Esaias Reusner (1636 - 1679)

Born in Löwenberg, Silesia [now Lwówek Šl─ůski, Poland], he was taught the lute by his father (also Esaias) and was regarded as a child prodigy. He was employed by noblemen in Silesia, Leipzig and finally in Berlin (at the court of the Elector of Brandenburg). He was a pupil of an unidentified French lutenist and his two collections of suites for the lute, Deliciae testudinis and Neue Lauten-früchte, are regarded as important because they show the first application of French lute style by a German composer and they are also early documents in the development of the instrumental suite. They contain a total of 28 suites, varying in number of movements from four to nine. Each suite is unified by a major or minor tonality. They all include the basic structure of later dance suites, allemande–courante–sarabande–gigue. Most of the longer suites begin with another dance, such as a paduana or ballo, or the characteristically French improvisatory prelude, and many conclude with a dance other than the gigue. Reusner’s influence was widely felt in Germany in the 17th century, and the style of his music established a precedent evident in the works of subsequent lutenists such as Silvius Weiss. (Buelow,accessed 25/07/2007)

Ciacona [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07
This ciacona is from Neue Lauten-früchte; there is a similar arrangement by John Duarte (Duarte 1977) except that I have used a dropped D which allows some of the bass notes to be played in a lower octave.

Passacaglia [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07
This passacaglia comes from a Suite in D in Neue Lauten-früchte; I have arranged it in E as I think it sits better on the guitar in this key.

E minor version [PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 07
D minor version
[PDF] [MIDI] [XML] Grade 08
This arrangement is derived from a transcription in
Davison and Apel,1950 who give the original source as Deliciae Testudinis 1667. I have altered the ornaments in their transcription to appoggiaturas (which I think are stylistically appropriate) and removed numerous rests to try and represent the appropriate sounding durations of notes. The original key is D minor and I have posted a version in this key, but also one in E minor which I think is easier to play and is more faithful to the original. Both versions use dropped D tuning; in the case of the E minor version this is to facilitate stretches involving strings 1 and 6.

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