Alison Crum (viol) & Roy Marks (lute): "A Spagna in the Works"

Online Cocktail Concert Series


This is an online event for you to enjoy at your leisure and will be available to view from Thursday 10 December at 6pm.

Here is a trailer for you to enjoy meanwhile:

The link to the video will appear here and on the home page of our website.

Programme Notes:

A short programme of some of the earliest surviving instrumental settings and madrigals which survive today. Dating from the 15th and early 16th centuries, many were based on pre-existing melodies.


Anon Ainxi bon youre.
Guglielmo Falla con misuras.

These two pieces from the late 15th century feature two different pre-existing melodies, played by the lute, above which the viol plays in an improvisatory style. One of the most popular tunes, heard in the second piece, was a ‘tenor’ in slow-moving notes, known as La Spagna,


Costanza Festa La Spagna
Anon La Spagna I & II

The first of Festa’s 125 settings of La Spagna is sharply contrasted by two anonymous and rhythmically complex settings from an early 16th century Italian manuscript.


Bartolomeo Tromboncino Vergine bella
Marchetto Cara Non e tempo
Francisco de la Torre Alta

Composed just after 1500, two examples of an early form of Italian madrigal known as frottola (the first introspectively devotional, the second more outgoing and secular) followed by a fast and lively dance-like setting of La Spagna from Spain.



Alison Crum is one of the best-known British exponents of the viol. As teacher, performer, and moving spirit behind several well-known early music groups, she has travelled all over the world giving recitals and lectures and teaching on summer schools and workshops.

After considering a career in meteorology, she decided to read music at Reading university as a French horn player. While there she started playing the viol, and later went on to study it with Wieland Kuijken in Brussels and Jordi Savall in Basle. Since then she has made well over one hundred recordings with some of Britain's finest ensembles, including the Consort of Musicke, the Dowland Consort and Musica Antiqua of London. With the Rose Consort of Viols, Alison has made numerous CDs of English and continental consort music, and, as a soloist, she features on discs of Marais, Bach, and virtuoso Italian divisions.

An increasing interest in earlier repertoire for the viol led her to make a duo recording, A Spagna in the Works, with her husband Roy Marks.

Alison is President of the Viola da Gamba Society of Great Britain, Professor of Viol at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London, and a visiting teacher at several colleges and universities in both Europe and the USA. She directs many courses for viol players, including the International Viol Summer School, attracting players from all over the world. Alison is the author of two highly acclaimed books on playing the viol, as well as a series of graded music books, and has been called the doyenne of British viol teachers.

Over the years her continuing interest in weather has led her to experience first-hand several exotic parts of the world—from dog sledging in Greenland to driving a Toyota Land Cruiser in Eritrea; and from climbing the more modest summits of the Himalayas to descending the depths of Death Valley.


ROY MARKS (lute)

Roy Marks is Alison Crum's husband. More widely interested in the Arts than his wife, he studied the piano as a child in the 50s, played lead guitar in a pop group in the 60s, studied at art school (graduating from the Royal Academy in London in 1975 where he studied painting and drawing), and in the early 80s studied classical guitar at the Guildhall in London.

He taught painting and drawing for a number of years, but in 1984 turned his attention almost exclusively to early music - to the recorder, the viol, and later, the lute. He performs with the Rose Consort of Viols, regularly teaches on workshops in England, Germany, Italy, and the U.S.A., and composes music for period instruments.


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