Weiss in Nostalgia

VM019 Released October, 2018

Special discounts and pre-order opportunities via our mailing list:


‘What matters is that the results remain technically assured and musically engaging throughout. From the spacious Sarabande in the F major suite to those deliciously twirly triplet figures in the D minor Prelude, McCartney is the master of all he touches. Even in the densest passages, full transparency is maintained, the sound capture achieved by Joseph Chesshyre in York’s Unitarian Chapel being a key factor in the success of the disc as a whole. … This premium-grade offering from McCartney matches that level of excellence [Dombois] and is worthy of recommendation for this reason alone.’

-Lute News, Paul Fowles

‘Throughout, McCartney shows himself to be absolutely at home in Weiss’s music and captures its elegant seriousness, its ‘gravity’, without ever letting it seem (in the modern sense of the word) ‘melancholy’. Incidentally, McCartney’s lively performance of the Courante in Suite 1 should disabuse anyone of the notion (which I have met) that Weiss’s music is always slow and sad! Without ever letting the music of Weiss (who was long based in Dresden) sound like the aural equivalent of the fine porcelain of that city, McCartney plays with delicacy and thoughtfulness (especially as regards changes of colour and dynamics).’

-Musicweb International, Glyn Pursglove

‘Alex McCartney practically lives the music by Silvius Leopold Weiss. He plays it as if he’d never done anything else or had never considered any other music. Like breathing in and out, which doesn’t need to be taught either. In the booklet he himself describes how his relationship with Silvius Leopold Weiss presents itself : „Playing Weiss, for me, often has the effect of feeling like the more effort I put in, the more I get out of it. To put it another way: the juice is credibly worth the squeeze.“ „The juice is credibly worth the squeeze,“ – well put!
We will surely hear more of Alex McCartney – The recordings we heard are promising indeed! His playing sounds familiar, in almost every aspect. Lutenists are seldom drawn to virtuosic excess – or shall we say: their virtuosity happens on a different level than, for example that of sportive, juvenile guitarists – and when Alex McCartney is playing, he emanates an elegance through which he could never ever – not even in moments of highest musical ecstasy – lose his contenance. Bravo!’

-Guitarre & Laute

‘The first suite in F major consists of no less than eleven pieces, among which shine several gems, well known to amateurs, like the gigue or even more so, the famous courante, played with lively pulsation and using delightful colour and timbre changes, notably on the reprises, which makes for an undeniable punch. In many previous recordings, the technical difficulties tend to give the pulsation less assurance than it needs. This is remedied here by erasing the difficulties and letting the music speak.’

-Société Française de Luth

‘…this fine recording by Alex McCartney in a series which continues to impress.’

-Lark Reviews

Recorded in The Unitarian Chapel, York by Joseph Chesshyre in June 2018
Produced by Joseph Chesshyre, Alex McCartney
Mastered by Joseph Chesshyre