Sample pages havebeen provided from each edition. These are copyright, and are not necessarily indicative of the standard of difficulty of the whole edition.
Please also see the Print on Demand page for more viol ensemble pieces.
Some audio samples have been added to this page.
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Four pieces for TrTrTB viols featuring Byrd's Ave verum corpus and Ego sum panis vivus, Merulo's L'amorosa ero and an arrangement of a keyboard work by Sweelinck: Mein junges Leben hat ein End'. The last work is fairly virtuosic, but the others are not so difficult. Text given for the top line of the works of vocal origin, so could be performed with a singer and viols. Score and parts.
These two madrigals: Vezzosi augelli and L'amorosa ero are scored for TrTrTB viols, and come complete with text so the top part could be sung with viols. Score and parts. Very pretty music by a master composer. An alternative tenor viol part is provided for Vezzosi augelli to make it TrTTB.
A Sad Paven for These Distracted Tymes (1649) was a keyboard piece written two weeks after the beheading of Charles II of England, and it is arranged here for TrTrTB/TrTTB viols. The companion piece is a funeral anthem: I heard a Voice, which comes from Tomkins' Musica deo Sacra, a posthumous publication in 1668. Score and parts
Two beautiful pieces by Handl, arr. for TrTrTB viols. Ecce quomodo is fairly homophonic and quite an easy piece. Recessit pastor noster is a little more polyphonic. Both pieces are very suitable for performance in church, perhaps between verse anthems, and could also be performed with a singer and viols. Texts included. Score and parts.
This is a (slightly) graded set of 14 very easy pieces for four viols, and includes such favourites as Coventry Carol, Es ist ein Ros, Bonny sweet Robin, La Folia, Il Spagnoletto and Martin said to his Man. Some of the later pieces in the book include a few challenges, but otherwise the part writing is very simple - four crotchets to a bar in many cases.
The presentation is four scores so that everyone can see all the parts. Excellent for use at workshops for lower intermediate groups, or for beginner viol consorts at home.
Also a collection of ten pieces, but these are five part works by Gervaise, de Tertre, Caruble, Playford, Dowland, Hassler, Arcadelt Hausmann and Anon. Mainly dances and folk tunes like Wolsey's Wild and Daphne, they're tuneful and fun to play. Presentation is five scores so everyone can see what's going on, and swap parts easily in workshops.
These two challenging fugues and sweet sarabandes are for advanced players and are suitable for concert performance. They were selected from Handel's Miscellanous Keyboard Works. There is a cheerful fugue and wistful sarabande in G major, with a sweet little C major sarabande and a highly chromatic and somewhat eccentric a minor fugue. Score and parts.
This is a two-part madrigal from Marenzio's 1588 collection. It is serious in nature, and while not technically difficult for viols, it is musically challenging. This edition includes the texts in each part, and is suitable for performance by 4 viols or soprano and 3 viols. Score and parts.
These two contrapuntal works seem to fit viols like a glove. Jesus Christus unser Heiland and Danket dem Herrn are both in g. The first is a short piece with the cantus firmus in the treble line. The second is longer, and the cantus firmus is heard in turn in all three lines. These would suit upper intermediate to advanced players, and would be good concert pieces. Score and parts. Tenor viol part in alto clef, plus alternative part in octave treble.
Not strictly viol consort, but of interest here as 3 bass viols can play it!
From Rosenmuller's 1682 set of 12 sonatas, this lovely work was originally written for two violins & continuo, but it works really well for 3 bass viols, or for 2 bass viols with continuo instruments of your choice. Score and parts, including figures in the score and bass part. The two solo lines were simply taken down an octave, and are in alto clef. An interesting work for professional performance.
These four madrigals from Bateson's 1604 collection resemble those of Morley and Wilbye. They are not too difficult, and the texts are included in all parts. Certainly suitable for intermediate consorts, but very pleasing pieces for a concert program or workshop use. Score and parts, with an alternative part in octave treble for the 3rd line.
Three absolutely delightful pieces: Sellingers Round, Fortune and O Mystris Mine, arranged for four viols (with an octave treble part for other instruments). These can be played by intermediate or advanced consorts, as sections can be omitted if there are less experienced players. Some slightly challenging bits, but not too virtuosic. Great workshop music, or purely for enjoyment. Score and parts.
Arranged from organ music by John Weretka, these pieces are for a virtuoso ensemble. Full of drama and solo passages. Score & parts. The complete audio is here, but note that the sound is of an organ, and it does not allow any freedom of tempo or expression, so a performance on viols will sound quite different.
A great selection of dances, madrigals and polyphonic pieces of intermediate standard in four parts. Book 1 includes the original Taverner In nomine, as well as pieces by Dering, Tomkins, Funck, Morley, Josquin, Ives and da Rore. Book 2 extends the offering with works by Carreira, Telemann, Fischer, Jenkins and Purcell. The wonderful four-part Gibbons In nomine is included. Score and parts. Audio is of the Engelmann Courant but slower than it would normally be played.
Continuing the series, this five part book comes with score and parts, including an alternative fourth line. A lovely collection of consorts, dances, madrigals and pieces by Senfl, Caroubel, Praetorius, Weelkes, Holborne, Tallis, Byrd, Schein, Roussel and da Rore. The wonderful motet Salvator Mundi by Tallis is included. Score and parts. Audio is of the Senfl piece Ich soll und muss.
Portuguese organist Manuel Rodrigues Coelho (c. 1555 - c. 1647) was also a renowned composer of his day. His large collection of pieces Flores de Musica was published in 1620, and includes these settings of the Kyrie, which have been arranged for TrTBB viols, at its original pitch. Score and parts.
