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Matiegka - Complete Solo Guitar Sonatas:edited Stanley Yates

Updated: Apr 17, 2021

Complete Solo Guitar Sonatas

Wenzeslaus Thomas Matiegka (edited Stanley Yates)

Classical Guitar Study Editions: 153 pages

Reviewed 28th January 2018

Any publication with Stan Yates’ name on is going to be well worth one’s time and effort getting into. This latest tome is no exception.

Historically, Matiegka’s guitar music has almost fallen through the cracks of time unnoticed by today’s guitarists. Born in Bohemia but working nearly all his musical life in Vienna during the early years of the nineteenth century, he produced a little more than two dozen guitar works , amongst them thirteen guitar sonatas, one of which has been lost, and the other twelve of which are produced here.

Stylistically Haydn’s Sonata model was the starting point to Matiegka’s but with many adaptations that Haydn didn’t make use of, particularly in the three surviving Grande Sonatas, and the Sonata Progressive Op17, where he goes considerably further.

And so the twelve Sonatas included here, vary from the Sonate Facile Op16 with its conservative Allegro – Minuet – Rondo scheme, through to the Sonate Progressive Op17, with the title referring to the difficulty of the piece, not any great stylistic difference. Then come the surviving three of the original four Grande Sonates which are ambitious and more concert orientated than the former works, and lean away from Haydn and more to the Beethoven models. Sonate Op23 and the Six Sonates Progressives Op31lean back more to the Haydn models.

All these works are thoroughly interesting and involving and Yate’s thorough twenty four pages of research are most enlightening. This book is absolutely fascinating and utterly recommended in every way.

Chris Dumigan

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