Discography and Reviews


Not Just Dowland

Wigmore Hall live

Carolyn Sampson : soprano
Matthew Wadsworth : lute, theorbo

Songs for soprano and lute by Dowland, Rosseter, Johnson, Grandi et al.





‘Together [Sampson & Wadsworth] weave a superb tapestry of little-known 17th-century vocal music.’ Album of the Week – The Independent

‘The pleasure of her [Sampson’s] perfection is enhanced by the diversity of her selection… Short of actually being there, this is live music at its best. Some enchanted evening…’ ***** CD of the Week – The Lebrecht Report

‘Not a syllable lost in terms of clarity or potency, whether in the dark drama of Robert Johnson or the sensuality of Caccini’s Amarilli mi bella in this imaginative survey of 16th- and 17th-century song. Wadsworth’s acute sense of phrase and colour is spellbinding.’ Recording of the forthnight – Classical Music Magazine




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The Knight of the Lute

Channel Classics CCSSA 25408

Matthew Wadsworth : lute

Solo recital disc with music from John Dowland’sVaritie of lute lessons of 1610





‘If one reads reviews of Wadsworth’s earlier recordings, or of his live performances, the same few descriptions seem to recur: “intelligent”, “intimate”, “graceful”, “sensitive”. This release is no different. While many of the selections he has chosen to present on this recording have similar structures. melodies, or turns of phrase, Wadsworth has found a way to bring out what is unique to each selection without being either too blunt or too ostentatious.’ Karen Cook – Early Music America




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Masters of the lute

Channel Classics CCSSA 24206

Matthew Wadsworth : lute, theorbo

Solo recital disc with works by John Dowland, Robert Johnson, Allesandro Piccinini, Giovanni Kapsberger et al.





‘This is Matthew Wadsworth’s finest release to date… a gem of an album, which exudes intelligence, sensitivity and sheer class… A richly painted recital that really shouldn’t be missed.’ Gramophone Editors Choice

‘A well balanced album of lute treasures… graceful, civilized and intelligent…’ Rick Jones, The Times

‘Wadsworth is an accomplished player, thoroughly at ease with the idioms of this challenging repertoire and a master of his instrument.’ Kate Bolton, BBC Music Magazine

‘Wadsworth is surely one of the finest of the recently-emerged generation of players… played with great flair and expressiveness… this is an excellent recording by a first class player, and one that I expect to play over and over again.’ Peter Cains, Lute Society




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When Laura Smiles

Avie AV 2074

James Gilchrist : tenor
Matthew Wadsworth : lute

Songs and lute solos by Philip Rosseter.







‘Matthew Wadsworth’s exceptional lute technique allows Rosseter’s music to shine, while James Gilchrist’s lovely light tenor voice is perfect for this repertoire. He sings with beautiful expression, augmented by subtle and appropriate ornamentation and the interaction between lutenist and singer is exemplary. This is lovely music beautifully performed, and provides a valuable insight into music at the Court of James I.’ D. James Ross, Early Music Forum of Scotland News

‘It’s hard to believe that this is the first album devoted exclusively to the music of Philip Rosseter, lutenist to the court of James I and one-time manager of the Children of the Queen’s Revels. Rosseter’s discographic neglect is all the more surprising given the sheer quality of his lute solos and songs, performed here with great subtlety and expressive nuance by Matthew Wadsworth and James Gilchrist. Wadsworth’s intensely focused playing flows direct from the heart. Recommended.’ Andrew Stewart, Classic FM Magazine



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Away Delights

Avie AV 2053

Carolyn Sampson : soprano
Matthew Wadsworth : lute

Lute songs and solos from Shakespeare’s England by Robert Johnson.





‘5 stars for both performance and sound.

Robert Johnson lived until 1633, late enough to absorb the new, expressive Italian declamatory style, and examples appear on this attractive disc, mixed with charming trifles and three weighty pavans for solo lute. Matthew Wadsworth sustains these magnificently, not least by the fine and purposeful legato as he delays fingering changes until the last possible moment. The dance music by contrast, is buoyantly rhythmical. Carolyn Sampson brings to the songs a lovely unaffected sound. There is plenty of expressive variety but always within the scale of the accompanying lute, and her quiet singing is exquisite. She captures the desolation of ‘woods, rocks and mountains’, the intensity of ‘care-charming sleep’ while Wadsworth’s improvised harmonising of Johnson’s bare bass line reflects every nuance of the text.’




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14 Silver Strings

Deux Elles DXL 1044

Matthew Wadsworth : theorbo
Gary Cooper : harpsichord, organ
Mark Levy : viola da gamba, lirone, violone

Toccatas, partitas and dances. Music by Piccinini and Kapsberger.




‘A ringing endorsement of the beauty of the theorbo in a distinguished recital… Wadsworth has an imperious command of some impressive solo material… he glories in the fleeting mysteries of these works, allowing the notes to speak with unequivocal conviction’ Editor’s choice – Gramophone Magazine

‘Matthew Wadsworth speaks the baroque language like a native’ BBC Music Magazine