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557716bk Weiss US

16/1/07

10:56 am

Page 4

Duo Ahlert & Schwab


Daniel Ahlert and Birgit Schwab have established
themselves in the musical world with lively interpretations
and an unusual combination of instruments. Their repertoire
for mandolin, lute and guitar comprises music from the early
baroque to the present. They rediscover forgotten works of
old masters and inspire contemporaries to compose for them.
Besides chamber music, working with orchestras
occupies a major portion of the duos time. They perform all
the existing double concertos for mandolin and guitar, and
the most important solo concertos for these instruments as
well. For years, Daniel Ahlert and Birgit Schwab have
delighted audiences with their vivid performances, with CDs
that set new standards, and with a style of playing that
always puts the music first.
The two artists studied at the Musikhochschule in
Wuppertal, Germany, with Dieter Kreidler (guitar), HansMichael Koch (lutes), and Marga Wilden-Hsgen
(mandolin/baroque mandolin). In addition to their
performing experience, both can look back on years of
successful teaching at music schools, universities, and in
master-classes.

Silvius Leopold

WEISS
Sonatas Nos. 14 and 20
for Lute and Mandolin
Johann

HOFFMANN
Sonatas in G major
and D minor for
Mandolin and Archlute

Duo Ahlert & Schwab


Birgit Schwab, Baroque
Lute, Archlute
Daniel Ahlert, Mandolin
8.557716

557716bk Weiss US

16/1/07

10:56 am

Page 2

Silvius Leopold Weiss (16871750)


Sonatas for Lute
Born in Breslau in 1687, Weiss was taught the lute by
his father, as were his younger brother Johann
Sigismund and his youngest sister Juliana Margaretha.
After holding various court appointments, he was named
Chamber Musician to Augustus the Strong, Elector of
Saxony (and king of Poland since 1697) on 23rd August,
1718. He was the highest-paid musican at the Dresden
court, where he counted the flautist Johann Joachim
Quantz and the violinists Francesco Veracini, Franz
Benda and Johann Georg Pisendel among his
colleagues.
Weiss was also acquainted with Johann Sebastian
Bach. It is thought that some of Bachs lute pieces were
composed for Weiss. J.F. Reichardt (1805) documents a
meeting of the two great musicians: Anyone who
knows the difficulty on the lute of harmonic twists and
counterpoint must be amazed, even incredulous, when
those who were present and heard with their own ears
assure us that the great Dresden lutenist Weisse

8.557716

Johann Hoffmann (1770c.1814)


Sonatas for Mandolin
competed in improvisation and elaborated fugue themes
with Sebastian Bach, who was also a great master of the
keyboard and the organ.
Silvius Leopold Weiss and Chamber Music
The sonatas and suites from Weisss pen are now an
established part of the lute repertoire. His chamber
music is less well-known, on account of its mostly
incomplete state. Sometimes the intended scorings are
clear, but only the lute parts survive. The pieces
recorded here (from a manuscript in the British Library)
do not even have indications of scoring. The idea of
performing them with mandolin was inspired by Weisss
free treatment of some of his own works; one existed,
for example, in versions for two lutes and for lute and
flute. It is also very probable that Weiss would have
encountered mandolin players among his many Italian
colleagues in Dresden.

Little is known about the life and works of the Viennese


mandolin player and composer Johann Hoffmann. His
works were only re-disseminated in the mid-twentieth
century; the originals are still to be found in Viennese
libraries. They all involve the mandolin, and require
great virtuosity. Their treatment of the instrument, its
arpeggios and multiple stops is highly idiomatic.
The Mandolin in Vienna
Around 1800, the six-course mandolin experienced a
renaissance in cultivated Viennese circles, and
numerous now-forgotten composers left a large
repertoire for the instrument. It includes sonatas for
mandolin and bass instrument, concertos, and especially
duos, trios and quartets with various combinations of
strings. This music was well-adapted to the taste of the
period, and can be quite impressive in its melodious,

