Bach, BWV844 and 844a, but it is now tentatively attributed to his elder son William Friedemann. (See W. Schmieder, Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischer Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach, 2nd edition (Wiesbaden:Breitkopf und Härtel, 1990), pp. 639-40.)
72 Back Sallust, Bellum Iugurthinum, X, 6. (See Otto 1890, p. 89, entry 418.) This popular classical quotation could have had multiple significance for the writer. Firstly, as a political maxim: in Sallust’s original context, it appears in a rhetorical address (133 B.C.) by Micipsa, the aged king of the Numidians, to his two sons and their treacherous half-brother, Jugurtha, imploring them (in vain, as events proved) to settle their differences and divide the kingdom equally:
’Equidem ego vobis regnum trado firmum, si boni eritis, sin mali, imbecillum. Nam concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maxumae dilabuntur.’
(’I deliver to you three a realm that is strong if you prove virtuous, but weak if you do ill; for harmony makes small states great, while discord undermines the greatest empires’, Sallust 1920, p. 149.)
The first edition of Sallust appeared in 1470; an important edition was published at Leipzig in 1724.
Secondly, as a moral code, again with a fraternal reference: according to Seneca (Epistles, XCIV, 46), the Roman general Marcus Agrippa
’used to say he was greatly indebted to the proverb “Harmony makes small things grow; lack of harmony makes great things decay.” He held that he himself became the best of brothers and the best of friends, by virtue of the saying.’ (Seneca 1925, iii, p. 41).
Thirdly, the incomplete quotation as given in the manuscript could be read out of context as containing an allusion to the legendary power of music: ‘Through concord (= harmony = music) small things grow bigger.’ The phrase may have been used as a family motto, or adopted as a personal one by the owner or writer of the manuscript, who perhaps had two brothers (?).
73 Back See footnote 12.
74 Back See the thematic catalogue of Chilesotti’s lute and guitar transcriptions published in Rumore/Zanenghi 1987.
75 Back Pieces in this source are identified by the sequential number of the sonata in which they appear therein, followed, in parentheses, by the page number in Reich 1979, a reduced facsimile edition of the five solo lute manuscripts. Thus ‘Dresden 4 (Reich 1979, p. 22)’ identifies the piece in question as a member of the fourth sonata in the Dresden sequence, which is reproduced on p. 22 of Reich’s edition.
76 Back The numbering scheme derived from this continuing edition (and thus only complete for London and Dresden) gives sonata- and movement-numbers separated by a slash. E.g. ‘Weiss SWL 21/4’ refers to the fourth movement of sonata 21. Isolated movements not found as part of a sonata are listed separately with an asterisk following the number, thus: ‘3*’.
Copyright © 1995 by Editions Orphée. All Rights Reserved.