S.L.Weiss - Life
Ernst Gottlieb Baron(student of Weiss and friend)
Johann Nikolaus Forkel(JS Bach's biographer)
Johann Elias Bach(JS Bach's "little nephew", GC Bach's grand-son, JS' uncle)
Wilhelmine de Bayreuth(Frédéric II's sister)
Charles VII's widow
David Kellner(see link to Kenneth Sparr's page)
Luise Adelgunde Victorie Gottsched
"Only Silvius must touch the lute !"
He was the first to discover things one could do with the lute that had never been conceived until then. And I can sincerely admit that, as for his virtuosity, there is no telling the difference between Mister Weiss and a talented organ-player when it comes to playing fantasies and fugues with his instrument. His arpeggios are of a rare density, his depicting emotions is without comparison, his technique prodigious ; he has an unbelievable delicacy and singing grace. What is more, he is a great improviser and can play, when his fancy commands it, the most beautiful airs, violin concerts even, just by reading the score and realizing the numbered bass phenomenally, whether be it on the lute or on the theorbo. Because Weiss art was the only one to draw from that instrument the best, most solid, most gallant and most accomplished music, a great many, inspired by this new method, tried to acquire his skill and talent - much like the Argonauts with the Golden Fleece."
(They are) written in a frank and robust style and are akin to, for instance, the late JS Bachs pieces for keyboard instruments."
Forkel had well understood that, like Bach, Weiss believed in JJ Quantzs theory according to which the « German style » was a « motley style », a successful blending of French and Italian music, which were then dominant.
"...We heard some very fine music when Sir my cousin from Dresden [WF Bach], who came to stay for four weeks, together with the two famous lute-players Mister Weiss and Mister Kropffgans [his pupil], gave several performances in our house."
"To the memory of the famous Weiss, who excels so much in playing the lute that no one has ever matched him and that those who will come after him will only be left with the glory of imitating him"
"infinitely better written, in the style fitting this instrument (...), than all Sezkorns [then the lute composer at the court of Munich] screetchings"
"But that the illustrious Silvius Leopold Weiss can, with his lute, accompany an honest piece and can, with that same instrument, demonstrate what others give up trying to achieve, all that must be attributed to his virtuosity rather than to the instrument."
"His stroke was very gentle; one heard him and didn't know where the tones came from. In phantasizing he was uncompared, piano and forte he had completely in his power. Shortly, he was master of his instrument, and could do with it what he wanted."