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To order CD's by mail directly from the artist at a discount, please download, print, and mail the  Order Form  (PDF).

To view track lists, listen to samples, and/or order CD's or digital downloads by credit card via the web, please click on the highlighted CD titles below, or the CD cover images in the left column, to link to CD Baby.

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Sunrise CD cover image
 New ! :

 Sunrise  (2013) - Thirteen originial instrumental compositions featuring hammered dulcimer, acoustic 6-string and 12-string guitars, and acoustic bass. Four of the tunes are up-tempo and traditional in style (reels, hornpipes, and jigs); nine are moderate to slow in tempo and somewhat impressionistic. Seven tracks feature hammered dulcimer as the lead instrument with guitar accompaniment; fingerstyle guitar carries the melody on the remaining six, with hammered dulcimer in an accompanying role.  In environmentally conscious packaging.  

Suites for the Holidays CD cover

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 Suites For The Holidays  (2009) - Over an hour of acoustic instrumental music for the Christmas and winter seasons. Hammered dulcimer is the featured instrument throughout, with acoustic guitar accompaniment and bowed psaltery accents on some selections. The 21 tracks are grouped into four suites:
  • THE NUTCRACKER SUITE: All eight moements of P.I. Tchaikovsky's perennial holiday favorite arranged for hammered dulcimer(s), with acoustic guitar accompaniment on four of the movements.
  • MOSTLY CAROLS SUITE: Traditional carol tunes and medleys from England, Ireland, France, Germany, Catalonia, and the Shetland Islands, plus one original composition.
  • MOSTLY ANTHEMS SUITE: Instrumental arrangements of an anthem, a hymn, and an organ piece.
  • SUITE FOR WINTER: A tribute to the stark beauty of the season.
Inventio CD cover
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 Inventio  (2008) - A collaborative project of hammered dulcimer duets with Martha Giles of Virginia Beach, featuring all 15 of J.S. Bach's Two-Part Inventions and G.F. Handel's The Harmonious Blacksmith. Additional tracks include baroque works by Scarlotti and Telemann and romantic era pieces by Taregga and Saint-Saens. Released in 2008.  

"Four hands, four hammers and one hundred fifty-six strings bring warmth and brilliant resonance to exquisite musical gems from the Baroque Era, highlighted by the remarkable Fifteen Two-Part Inventions of Johann Sebastian Bach. Musical pictures are painted by the hammered dulcimers in two final, lovely Romantic offerings."



Bob's recordings are for sale at the following retail stores in and around Richmond, Virginia:
Book People (Granite Avenue near Patterson)
Plan 9 (various locations - please call store nearest you to check availability)


Suites for the Holidays

Enjoying, learning, and promoting hammered dulcimer music
throughout the Hampton Roads area
December 2009                                                                                                                 Vol. 9, No. 12

Performance Review

When I was a kid growing up, two family traditions during the holidays were to attend the local symphony’s productions of Handel’s “Messiah” and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” (They were NEVER on the same night … that would have been too much for anyone!) Handel was explained to me as being “educational and spiritual,” and I was duty-bound by Mother, Father, and Piano Teacher to “sit still, pay attention, and learn” from the experience. When I was a student at Guilford College in the ‘60s, the Guilford Chorus performed “the Messiah” in concert, and recorded it on LP … a still cherished part of my music library, but I digress.

The “Nutcracker” was a whole different kind of experience. This was classical music for fun! I mean, how couldn’t it be fun when it was performed by The Radio City Music Hall Symphony Orchestra, complete with the Rockettes, or by Walt Disney’s always popular cast of characters, or by Olympic Champion Ice Skaters in amazing costumes???