elegant simplicity.
Hoffmann can be counted among the most
important of this generation of composers. The extreme
difficulty of his sonatas shows that he must have been an
outstanding instrumentalist. Those recorded here are for
mandolin and bass. The writing of the bass-lines
points to the cello as first choice for the accompaniment.
There are other similar works, however, that name a
bass instrument; in the quartets of Giovanni Francesco
Giuliani (ca. 1760- ca. 1818) a lute can be substituted for
the cello, and Giuliani specifically requires the archlute
for some pieces. Indeed, this music best unfolds its
particular charm with accompaniment by the archlute.

Birgit Schwab and Daniel Ahlert


English version by Glen Wilson

8.557716

557716bk Weiss US

16/1/07

10:56 am

Page 2

Silvius Leopold Weiss (16871750)


Sonatas for Lute
Born in Breslau in 1687, Weiss was taught the lute by
his father, as were his younger brother Johann
Sigismund and his youngest sister Juliana Margaretha.
After holding various court appointments, he was named
Chamber Musician to Augustus the Strong, Elector of
Saxony (and king of Poland since 1697) on 23rd August,
1718. He was the highest-paid musican at the Dresden
court, where he counted the flautist Johann Joachim
Quantz and the violinists Francesco Veracini, Franz
Benda and Johann Georg Pisendel among his
colleagues.
Weiss was also acquainted with Johann Sebastian
Bach. It is thought that some of Bachs lute pieces were
composed for Weiss. J.F. Reichardt (1805) documents a
meeting of the two great musicians: Anyone who
knows the difficulty on the lute of harmonic twists and
counterpoint must be amazed, even incredulous, when
those who were present and heard with their own ears
assure us that the great Dresden lutenist Weisse

8.557716

Johann Hoffmann (1770c.1814)


Sonatas for Mandolin
competed in improvisation and elaborated fugue themes
with Sebastian Bach, who was also a great master of the
keyboard and the organ.
Silvius Leopold Weiss and Chamber Music
The sonatas and suites from Weisss pen are now an
established part of the lute repertoire. His chamber
music is less well-known, on account of its mostly
incomplete state. Sometimes the intended scorings are
clear, but only the lute parts survive. The pieces
recorded here (from a manuscript in the British Library)
do not even have indications of scoring. The idea of
performing them with mandolin was inspired by Weisss
free treatment of some of his own works; one existed,
for example, in versions for two lutes and for lute and
flute. It is also very probable that Weiss would have
encountered mandolin players among his many Italian
colleagues in Dresden.

Little is known about the life and works of the Viennese


mandolin player and composer Johann Hoffmann. His
works were only re-disseminated in the mid-twentieth
century; the originals are still to be found in Viennese
libraries. They all involve the mandolin, and require
great virtuosity. Their treatment of the instrument, its
arpeggios and multiple stops is highly idiomatic.
The Mandolin in Vienna
Around 1800, the six-course mandolin experienced a
renaissance in cultivated Viennese circles, and
numerous now-forgotten composers left a large
repertoire for the instrument. It includes sonatas for
mandolin and bass instrument, concertos, and especially
duos, trios and quartets with various combinations of
strings. This music was well-adapted to the taste of the
period, and can be quite impressive in its melodious,

elegant simplicity.
Hoffmann can be counted among the most
important of this generation of composers. The extreme
difficulty of his sonatas shows that he must have been an
outstanding instrumentalist. Those recorded here are for
mandolin and bass. The writing of the bass-lines
points to the cello as first choice for the accompaniment.
There are other similar works, however, that name a
bass instrument; in the quartets of Giovanni Francesco
Giuliani (ca. 1760- ca. 1818) a lute can be substituted for
the cello, and Giuliani specifically requires the archlute
for some pieces. Indeed, this music best unfolds its
particular charm with accompaniment by the archlute.

