Wadsworth spices up the lute

Lutenist Matthew Wadsworth and soprano Carolyn Sampson impress on this imaginative, thoughtful recording

Composer: Dowland, Rossiter, Monteverdi, et al.
Repertoire: Songs for soprano and lute
Artists: Carolyn Sampson (soprano), Matthew Wadsworth (lute, theorbo)
Rating:  4.5/5
Genre: Vocal/Instrumental
Label: Wigmore Hall Live WH Live 0034

This live recital, imaginatively conceived by lutenist Matthew Wadsworth, explores the music of Dowland and his European contemporaries. It’s dominated by a sense of contemplative melancholy, particularly the hypnotic lament of Merula’s Canzonetta spirituale, but it’s peppered by a few spicy numbers, too, namely Monteverdi’s beguiling Quel sguardo. Carolyn Sampson’s crystalline soprano is sweetly expressive, and Wadsworth’s playing is delicate and thoughtful. It’s an especial treat to hear the solo theorbo in music by the architect of the instrument, Antonio Piccinini.