This sonata (WeissSW No. 50, Dresden) is one of a new series of eight sonatas by Silvius Leopold Weiss arranged for the first time for guitar and published by Metropolis Music.
Sonata XXVII comes from a set of tablature manuscript volumes in the Sächsisches Landesbibliothek in Dresden (Ms. Mus. 2841-‐V-‐1). There are five volumes with a total of 34 sonatas of Weiss for solo lute. The sonatas are ordered by key and further sorted by size or complexity. Sonata XXVII is a large and mature piece, composed in Weiss’s late period, around 1730. The Sonata has six movements: Introduzzione (an opening movement in Italian style with elements of an Allemande and Prelude), Courante, Bourrée, Sarabande, Menuet, and it ends with a Presto. The use of tempo indications for French dance movements is characteristic for the later work of Weiss.
Originally, the Sonata is written in B flat major, a key often used by Weiss as it is appropriate for playing the lute, but rather awkward with the guitar. For ease and effectiveness of playing, I have transposed the Sonata a minor third lower to G major. To create more concordance with the baroque tuning of the lute, the G string is lowered by a semitone to F sharp. I suggest using a capodastro to achieve the original pitch. Based on the present standard of A at 440 Hertz, the capo should be placed at the 3rd fret. However, during Weiss’s lifetime, it was more common in many parts of Germany to use a standard of A at 415 Hertz -‐ a semitone lower. So, to hear the pitch heard by Weiss and his contemporaries, the capo should then be positioned at the 2nd fret.