Juan José Francione – Barokní kytara, theorba

Reconstructing the historical figure of the lutenist as a musician able to perform, compose, and improvise, through historical sources and focusing on these three basic elements that are of vital importance to understand the early music repertoire.

Silvius Leopold Weiss was one of the best representant figure of the performer, composer and improviser in the lute world between the second half of the S. XVII and the beginning of the S. XVIII.

In 1739 J.S. Bach and S.L. Weiss met each other in Leipzig. Bach, enchanted by Weiss’s music, made an adaptation of the Sonata for Lute Solo No. 47 (Dresden manuscript), adding a violin line to the music already written by the famous lutenist (Suite in A major BWV. 1025).

Johann Friedrich Reichardt, a German musician and music critic, tells about an “challenge “ between Weiss and Bach:

„Anyone who knows how difficult it is to play harmonic modulations and good counterpoints on the lute will be surprised and full of disbelief to hear from eyes-witnesses that Weiss, the great lute-player, challenged JS Bach, the great harpsichord and organ-player, by playing fantasies and fugues.“ [1]

Based on the performance, composition and improvisation, the teaching project aims to provide students with tools that enable them to understand how early music languages are constructed, identifying and incorporating structures of rhetorical organization of the musical speech and developing technical resources that enable them to fully master the pronunciation of the language.

Approach historical practices through the study of treatises and performing music of the chosen historical period, without departing from the different perspectives, research, concerns and interests that moved other artistic disciplines.

Searching for a technical perspective of the instruments, working on: articulation, „polyphonic left hand,“ coordination, sound production, etc., and the specific problems of the chosen instruments. Each of these elements represents a fundamental expressive resource in the construction of interpretations.

Last but not least, study early music through counterpoint and basso continuo, places where language is „technically“ created and toward which we must orient ourselves in order to learn to speak it. Use as direct evidence the analysis and performance of solo instrumental music, chamber music, opera, etc., and foster ear education aimed at cross-listening to the technical, artistic and rhetorical aspects that constitute a work and its interpretation.

[1] Burris, Timothy; Lute and theorbo music in 18th-century Dresden: A Performance Practice Study. Ph. D. diss., Duke University, 28 (1977).