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The Knight of the Lute Music From the Varietie of Lute Lessons 1610

Matthew Wadsworth

Dowland, Huwet, Holborne, Anonymous, Batchelar, Ballard, Alfonso Ferrabosco II, Laurencini Of Rome, Moritz. Prince Of Hessen, Saman, Morley

SKU: 25408

Year of release: 2008

1. Sir John Smith, his Almaine Dowland 02:53
2. Fantasie Huwet 04:49
3. Pavin Holborne 05:58
4. The most sacred Queene Elizabeth, her Galliard Dowland 01:33
5. Volt 1 Anonymous 02:57
6. Fantasie Anonymous 02:45
7. Pavin Batchelar 05:41
8. Coranto 1 _ Mounsier Ballard his Coranto Ballard 01:48
9. Fantasie Alfonso Ferrabosco II 03:31
10. Pavin Alfonso Ferrabosco II 03:58
11. Coranto 6 Anonymous 01:00
12. Coranto 2 _ John Perrichon his Coranto Dowland 01:32
13. Fantasie 2 Laurencini Of Rome 03:19
Prince Of Hessen 05:07
14. Pavin Moritz. Prince Of Hessen 05:07
15. The Most High & Mightie Christianus the 4th King of Denmarke, His Galliard Dowland 03:17
Coranto 4 01:36
16. Mounsier Saman His Coranto Saman 01:36
17. The Right Honourable the Lady Clifton's Spirit Dowland 02:04
18. Pavin Morley 05:12
19. The Right Honourable Ferdinando Earle of Darby, His Galliard Dowland 02:46
Total time: 61:55

About this album

The seeds of this recording were planted many years ago. As a teenage classical guitarist, I used to spend a lot of time playing other peoples’transcriptions of renaissance and baroque music. Little did I know, that many of the pieces I played were actually taken from the ‘Varietie of Lute Lessons’.
When I discovered the lute (accidentally) in my first year as an undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, I found myself returning to some of  the same pieces, except this time, in their proper context. Not only did I have to develop a Braille system for notating lute tablature (with the help of Tim Crawford), but I then had to spend hours manually writing the pieces out on a clunky old braille typewriter. I taught a number of my student friends to read tablature, and we would spend valuable and precious time each week writing out one or two new pieces.
I used to spend hours in the basement of the library, listening to recordings of one of my great idols, Julian Bream – deciding which piece to write out and learn next. Since then, it has always been a burning ambition of mine to one day record the Varietie of Lute Lessons, and some 15 years after my initial forays into this stunning repertoire, it felt right to finally commit the pieces to disc.

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Early Music America

Wadsworth has found a way to bring out what us unique to each selection. () () Certain pieces he chooses to treat in a virtuosic fashion, with florid ornamentation and embellishments; others may demand the merest of pauses at a cadence, or a slightly emphasized trill. Much like a jeweler shaping a precious gem, he treats each piece delicately, with skill and nuance.

Audiophile Audition

Matthew Wadsworth emphasizes the sheer sonorous beauty of the 19 pieces on this disc. He exhibits a feathery touch that is coupled with an unerring sense of the music's constantly shifting but always subtle dynamics.


his playing is solid and deliberate yet strangely luminous – no light but rather darkness visible. In his hands Holborne, Morley Batchelars dark, sophisticated pavins grand and trilling with shakes yet unable to shake off a lurking melancholy-almost take on the character of a late Beethoven


Deze klanken onthaasten de menselijke geest, waar de moderne toonkunst ons opjaagt en ze brengen tevens de overconsumptie in de huidige muziek aan het licht. (...) (...) Een prachtige SACD die met veel liefde en toewijding is gemaakt. Muziek die ons de broodnodige rust verschaft in deze belachelijk hectische maatschappij. De opname is van de hoogste standaard.


wunderbaren Resonanzkörper der 10-chöriger Laute (...) (...) Die Aufnahmetechnik hat ganze Arbeit geleistet, um alle Bereiche und Facetten des Lautenspiels von Matthew Wadsworth unmittelbar präsent zu machen. Und so staunt man einfach nur über die Souveränität, mit der Wadsworth die Noblesse und Tief , die Form und Vitalität dieser Kunstwerke en miniature weniger einfängt als vielmehr feinsensorisch erspürt.


De Engelse luitspeler is blind en besteed veel tijd aan het in braille transcriberen van de luittabulaturen. Het is het wachten in elk geval waard. () (....) Wederom een ijzersterke cd die de luit laat horen zoals hij zou moeten klinken. De muzikant biedt een zeer representatieve selectie van werken van Robert Dowland, hij speelt kraakhelder en weet duidelijk wat hij doet en dat komt de zorgvuldig opgenomen muziek alleen maar ten goede.


Matthew Wadsworth

Technical Specifications

Recording Type Bit RateDSD64
Recording SoftwarePyramix
Recording LocationYork England
Recording EngineerJared Sacks
ProducerJonathan Attwood
Mixing BoardRens Heijnis custom made
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mastering EquipmentB+W 803 diamond series
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Digital ConvertersMeitner DSD AD/DA
Cablesvan den Hul