Mynstrelles with Straunge Sounds: the earliest consort music for viols

A rapid transformation in musical tastes occurred in the years around 1500, with the widespread distribution of part-music in the new medium of print – it was in this context that the consort of viols emerged.

For their third recording on Delphian, the Rose Consort of Viols use a set of instruments modelled on those depicted in a Bolognese altarpiece dating from 1497. Peerless early-music mezzo Clare Wilkinson joins the consort in a sophisticated interweaving of voices that casts revealing light on the earliest music for this innovative ensemble.


"Wilkinson’s androgynous, straight tone chafes vividly against the viols – a smooth gloss on a pitted sound that creates necessary variety and beauty in a disc that might easily have been a historical curiosity."


"The Rose Consort of Viols play diligently, if a little humourlessly, but all ears will be on the glorious singing of mezzo Clare Wilkinson. Her soft voice is totally beguiling in this intimate repertoire: full of elegant contours and no sharp edges, perfect for weaving among the gentle viols."

Recording venue(s): Great Hall, Forde Abbey, Somerset
Recording dates: 26-28 November 2014
Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 24
Total playing time: 1:07:20
Album ID: DCD34169