The Moscow Weiss Lute Manuscript: Inventory and Notes on the pieces, Part I

Published by Legacy of Matanya Ophee on

Italic titles are original, roman titles, etc., are editorial. Material cropped by the binder is in square brackets. The contents of the manuscript are listed here in the order in which they appear in the manuscript; the piece numbers are those in the edition.

Smith numbers cited refer to the thematic catalogue of Weiss’s solo lute works on pp. 126-271 [recte 125-270] of Smith 1977; Manabe numbers cited refer to the transcriptions in Manabe 1976.

The various editorial ascriptions to Weiss as composer are given in the styles described here which indicate varying degrees of confidence in his authorship. Absence of an ascription implies neutrality.

Inventory and description

Binding: contemporary pasteboard.

Written on a label on upper front cover, in a more recent hand [than the MS itself]:

papk “B” (Folder “B”) / inv. 137 8. (Inventory 137 8.) / Veiss. Sbornik p’es y sonetov[1]Boetticher 1978, pp. 213-4 erroneously reads this as ‘siuitov’ (suites.) dlia liutni

(Weiss. A collection of pieces and sonetas[2]This is, obviously, a misspelling by the Glinka Museum librarian who catalogued this item. for lute.)

Left bottom corner: Cancelled stamp of the State Central Museum for Musical Culture

Right bottom corner: 64l + / 2l obl. / 57l. (64 folios + 2 folios cover. 57 folios.)

folio1: [flyleaf]

Blank[3]Boetticher 1978, pp. 213-4 reports a library stamp on the flyleaf.

folio1v: Blank

folio2: [title-page]

In French: hand A: Requeul [sic] de divers. Pieces et Sonates / Pour le Luth; hand B: Composés par Mr. Weiss / a Dresde. / Aprouvé par … [erasure with removal of a layer of paper[4]As reported by Arnautova, p. 531.] / maitre de … [erasure] son Excellence Mr / de … [erasure] / Anno … [no date given];

in Latin: hand C: Concordia res parvae (see also f. 63v; see also footnote 72);

in Russian: hand D:

prinadl.[?][5]Arnautova reads this as ‘prinadlezhashchaia’ (belonging to). leibgvardii Izmailovskogo polku kapitanu (belong.[?-ing ?-s ?-ed to?] captain of the Izmailovski household regiment.)

Library stamp, with Russian Imperial arms (before 1918?), of the Moscow Conservatory Library: Imp[eratorskoe] Muz[ykal’noe] Obshch[estvo] Biblioteka Moskovskoi Konservatorii (Imperial Musical Society Library of the Moscow Conservatory) and manuscript number, 297.

Vertically on right margin a line of cyrillic letters, the meaning or significance of which is not known.

folio 2v:Blank


Prelludium [Silvius Leopold Weiss]

This MS, f. 11v, [Pr]elludium;

Dresden 6 (Reich 1979, p. 33), Fantasia (modern tabl. edn: Weiss SWL, ii, p. 330);

Munich 5362, f. 5v, Prelude del Sig. S.L. Weiss;

Weiss SWL 11/7; Smith 241; Manabe 1976, p. 8; Suétine 1991, p. 1

The augmented-2nd intervals (c#´-bb´) found twice in the piece are not present in the other sources, both of which have b naturals here. (See below, note to No. 3)

folio 3:

Sarabande Andantino [Silvius Leopold Weiss]

Dresden 5 (Reich 1979, p. 29), Sarab:; (modern tabl. edn: Lay 1994, p. [14]; modern tabl. edn. and transcr.: Neeman Erbe 1939, p. 53);

Munich 5362, f. 10, Sarabande du même [i.e. ‘Signre. S.L. Weiss’]

Weiss SWL 34/6; Smith 238; Manabe, p. 9

The Dresden sonata in which a slightly simpler version (presumably earlier) of this sarabande appears formerly bore a note in red pencil, now completely invisible:

Diese Partie habe ich zu allererst bey Ms. Weisen gelernet

(It was this partita that I learned first with Mr Weiss).

(See Neeman 1929, p. 400.) An early-to-middle-period piece in ‘simple’ (didactic) style.[6]See Crawford forthcoming.

Meas. 2-3 are corrected from Dresden; literal transcription:

folio 3v-4:


Smith 427; Manabe, p. 10

At first sight apparently in typical Weiss style; there are, however, some odd features: the rhythmic incipitis found only in this MS (cf. 32 and 34, below); the crude formal construction is not typical of Weiss. Probably by a ‘Weissiste’ imitating his style. It has Weiss’s use of sequence as a structural device, and ‘recapitulates’ the opening in his way; but it also makes prominent use of the interval of the augmented 2nd, said to be a typical feature of Ukrainian folk music.[7]See Waldmann 1963, col. 1132 and ex. 7, facing cols 1135-6.