Now the “Nutcracker” has become more than fun … it’s inspirational and awe-inspiring! I speak, of course, of Bob Wadsworth’s newly released CD, “Suites for the Holidays.”  I’ve been playing it non-stop since it arrived in the mail. There are 21 tracks on the album, the first 8 being the complete “Nutcracker Suite” played by a one man orchestra. When I first learned of the project, I was somewhat skeptical … I mean, how could a single instrument possibly do justice to a piece of music that was written for an entire orchestra? I got a hint of the answer to that question a couple of months ago when Bob Wadsworth played a piece from his “project-in-the-works” at a meeting of the Gathering in Newport News. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the finished project ever since!

In the previous paragraph I called Bob a “one man orchestra.” I was wrong. He’s so much more than that! Just read the liner notes … “All selections arranged, performed, digitally recorded, mixed, and mastered by Robert Wadsworth.” He’s more than just an orchestra; he’s an entire music industry, including the recording studios!

As if this magnificent performance of the “Nutcracker” isn’t enough to make this CD mandatory Christmas season listening, Bob adds three additional suites, “Mostly Carols,” “Mostly Anthems,” and “Suite for Winter.” These combine some traditional classical pieces from England and Ireland, France, Germany, the Ukraine, and other countries, with a selection from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” along with two original pieces, “Watching for Santa,” and “After the Ice Storm”.

The entire performance lasts just over an hour, but if you set your player to repeat, you don’t have to get up from your easy chair to restart it … and I guarantee that you will want to, over and over again.

My solitary criticism of the CD is that it’s a CD … I wish it were a DVD so I could watch too!

___ Andy Kleeger

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Enjoying, learning, and promoting hammered dulcimer music
throughout the Hampton Roads area
July 2008                                                                                                                              Vol. 8, No. 7

CD Review: “Inventio -Transcriptions for Two Hammered Dulcimers”

Inventio, a new recording by Martha Giles and Robert Wadsworth, is a CD of classical compositions from the Baroque period. I have known Martha and Bob for several years and delighted in their playing at various gatherings. On my first playing of their recording, I was struck with how different just the material is from most other recordings of dulcimer music. This is not a collection of traditional tunes but some fine selections of classical music. Next I noticed the intricate melodies and countermelodies weaving their ways around each other. Martha informed me that one of them would play what the right hand on the keyboard would normally play and the other would play the part designated for the left hand. I can only imagine how much time and serious study of the material it took to create this recording. Upon further listening, I was amazed at the timing of each strike of the hammers as Martha and Bob played their separate parts as though one person sat at a keyboard. The timing is so critical here because each note of the right hand part relies so much on each note of the left hand part, and vice versa. If the timing is not dead on, the arrangements do not work, and I am pleased to say both the timing and the arrangements work very well. Those of you who have attempted to play a separate part from another person in an arrangement will be able to greatly appreciate the effort and the result of this recording.

Another bit of information worth mentioning is that Martha and Bob recorded this project themselves, learning how to use the equipment, set the microphones and balance the sound levels, demonstrating not only their artistic abilities, but also their technical talents. I have listened to Inventio several times in various settings, from the surround sound at home to the sound system in my vehicle while traveling, with good results each time. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this CD is with headphones, for the listener really gets a feel for the separate parts being played, the subtle use of switching from wooden hammers to padded hammers, the use of the dampers to change the sound of the instrument and the ever-present amazing sense of timing.

In today’s HD market, there are numerous selections of recordings available. Most are fiddle tunes either done solo or with a string band ensemble, some focus on Celtic traditions and yet others are more New Age with some original compositions. Inventio falls into none of those categories. This recording, as is listed on the back cover, is “Four hands, four hammers and one hundred fifty-six strings” playing selections of the Baroque Era. Musical pieces include works by Handel and Scarlatti, along with over a dozen pieces by Bach. The artists set their project and themselves apart from most others simply by their choice of material, for few musicians playing traditionally folk instruments have the training, background or familiarity with classical music to attempt such an endeavor. Inventio is a good collection of classical material done with sensitive artistry and an amazing sense of timing and coordination by Martha Giles and Bob Wadsworth. I congratulate them both on their effort, I applaud them on their dedication and commitment to their project, and I look forward to their next recording. - Bob Clark

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