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Not Just Dowland

A Pilgrimage Through Early 17th Century Europe with Carolyn Sampson soprano and  Matthew Wadsworth lute & theorbo.

London was as diverse and multi-cultural in the early 17th century as it is today. Let us take you on a rich and colourful journey which embraces not only our own culture, but that of our European counterparts in Italy and France, as well as a few surprises along the way.

This eclectic programme draws on Robert Dowland’s ’A Musicall Banquet’ and ‘Varietie of Lute Lessons’, both published in 1610, although they will most definitely be delving into the masterpieces of John Dowland and Robert Johnson. Other composers will include: Alfonso Ferrabosco, Claudio Monteverdi, Giovanni Kapsberger and Giulio Caccini.

‘…in the Wigmore Hall, in the intricate metaphysics of  Robert Johnson’s Fantasia, lutenist Matthew Wadsworth found a sense of rapture and transformation… and found it again and again in repertoire drawn from two decades that changed the sound of English music’
Anna Picard, The Independent

You can listen to samples and read more reviews for Not Just Dowland on the recordings page

A Musical Banquet

Early Seventeenth Century European Music at its best with Carolyn Sampson soprano and Matthew Wadsworth lute & theorbo.

17th century London was a veritable melting pot for artistic talent and creative thinkers alike. In 1610, 2 of the most eclectic musical anthologies of Jacobean England were published: ‘A Varietie Of Lute Lessons’ and ‘A Musical Banquet’. Let us take you on a rich and colourful journey which embraces not only our own culture, but that of our European counterparts in Italy, Spain and France.

The pieces that make up the programme are a wonderful blend of poetry and music, which are as moving to the soul today as they were 400 years ago. This programme features music by Dowland, Campion, Ferrabosco, Monteverdi and a few other surprises as well.

‘The soprano Carolyn Sampson is blessed with a lovely voice and physical presence; the lutenist Matthew Wadsworth really is a class apart among exponents of this increasingly popular musical instrument.

‘Sitting beside Wadsworth, and singing as much to him as to us, Sampson established a fireside confidentiality… Everything was so perfect, the evening seemed to pass in a flash.’
Michael Church, The Independent

Late Night Lute

This beautiful solo programme features intimate and virtuosic music by John Dowland, Robert Johnson, Philip Rosseter and Daniel Bacheler – the ideal choice for any late night series and the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern living.

‘Wadsworth woke the lute so gently that its voice seemed to emerge almost imperceptibly from the silence…’
William Yeoman,

When Laura Smiles

An evening of some of the finest Elizabethan and Jacobean music with Matthew Wadsworth and tenor James Gilchrist.

‘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.’
Andrew Stewart, Classic FM Magazine

‘James Gilchrist performs with supreme awareness, beckoning the listener to inhabit his world’
Gramophone Magazine

You can listen to samples and read more reviews for When Laura Smiles on the recordings page

Away Delights

A medley of lute solos & songs from Shakespeare’s England by Robert Johnson and John Dowland. Soprano Carolyn Sampson and Matthew Wadsworth offer lyrical gems from Jacobean England. This programme contrasts the melodic ayres of Dowland with the more declamatory and theatrical songs of Johnson.

‘A beautifully crafted programme and restrained, crystalline performances… Here are lost loves, madness and death.’
William Yeoman, Gramophone Magazine

You can listen to samples and read more reviews for Away Delights on the recordings page

14 silver strings

In this programme, the poetic and intricate solo works of Alessandro Piccinini are performed alongside the more flamboyant, experimental music from Giovanni Kapsberger’s Libro Quarto, in which Matthew is (optionally) joined by two excellent continuo players, Gary Cooper, harpsichord and Mark Levy, viola da gamba. Optionally, the concert can also include music by Robert de Visée, Diego Ortiz, Bernardo Storace and a new work for theorbo composed for Wadsworth by Andrew Keeling.

‘A ringing endorsement of the beauty of the theorbo in a distinguished recital… Wadsworth has an imperious command of some impressive solo material.’
Gramophone Editor’s choice

You can read more reviews and listen to extracts from 14 Silver Strings on the discography page.