CD Spotlight: W.T. Matiegka's Six Guitar Sonatas, op. 31 by David Starobin
For forty-one years, guitarist David Starobin and his wife, Becky, have been at the helm of Bridge Records. And the rewards have been mighty, with thirty-six Grammy nominations and a catalog of recordings by iconic performers and composers. In his copious spare time, Starobin also teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music, where he co-founded the guitar department, and the Manhattan School of Music. One thing he hasn’t been doing: making any recordings. In fact, it’s been two decades since Starobin last recorded a solo CD. That drought has been broken with the release of W.T. Matiegka's Six Sonatas, op. 31, performed on a Viennese style guitar.
Wenzel Thomas Matiegka was a Czech composer and guitarist, who was also an accomplished fortepiano player and lawyer. He gave up the law to seek his fortunes in the bustling musical mecca of Vienna, where the guitar was king. And he found a modicum of success there as a piano teacher, conductor, composer, and guitarist. Alas, Matiegka’s good fortunes did not last; he would die in poverty at the age of 56, leaving his wife and six children, none of whom would go into music. Among the works he left behind were these six guitar suites, all of which are melodic miracles.
Starobin’s first solo release in twenty years is a delightful discovery, but the joy is tempered with sadness: Starobin has said this will be his final CD.