Matiegka: Six Sonatas for Viennese Guitar, Op. 31 / Starobin
Bridge Records is pleased to issue guitarist David Starobin's final studio recording, W.T. Matiegka's Six Sonatas, op. 31, performed on a Viennese style guitar. Starobin regards Matiegka's sonatas as "in their time, the pinnacle of expression on the guitar, offering the most detailed notation of both articulation and character--a clear window onto performance style in the era of Beethoven and Schubert." Since Starobin's retirement from the concert stage in 2018, the native New Yorker has kept a busy schedule, co-authoring with his wife Becky the libretto of the opera The Thirteenth Child (music by Poul Ruders); writing and directing the film String Trio, Los Angeles 1946 (filmed in Arnold Schoenberg's Los Angeles home); and serving as Director of Artists and Repertoire at Bridge Records.
David Starobin teaches at the Manhattan School of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he co-founded Curtis's guitar program in 2011. A frequently honored figure, Starobin was called “arguably the most influential American classical guitarist of the 20th Century” (Soundboard), and was inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America's "Hall of Fame" in 2011.
[Starobin's] gift for interpretation is evident throughout the present recording and illustrates his artistic ability to “serve” the score. The “Menuetto” of Sonata No. 1 both carries the listener along, dancelike, and indulges the ear in a series of subtle expressive variations along the way. This recording encourages close listening as the guitarist’s technique never intrudes, while the interpretive quality described offers myriad opportunities for one’s attention to settle more and more deeply into Matiegka’s compositions.
--EarRelevant (Jon Ciliberto)
It would be hard to imagine a better match of musician and composer than classical guitarist David Starobin (b. 1951) and W. T. (Wenzel Thomas) Matiegka (1773-1830). That's certainly borne out by the performances captured on what's purportedly Starobin's final studio recording. Playing a Viennese style guitar, the native New Yorker demonstrates repeatedly why he's held in such high esteem in the classical guitar world. Starobin [performs] sonatas that provide a superb showcase for his playing's best qualities.
No less a figure than the young Schubert acknowledged Matiegka's skill by making an arrangement of one of his trios. Also a contemporary of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, Matiegka absorbed the musical practices of the day and applied them expertly in his guitar sonatas, of which 11 survive. The sonatas of Op. 31 all contain three short movements, but there's never a hint of repetition or familiarity as these works unfold with a spectrum of creative possibility, especially in Starobin's eloquent hands. The guitarist brings refinement to every turn of phrase, whether the music is marching, dancing or crying. Generations of guitarists will thank Starobin for bringing Matiegka's pieces to light. This recording is a swansong to savour.
--Gramophone (Donald Rosenberg)
Release Date: April 01, 2022
Catalog Number: BCD9567
Label: Bridge Records
Composer: Wenzel Thomas Matiegka
Performer: David Starobin