German composer Johann Kaspar Kerll had an illustrious career as a court organist and composer. Kerll knew Athanasius Kircher, and was inspired to write the Ricercar in Cylindrum phonotacticum transferenda (included in this edition) which was based on the mechanism of the musical automaton. Also in this book are two keyboard canzonas which have been arranged for four viols. Score and parts.
You'll want to be adventurous for this one. It's easier for string quartet, but if your trebles want to play above the frets, and your bass viol tune down to low C, then go for it! See more on the Bowed publications page.
A sparkling new edition of these amazing works is here. Flexible scoring with alternative inner parts for some pieces, a new introduction, and inclusion of a fragmentary four part piece omitted from some editions. Score and parts.
I have just discovered that some bass viol parts lacked one of the 4 part pieces. Apologies. You can download the pdf of the missing piece here. This will be corrected in future prints.
Two audio samples because it's such a wonderful collection. The first is the Fantasia a3 no. 1. The second is Patrice's all-time favourite four part Purcell, the Fantasia no. 7 with its fabulously chromatic first section. Purcell marked tempo variations in his fantasias, but these may not be reflected in the audio.
Tenor viols can now rejoice in some choice trios by Thomas Lupo, Eustache du Caurroy, Jacques Foucart, Thomas Weelkes, Adrian Willaert and John Hingeston. Three items have a vocal origin, and texts are included to allow performance with singers. Score and parts. Audio is the Lupo Fantasia a3 bassi.
Arranged by Patrice Connelly.
A lovely collection of seven Spanish works. Diego de Pontac, Mudarra, Cabezon and others. The de Pontac Kyrie is the only work of vocal origin; the others have been arranged from keyboard works. This suits a low consort, and could be done by treble with 3 basses if one can read the alto clef tenor part. Score & parts. Audio is the Tiento de secondo tono. The recording is a bit on the slow side.
Marc'Antonio Ingegneri was the teacher of Claudio Monteverdi, and a wonderful composer in his own right. He wrote several books of madrigals, motets and masses which deserve more attention. Here are three of his works: Due rose fresche, Gia non mi maraviglio and Ardi e gela a tua voglia. For voices and viols or all viols. Score & parts. Audio is Gia non mi maraviglio.
In 1635, Frescobaldi published his Fiori Musicali, a volume of liturgical music for organ containing three organ masses. John Weretka has arranged one of these for four viols, and it is easy enough to be played by intermediate consorts, but is musically interesting enough for advanced players too. Score & parts
These two settings of Baci soavi were published within seven years of each other, in Monteverdi's Il primo libro de Madrigali a cinque voci in 1587, and Gesualdo's Il primo libro de Madrigali in 1594. Gesualdo included a seconda parte in his setting. Suitable for upper intermediate/advanced players, and either all instrumental or voices with viols. Score & parts.
Two madrigals: O morte, eterno fin, and Quest' affanato mio doglioso core, by the master 16th century madrigalist Cipriano da Rore, produced here in their original keys and note values, with texts. Play on all viols, or with one or more singers. Audio of O morte is here, but is very slow!
Richard Dering's Cantica Sacra (1618), a collection of 21 wonderful Latin motets, has been published in three volumes, each of seven motets. Score and parts, all texts included. With only a couple of exceptions, these have been restored to their original keys and note durations. The set has been dedicated to Professor Peter Platt who died in 2000. He edited the Cantica Sacra many years ago for Early English Church Music, and I've relied heavily on his edition as this is a tribute to him. Score and parts. 3 volumes.
There are lots of really great dances in Bach's keyboard works, and a number of them fall nicely into three parts. Here are nine Menuets, Sarabandes, Gavottes and other dances arranged for treble, tenor and bass viols. Only a couple needed transposition to better fit the viols' range. Ornaments included! Score & parts. Audio is the Gavotte en Musette.
Contemporary with Dowland, Morley, Bull and Holborne, composer John Farmer's The First Set of English madrigals to Foure Voices was published in 1599. These pieces have slightly serious texts, which are all included so they can be played, sung (or both), and some lovely harmonies. They aren't too difficult for viols. Score and parts.
These two lovely In Nomine settings have been edited from Och 473-8 partbooks. The first is by John Ward, though in two sources it was attributed to Simon Ives. However, the VdGS has decided that it is more likely to be by Ward and I agree, given the maturity of the writing, and the fact that Ives would have been really quite young to have written something this good. The second In Nomine is by George Gill who was reputedly an excellent viol luthier. He wrote one 5 part and one 6 part In Nomine. This one is very good, and slightly reminiscent of one of William White's 6 part fantasias (also my edition, but published by Dovehouse many years ago). Score and parts.
The sound of all bass instruments is rich and compelling. These consorts come with an alto clef part on top and three bass clefs below, and gorgeous harmonies throughout. Pieces by Arcadelt, da Rore, Ingegneri, Janequin, Josquin, Caimo and Willaert. All madrigals or chansons with texts, so could also be sung. Score and parts.
Audio is Ingegneri's Lidia miri Narciso
I originally published this in 2001 in my "print on demand:" series. But I've reset this in Sibelius and done it as a new edition. Score and parts. Can be played on 3 tenors and 5 bass viols (or with violone on Bass 8), or 3 violas, 4 cellos and double bass for those with modern instruments. Lovely piece.
Four very substantial fugues and three organ hymns (Ave Maria, Christe Redemptor and Salve Regina) make for a great day's reading (or performing). Fasolo is another relatively obscure Italian early baroque composer whose works should be heard more often. These have been arranged from his 1645 collection of organ music. There are some challenging spots in these pieces. Score and parts.