14 Silver Strings (DXL 1044)



At the beginning of the 17th century, composers began to develop new, post-renaissance compositional styles around the basso-continuo. The rich sonority of the Chitarrone, or theorbo, made it well suited for these new works. The Italian Piccinini and the “German Gentleman of the Theorbo”, Kapsberger were the two leading composers, though they approached the instrument differently, Kapsberger composing in the more improvisational manner. Placing Kapsberger and Piccinini side by side for this recording, radically different approaches to the same instrument are heard. The works which have survived through the centuries serve as fitting tributes to both these extraordinary pioneers.

Matthew Wadsworth studied the lute at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Nigel North. After graduating in 1997, winning the London student of the year award for his development of Braille lute tablature, he went to the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. Here, he quickly found work with some of Holland’s finest chamber music groups. He is now established as a continuo player and chamber musician throughout Europe and the United. He has worked with the worlds finest early music ensembles directed by such people as William Christie and Paul Goodwin. He is a founder member of Ricordo. Matthew is a guest teacher at the Royal Northern College of Music and made his solo debut at London’s Purcell Room and Wigmore Hall in 2002.


Track List

1. Toccata IX – Kapsberger
2. Toccata X – Kapsberger
3. Passacaglia in A minor – Kapsberger

4. Toccata XIII – Piccinini
5. Partite variate sopra la folia aria Romanesca
6. Corrente prima – Piccinini
7. Toccata III – Piccinini
8. Gagliarda prima – Piccinini

9. Canzone prima – Kapsberger

Ballo Primo – Kapsberger
10. Uscita
11. Ballo
12. Gagliarda
13. Corrente

14. Passacaglia in D minor – Kapsberger
15. Toccata VI – Piccinini
16. Partite variate sopra quest’ aria francese
detta l’Alemana – Piccinini
17. Corrente VI sopra l’Alemana – Piccinini
18. Toccata X – Piccinini
19. Toccata II – Kapsberger
20. “Kapsberger” – Kapsberger
21. Arpeggiata – Kapsberger
22. Canario – Kapsberger


Additional information

Matthew Wadsworth


Gary Cooper

Organ, Harpsichord

Mark Levy

Viola da gamba