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Or you can just sit back and take a moment to listen to some of our music below.

Vincenzo Ruffo: La Gamba

A thoroughly Italian piece published in Milan in 1564, but copied out in Elizabethan England by Robert Dow.

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5 Vincenzo Ruffo c.1508–1587 La Gamba from An Emerald in a Work of Gold (2012)

A thoroughly Italian piece using a dance tune as its basis, published by Ruffo in Milan in 1564, but copied out in England by Robert Dow, whose personal manuscript collection of music gives a snapshot of the sort of piece played in England by viol consorts in the Elizabethan period.

Heinrich Isaac: Agnus Dei

From the Missa La Spagna, this sounds like a courtly basse danse, played on our ‘Costa’ viols (1497).

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2 Heinrich Isaac c.1450–1517 Agnus Dei from Mynstrelles with Straunge Sounds (2015)

Early viol consorts often played music taken from sacred pieces, such as this section from Isaac’s
Missa La Spagna. Without its text it sounds just like a courtly basse danse, and we play it here on the set of viols specially made for us based on an altarpiece in Bologna by Lorenzo da Costa, dated 1497.

About the Rose Consort of Viols

The Rose Consort of Viols takes its name from the celebrated family of viol makers, whose work spanned the growth and flowering of the English consort repertoire.


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