Alison Crum (viol) & Roy Marks (lute): "A Ground in the Air"

Online Cocktail Concert Series


This is an online event for you to enjoy at your leisure and will be available to view from Thursday 18 February at 6pm.

A concert trailer can be accessed via YouTube.


A short programme of mid 16th century instrumental works and madrigals. Some of these are composed over a repeating sequence of chords, called a ground, such as the Passamezzo, while others are based on famous madrigals of the time.


Diego Ortiz La Gamba ottava
Anon La Cara Cossa
Diego Ortiz La Gamba quarta

From the treatise of 1553 by the Spaniard, Ortiz, this part begins with two recercadas over the ground known as La Gamba, and between them, a lute solo over the same ground.


Vincenzo Ruffo La Gamba
Richardo Rogniono Ancor che col partire
Anon Bassa Danza

Two new parts intertwined with the tenor line of the La Gamba ground just heard are followed, in the second piece, by a decorated top line of the most famous 16th century Italian madrigal. In the third piece, a dance found in an early 16th century manuscript, convoluted rhythms all but smother the slow-moving tenor line.


Diego Ortiz La Spagna primera
Diego Ortiz Passamezzo segunda

Two more pieces by Ortiz end the programme. The first is a surprisingly sorrowful setting of La Spagna, while the second is a veritable display of jazz-like improvisations over one of the best known of musical grounds: the Passamezzo.



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.

No further information is currently available for this venue. Please see the Event Details tab for the event information.

« Go back to What's On page

Contact theBox Office now 01553 764864