I make early renaissance viols to play early renaissance music. Players of the viol have come to accept thare are uncomfortable compromises to the music if they play Bach, Purcell, Gibbons and Byrd on the same type of viol, and so they have acquired appropriate models. With a properly set-up Renaissance Viol it is possible to extend this approach to the earlier repertoire of Senfl, Verdelot, Ortiz, Willaert and their contemporaries.
My viols, based on the Francesco Linarol, (made in Venice around 1540, and now in the Kunthshistoriche Museum in Vienna,) breathe new life into this exquisite music. They have a plangent and incisive sound, which allows each line of a consort piece to emerge clearly, whilst the overall sonority is warm and resonant. They are built without soundpost and bass-bar, are are strung in gut throughout, at a relatively low tension
Contemporary treatises suggest a number of tunings and sizes. The velvet quality of these viols is especially marked when used as a large set with tenor in a, two basses in D and a great bass in A - they have a sparkling quality with treble in d or c, two tenors in g, and bass in D. They also make clear solo instruments and sound well in mixed consorts.
I am pleased to offer this simple solution to players of the viol.