The barring of the original is retained: changes of time-signature in meas. 14 and 15 are editorial.

folio 4:


Smith 428; Manabe, p. 13

Stylistically similar to 3, above, with similar use of the augmented 2nd.

folio 4v-5:


Smith 429; Manabe, p. 15; Suétine 1991, p. 7

More in the style of Weiss than 3 and 4, but somewhat lacking vigor, and lame in its use of sequence, especially around measures 45-50; contains a ‘Weissian’ disguised ’recapitulation’ at measure 51.

folio 5:


Smith 430; Manabe, p. 18; Suétine 1991, p. 13

More typical of Weiss’s style than 3 and 4.

folio 5v:


Smith 431; Manabe, p. 20; Suétine 1991, p. 11

As 6, but with ‘Ukrainian’ augmented 2nds.

folio 5v:


Smith 432; Manabe, p. 21; Suétine 1991, p. 13

Most untypical of Weiss, especially formally: unusually symmetrical (8 + 8 meas.) and short. Its harmonic structure is bizarre: it is altogether exceptional for a trio in a minor-key minuet’s relative major to end in the tonic minor.

folio 5v:

Pausane (recte: Paysane)

Smith 433; Manabe, p. 21; Suétine 1991, p. 5

Shows no distinctively Weissian features.

folio 5v:


Smith, not listed; Manabe, p. 21; Suétine 1991, p. 6

The only point of interest is the thematic relation of the opening motif to the opening of 8.

folio 6:

Menuet [Not by Weiss?]

Smith 434; Manabe, p. 23; Suétine 1991, p. 15

Apparently added later to the MS. Quite definitely in a later style than that of Weiss; more like that of the young Haydn, for example.

folio 6v:

Bourrée (title virtually illegible in photographs) [S.L. Weiss]

London, f. 39v, Bourée (Smith 45; with varied repeats different from those in this MS; mod. edn. Weiss SWL iii, pp. 138-9);

London, f. 58, Bouree (Smith 71; mod. edn. Weiss SWL iii, pp. 102-3);

London 31698, f. 38v, Presto;

Buenos Aires, f. 47v, Bourr;

Göttweig, f. 12, Bourèe;

Rostock 53, f. 60v, Boure;

Warsaw 2004, f. 3, Boure;

Warsaw 2008, p. 70, Bourée;

Strasbourg, f. 21, Capricio;

Chilesotti MS, Rumore/Zanenghi 448, n.t.

Weiss SWL 3* and 13/4; Smith 435; Manabe, p. 26; Suétine 1991, p. 2

In a simpler harmonic style than Weiss frequently adopted for his bourrées, this is among the most wide-spread of his pieces. The version in this MS is a unique variant; the first of the two in London (Weiss SWL 3*, London, f. 39v) presents a different set of varied repeats.

folio 6v-7:


Smith 436; Manabe, p. 28; Suétine 1991, p. 4

Somewhat small in scale for an abstract allegro movement by Weiss. Also contains a prominent ‘Ukrainian’ augmented 2nd (measure 5). Probably not by Weiss.

folio 7:

[Po]lono ise

Smith 437; Manabe, p. 29; Suétine 1991, p. 9

This and the following polonoise (13, q.v.) are attractive examples of the early ‘German’ type of the dance showing no suggestion of Weiss’s compositional style.

folio 7:


Smith 438; Manabe, p. 30; Suétine 1991, p. 10

The opening rhythm of this piece is cited in , example 3b, p. 28, as a characteristic feature of the early ‘German’ form of the polonoise, and is there compared with an example from Marpurg 1759, p. 100.

folio 7v:

[Pa]rtitta. Signor Vejss. / Andante Allemande [S.L. Weiss]

Smith 439; Manabe, p. 31

Although not marked as such, the first movements of each of the ‘partittas’ ascribed to Weiss in this MS are clearly allemandes, the dance-form Weiss most frequently used in this context (following an optional prelude, but occasionally replaced by an overture). The substitution of tempo-indications for dance-form titles (cf 2, above, and 21, 34, 41 and 44, below) probably reflects the lateness of the source.

folio 7v-8:

Courente [S.L. Weiss]

Smith 440; Manabe, p. 32

Go to next Inventory document.


1 Boetticher 1978, pp. 213-4 erroneously reads this as ‘siuitov’ (suites.
2 This is, obviously, a misspelling by the Glinka Museum librarian who catalogued this item.
3 Boetticher 1978, pp. 213-4 reports a library stamp on the flyleaf.
4 As reported by Arnautova, p. 531.
5 Arnautova reads this as ‘prinadlezhashchaia’ (belonging to).
6 See Crawford forthcoming.
7 See Waldmann 1963, col. 1132 and ex. 7, facing cols 1135-6.


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