The Viola da gamba in Italy

Treasures of the Orpheon Foundation


The instruments:

    Tenor viol by Gasparo da Salò, Brescia, ca. 1570

    Bass viol by Ventura Linarolo, Venice, 1585

    Treble viol, anonymous, Veneto, late 16th C.

    Bass viol by Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Brescia, ca. 1600

    Treble viol by Giovanni Balla Bugger, Mantova, 1630

    Bass viol by Giovanni Battista Grancino, Milano, 1697

    Bass viola da gamba by Paolo Antonio Testore, Milano, 1717

    Bass viola da gamba, Cremona or Venice, ca. 1730

    Violone in G, anonymous

    Violone in D, Veneto, 17th C.

Hear these instruments here:

Concert of Spanish music of the Times of Charles V and Philip II
performed on the above instruments at the Festival de Froville, 2009

More information on each of these instruments:

    The Shapes of the Viola da gamba in History

Josquin des Prez - In te Domine speravi

© 2005 José Vázquez


Guide to the exhibition: easy download
Exhibitions:Castello di Duino, Italy, beginning in March, 2010
Further exhibitions will be announced here:

Among the most cherished treasures of the collection are the Italian viols from the late 16th to the 18th Centuries: a veritable joy for eyes and, above all, ears! If one realises how few of these viols have survived to this day and, what is more concerning (since the vast majority of them are firmly locked up in cases and basements of the world’s musical instrument museums, or, shall we say, “mausoleums”), how few of these precious instruments are available to professional musicians and to audiences today, then the presence of this set of Italian viols on stage today can be considered something quite extraordinary, in fact, a miracle.
The members of the Orpheon Consort are profoundly conscious of the singular privilege of being able to work with these instruments; our audiences are also conscious of the fact that they are partaking in a wonderful and rare experience, not to be encountered elsewhere.