Monday, 17 October 2016

Weiss - Moscow Manuscript - Suetin

Rating: 3/5

Not the best Weiss recording

I'm afraid I'm not all that taken with this disc.  I like Weiss's music very much so I was looking forward to it, but both the performance and recording are a bit problematic.

Weiss was a rough contemporary of Bach and wrote a large amount of very fine lute music, of which this is a pretty decent selection.  However, the music needs a variety of approaches, including a lightness of step and a sense of space sometimes, neither of which it gets here.  Alexander Suetin is plainly a very good lutenist, but he invests everything with great intensity which works well enough in some more dramatic or emotional movements.  However, these are suites of dances; some of them are light and full of joy, but the whole thing has a terribly serious feel to it which gets pretty wearing after a while.  This isn't helped by a recording which sounds as though it was made in a lavatory – echoey but bleak and cold.  The overall effect really isn't good.

There are plenty of very fine recordings of Weiss by Robert Barto, Jakob Lindberg and others.  Personally, I'd recommend trying them rather than this; it's worthy but not all that enjoyable.

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