Birgit Schwab and Daniel Ahlert


English version by Glen Wilson

8.557716

557716bk Weiss US

16/1/07

10:56 am

Page 4

Duo Ahlert & Schwab


Daniel Ahlert and Birgit Schwab have established
themselves in the musical world with lively interpretations
and an unusual combination of instruments. Their repertoire
for mandolin, lute and guitar comprises music from the early
baroque to the present. They rediscover forgotten works of
old masters and inspire contemporaries to compose for them.
Besides chamber music, working with orchestras
occupies a major portion of the duos time. They perform all
the existing double concertos for mandolin and guitar, and
the most important solo concertos for these instruments as
well. For years, Daniel Ahlert and Birgit Schwab have
delighted audiences with their vivid performances, with CDs
that set new standards, and with a style of playing that
always puts the music first.
The two artists studied at the Musikhochschule in
Wuppertal, Germany, with Dieter Kreidler (guitar), HansMichael Koch (lutes), and Marga Wilden-Hsgen
(mandolin/baroque mandolin). In addition to their
performing experience, both can look back on years of
successful teaching at music schools, universities, and in
master-classes.

Silvius Leopold

WEISS
Sonatas Nos. 14 and 20
for Lute and Mandolin
Johann

HOFFMANN
Sonatas in G major
and D minor for
Mandolin and Archlute

Duo Ahlert & Schwab


Birgit Schwab, Baroque
Lute, Archlute
Daniel Ahlert, Mandolin
8.557716

557716rear Weiss US

16/1/07

10:55 am

Page 1

CMYK

Playing Time

65:55

(16871750)

1
2
3
4
5
6

Sonata No. 20 in D minor


Prelude
Un poco Andante
La Bandinage
Le Sicilien
Menuett
Gigue

1, 3

18:17
1:49
3:43
3:09
4:35
2:30
2:32

7
8
9
0
!
@

Sonata No. 14 in G minor


Adagio
Gavotte
Sarabande
Menuett
Bourre
Chaconne

DDD

1, 3

16:45
2:27
1:51
2:53
2:04
3:18
4:11

Johann

17:24
5:38
7:29
4:17

^
&
*

Sonata in D minor 3, 2
Allegro
Andante con Variazione
Allegro

13:29
5:06
4:54
3:29

Birgit Schwab, Baroque Lute 1, Archlute 2 Daniel Ahlert, Mandolin 3

8. 5 577 1 6

8.5 5 771 6

This recording is sponsored by GWK: Gesellschaft zur Frderung der Westflischen Kulturarbeit E. V.
Recorded at the Museum Huelsmann, Bielefeld, from 28th to 30th September 2005
Wachtmann Musikporidction Producer: Hans-Ulrich Wachtmann
Booklet Notes: Daniel Ahlert and Birgit Schwab (English version by Glen Wilson)
Cover Picture: Saint Cecilia and the Angel by Carlo Saraceni (1580-1620)
(Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy / Bridgeman Art Library)

 &  2007 Naxos Rights International Ltd.

(1770c.1814)

Sonata in G major 3, 2
# Allegro
$ Adagio
% Rondeau

Booklet notes in English


Made in Canada

HOFFMANN

WEISS HOFFMANN: Sonatas

WEISS

8.557716

www.naxos.com

WEISS HOFFMANN: Sonatas

Silvius Leopold

NAXOS

NAXOS

The German lutenist Silvius Leopold Weiss and the Viennese mandolinist Johann Hoffmann
were considered the greatest virtuosos of their day in their respective fields. Inspired by the
composers free treatment of some of his own works, the two virtuosic Sonatas by Weiss are
here performed in versions for lute and mandolin, while the two melodious sonatas for
mandolin and bass (here performed on a lute) by Hoffmann reflect the renaissance of the sixcourse mandolin experienced in cultivated Viennese circles at the turn of the 19th century.

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