Fantasie - Silvius Leopold Weiss Online Classical Guitar Lessons


Silvius Leopold Weiss was a very busy lutenist & composer. During his lifetime he composed more than 1,000 pieces of music with circa 800+ still in existence. He was born in Germany and served for many years at the Dresden court until his death having served prior to his Dresden appointment at the Breslau & Rome courts. An interesting tale of Bach and Weiss 'cutting heads' with Weiss challenging the mighty Bach to improvising on Fugues & Fantasies has been in circulation since the meeting of the two powerhouses over 200 years ago. Now that would have been an epic jam to behold - probably as mighty as Jack Butler facing off against Eugene in the 1980s classic guitar movie 'Crossroads' starring Steve Vai & Ralph Macchio with recordings by Vai, Ry Cooder, & William Kannengeiser.

Jack Butler (Steve Vai) squares off against Eugene (Ralph Macchio) in the movie 'Crossroads'.

Jack Butler (Steve Vai) squares off against Eugene (Ralph Macchio) in the movie 'Crossroads'.


A Word On Fantasies Of The Baroque Period

The Fantasie developed about a century and a half earlier in the 16th century in Germany and was it was based upon improvisation and this idea continued into the baroque period from the earlier Renaissance period. Therefore it does stand to reason that one can take certain liberties here and there when performing this piece. Although this piece is obviously written down and therefore note selection or improvisation is limited I think it is perfectly acceptable to add baroque style ornaments (in a musical sense) as a kind of 'homage' to the era and spirit of the piece. In fact it would seem that Weiss loved to improvise so perhaps he wouldn't mind too much if you started an epic improv!

Performance Points

The piece was originally composed for the lute therefore it could be a nice idea to perhaps listen to a lute recording and see how closely you can emulate that sound on your guitar.

  • Left hand. Challenging stretches here and there. Keep relaxed and place fingers sequentially wherever possible
  • Right hand. Focus on maintaining an even tone and articulation especially if you are exuberant with the application of baroque ornamentation

If you want my awesome Tabs With Fingerings click here otherwise you can get the Free tabs but they don't have my fingering suggestions which could leave you scratching your head trying to figure it all out.

Let your fingers fly!

The right-hand is not overly challenged in this piece but do keep it steady and work on producing an even tone with strict articulation.