"[T]he single-minded lack of
selectiveness of Kurt Schneeweiß’s ambitious project to transcribe
the lute sonatas of Weiss for the modern guitar fails. When a musician
takes it upon himself to transcribe or adapt works in any way (in this
case from one fretted instrument to another) the results must be convincing,
so that the listener, although perhaps aware of transcription, is comfortable
with the outcome, which should be both entertaining and engaging as
a performance. For me Kurt Schneeweiß’s playing does not fulfil
any of these criteria.
Schneeweiß seems to treat each
movement in an
altogether overtly free, almost improvised, way so that there is no
or very little allusion to any firm dance rhythms. There seems to be
little or no regard for the relative pulse or tempi that distinguish
allemande from minuet, from minuet to gigue etc., which are after all
central to the composite movements of the baroque sonata or suite. The
Ciacconna (Chaconne) concluding the Sonata No. 6 in E flat Major shows
no sense of the ground bass that normally is associated with, and is
the underlying basis for, such a work. So with no apparent structures
each movement seems to meander without sense of direction or purpose.
This results in an absence of character differentiating the individual
At the opening of the Sonata No. 4 in G major, for
some reason, we are treated to a quite inappropriate "Introduction"
of Kurt Schneeweiß’s own making (as we later encounter on disc
8 where we are presented with his own "Interkolomnium" and
"Entrée" at the beginning of Sonata No. 29). Even he
seems grateful that he has reached the end of some of the movements,
so unconvincingly and half-heartedly does he throw away the last chords."
-- Andy Daly, MusicWeb International Read less