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English Consort Series

The English Consort Series is the most recent addition to Landmark's areas of musical interest and is being launched with four new editions of music by the celebrated  seventeenth-century court composer, William Lawes (widely recognized as the most exciting and innovative English composer during the reign of Charles I). The Three-Part Consorts (LP ECS-3) were published in July, 2002, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the composer's birth. The other editions are set for publication in 2008. Each edition draws on the editor's doctoral dissertation area and research in Oxford and London, and includes substantial critical commentary.

William Lawes. The Three-Part Consorts  (TrTrB) LP ECS-3
For Two Treble Viols (or Violins) & Bass Viol (With Optional Continuo)
Edited by Mark Davenport. $62.00

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The complete three-part consorts of William Lawes are offered here for the first time, many of them never before published. The collection of twenty-six dances and aires, organized by the editor into  seven suites, provides a wonderful balance of playfulness on the one hand, with substance and compositional ingenuity on the other, really some of the finest examples of three-part writing in the  seventeenth century. The wide variety of technical demands means that there is something for everyone, from the lower intermediate player to the more seasoned adventurers!

"There is now a new publisher on the scene who looks set to produce some excellent editions of English Consort music, as well as music from the Netherlands and Spain: Landmark Press have produced a very nice edition of Lawes three part consort music for 2 trebles and bass with optional continuo. The score includes a lengthy introduction, which, though it might appear to be very academic (with numerous footnotes) makes for extremely interesting reading. There are also notes on performance as well as Sources, Commentaries etc, and a lovely page of the facsimile showing the Cantus part in Lawes autograph. The whole edition is produced on quality thick paper with an extra Bassus part for continuo players who do not wish to use the score, and everything kept together in a card folder with pockets...a very plush and posh edition...should provide an enjoyable addition to the three part repertoire."  (Alison Crum , president, Viola da Gamba Society of Great Britain)

"Davenport's introductory material, including preface, an essay on performance practice, notes on the sources, editorial procedure and critical commentary, are good reading, informative and relevant." The publication "stands a good chance of making [its] way into the personal libraries and repertoires of active viol players...--indeed I have already heard one of the Lawes airs performed." (John Mark Rozendaal, Viola da Gamba Society of America News)

"A good modern scholarly edition... with a well-considered layout that is very suitable for practical performance. The editorial interventions here, as in the music itself, are all declared, and the edition allows performers to pay conscientious attention to details of performance, in consultation with the notes concerning editorial procedure which are provided in the score.

Like much of Lawes' consort music, these shorter pieces can be deceptive in appearance and, despite their brevity, they display the same ingenuity found in Lawes' larger scale works. Consort players keen to explore the three-part music of Lawes, or simply wanting to add repertoire for two trebles and bass to their collection, will certainly find these consorts worthwhile, and will be pleased with this edition." (Brian Capleton, The Consort: The Journal of the Dolmetsch Foundation)

William Lawes. For the Violls a4 (TrTrBB) LP ECS-1
Edited by Mark Davenport
(for Two Treble and Two Bass Viols)


The Four-Part Consorts of William Lawes (VdGS nos. 108-113) are finally receiving the attention they deserve. The six pieces that comprise the collection offer a window into Lawes's more abstract  tendencies, including use of the augmented triad and its resulting diminished fourth, descending bass lines, melodic inversion, thematic juxtaposition, and some of the earliest and most extraordinary  examples of motivic transformation.

A pre-publication copy of this edition was used by the London-based viol quartet "Phantasm," for  their recording "William Lawes: Consorts in Four and Five Parts," on the Channel Classics label (CCS 15698), 2000.

William Lawes. The Two-Part Consorts  (TrB) LP ECS-2
Edited by Mark Davenport
for Treble Viol (or Violin) & Bass Viol (With Optional Continuo)


Using all the known sources, all of William Lawes's two-part works, for one treble and one bass  (some with optional continuo), are included in this collection (over 90 pieces)! This will be a significant addition to the published works of William Lawes and offers and wonderful assortment of  dances and aires for the early string performer.

William Lawes. Three Aires a4  (TrTrBB, TrTTB, & TrTrTB) LP ECS-4
 Edited by Mark Davenport


This is a delightful set of aires for four viols of different combinations.